Residents and Care UK teams across the UK celebrated National Care Home Open with a series of fun-filled activities accessible to the wider community.
From antique valuations and teddy bear picnics, to performances from local musicians and entertainers, each care home held a unique event designed to get everyone in the party spirit.
Over 100 care homes across the country opened their doors for the special day. National Care Home Open Day is a countrywide initiative to create lasting relationships between care homes and their local communities. Not only are the lives of residents enriched by forming these inter-generational relationships, but the whole community can also benefit from and enjoy taking part in activities held at the homes
Asterbury Place, in Ipswich, brought some creativity to the home by holding art sessions, including both flower arranging and friendship bracelet making workshops. Whereas at Cherry Orchard, in Dagenham, guests were able to enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment from local performers and get up close to a variety of exotic animals.
Manor Lodge, in Chelmsford, organised a summer garden party to celebrate the open day, where visitors could enjoy a Rock ‘n’ Roll sing-along. There was also a special visit from Wellies-On, a care farm which brings together care of the land, environment and animals, with care of people
In Stratford-upon-Avon, residents at Ambleside were joined by local children from the Monkey Puzzle Nursery for a traditional teddy bear’s picnic, complete with party games and live music from The Carpenters tribute act, the Sound of Karen. Visitors were also treated to a special afternoon tea especially prepared by head chef Lisa Morris.
The team at Cairdean House in Colinton, Edinburgh, opened the doors to the local community for a day of fun and games, including a tombola, croquet, a bouncy castle for younger visitors, and a prize raffle – some guests even took part in a charity sponge throw, aiming for the newly appointed home manager, Gillian Goodall.
Situated in Epsom, Appleby House hosted a world cuisine party and visitors were invited to wear national clothing from cultures around the world and enjoy a special barbecue with dishes inspired by different nations. The team also welcomed special guests: Epsom and Ewell Mayor, Cllr Liz Frost, pupils from Blenheim High School, and members of the National Citizen Service (NCS) to the day’s festivities.
Cathkin House in East Kilbride held a 1950s-inspired garden party where visitors were treated to party food, drinks and fun games from the era. There was also live musical entertainment from Billy Day who got everyone in the party spirit, as well as a special visit from the pupils at Long Calderwood Primary School.
With the aim of creating additional flora in the home’s wildflower garden, residents of Hartismere Place in Suffolk invited guests to plant pre-prepared seed bombs ready for germination. There was also a number of traditional fete activities, including a hook-a-duck game, a raffle and tombola, as well as an opportunity to tuck into delicious foods including local fish and chips, ice cream and freshly baked cakes and scones.
Angela Hodge, customer relations manager at Hartismere Place, commented on what made the event such a success for residents, staff and the community as a whole: “Care Home Open Day is all about bridging the gap between homes and their surrounding communities, breaking down misconceptions and enriching the lives of people by bringing them together.
“Every single person that attended the summer garden party embraced what the day is all about and it was fantastic to see the home brought to life with fun and laughter. Having everyone together to plant the wildflower garden was a great moment and I know that the residents will treasure the space for years to come, particularly when it begins to flower.”