Residents at Care UK’s Larkland House care home in Ascot have their binoculars at the ready and their bird feeders filled as they prepare to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 January.
Residents will be enjoying visits from Mill Cottage Farm on Thursday and Furs and Feathers on Friday, who will be dropping in to Larkland House with several different species of birds. As the experts share their knowledge, everyone at the care home will have the rare opportunity to see the birds up-close.
Known as the largest wildlife survey in the world, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch encourages people throughout the UK to take a closer look at the nature on their doorsteps by counting the different birds which visit their garden in any one hour over the last weekend of January, as well as recording any non-bird species such as badgers and hedgehogs.
Customer relations manager Danielle Plant explained why Larkland House is one of several Care UK care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. “Connecting with our outdoor space and taking the time to observe birds and wildlife can be extremely beneficial for residents, particularly for those who are living with dementia.
“The quiet, calming nature of bird watching can help lower anxiety, while the colourful sights and distinctive sounds of our feathered friends provide plenty of sensory stimulation. Bird watching can also be a valuable reminiscence activity, with the appearance of certain species and the sounds of bird song evoking memories and it also helps residents recall their love of nature.
“Sitting and watching the birds come and go quickly becomes an enjoyable shared interest for residents which can help combat any feelings of isolation, while practical tasks such as helping to clean and fill bird feeders can also be very fulfilling.
“With so many benefits to be enjoyed, we were very keen to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. In preparation we have been busy setting up a bird table and feeders in our garden, as well as equipping dedicated twitching stations around the home with binoculars and guides to identify different species. We are all now looking forward to the activity getting underway at the weekend, and to playing a part in this important national survey.”
Family carers can get advice and support on how to incorporate practical activities such as bird watching into their daily routines by visiting careuk.com and requesting or downloading copies of ‘As Easy as ABC’ – a guide to activity based care – and ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ – which helps overcome the challenges of connecting and communicating with loved ones who are living with dementia.
For more information, contact Danielle Plant by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01344 798 618. For more information on which Care UK homes are taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, visit careuk.com/birdwatch.
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place annually over the last 35 years, with the information collected each year helping the RSPB form a picture of bird populations across the country and highlighting any trends or changes. For more information, visit rspb.org.uk.