“You can eat your drink!”
– that was one of the messages behind an inventive Alice in Wonderland themed nutrition and hydration day, held recently at Weald Hall Care Home in Epping.
Manager Danielle and her lifestyle team came up with an ingenious way to support people to improve their nutrition and hydration, with a goal of lowering the risk of water infections and dehydration.
They had identified that some members of the home were not keen on drinking fluids.
Thinking creatively, they wanted to demonstrate to staff members, families and people living in the home that it’s not all about fluids – it’s also possible to increase your hydration through the foods you eat, especially if these foods look appetising.
And what could look more delicious than an Alice in Wonderland themed spread!
There was lots of fluid-based food, including yoghurts, soups, jellies, as well as a caterpillar made of grapes and a show-stopping cake comprised entirely of fruit!
Families came along to enjoy the day, as did the mayor and deputy mayor of Epping! Everyone agreed that the food was delicious, as well as helping to educate people on the importance of good nutrition and hydration, and how there are different ways to get the fluids we need.
Danielle said: As the home manager, I am always thinking of things we can do to improve the life and health of all the wonderful people that live here. Our home is not just a care home – it’s a place to carry on living. It’s important to get messages across to residents and their families, but we wanted to make it inclusive and fun!
‘Magic Moments’ are another of Weald Hall’s initiatives – fulfilling personalised experiences for people and creating special memories.
A very special wedding
Katherine, who is living with advanced dementia, would frequently ask her husband Ray whether he had set a date for their wedding, describing the arrangements that she wanted, and also mentioning to staff that she was getting married soon.
So get married she did!
Weald Hall came together to hold a beautiful outdoor ceremony for Katherine and Ray. Staff took Katherine to buy a blue wedding her dress – her favourite colour – and other residents picked flowers from the nearby flower fields to make bouquets for staff who were Katherine’s bridesmaids.
A local vicar conducted the blessing on what was a “truly special day” in front of staff, friends and family members, with more family from Ireland watching online via a Teams call.
Cue happy tears all round! Later at Christmas Weald Hall staff gave Katherine a personalised calendar, with every month displaying a different picture from her wedding – a permanent reminder of the very special day they all shared.
David used to serve in the armed forces and loved to fly small planes as well as build models. Thanks to the support of some kind volunteers, David was transported to nearby North Weald airfield in a WWII vehicle, before flying in a Cessna C172N – a four-seat, single-engine aircraft.
David added: “The experience given to me by the staff was excellent and I really enjoyed it. It was a brilliant day. Going in the WWII jeep added to the realism of the experience and brought back memories of when I served in Malaya. I used to drive the same jeep.”
Man’s best friend
Back on the ground, Roy had a very special visit from Len – a black greyhound.
In the past Roy used to volunteer at a rescue greyhound centre but, due to his lack of mobility these days, he didn’t think he’d have the joy of being around his favourite animals again. In stepped Martin, a volunteer at a local kennels, who arranged for greyhound Len to visit Roy at home at Weald Hall.
The two spent time talking about their shared love for greyhounds and of course Len got lots of attention too. Roy was gifted a brass greyhound ornament for his bedroom and the visit ended with Martin giving a speech, before they all watched a thrilling race that Len had won previously. It felt like everyone at Weald Hall was at the races!
Thank you so much to Danielle and the Weald Hall team for sharing these stories with us. You can read more about their Magic Moments initiatives here.
We love hearing about stories of great practice in care settings! If there’s something you’d like to share with us, no matter how big or small, please get in touch at: email@example.com