American writer Mark Twain once wrote of growing old that wrinkles indicate a life time of smiles. If that’s true then we’re guilty of making sure the residents of our nursing home in Worcester develop even more wrinkles.
Our philosophy is simple. We want people at Stanfield Nursing Home to enjoy their lives. Stay happy, healthy and keep fit all at once – and that’s not just residents, but staff as well.
Older people want fun and fitness in their lives – indeed, they demand it – and that’s what we give them at our nursing home in Worcester, plenty of exercise and fun. As I said: simple.
At Stanfield Nursing Home we have a tradition of finding different ways to build up and maintain the health and wellbeing of our residents. One of the ideas has been to adapt and develop a raft of activities to suit the needs of the individual.
For example, several of our residents previously enjoyed playing golf, so they are now being encouraged to hit a ball with a croquet stick to regain some of their golfing skills.
To help us build the health and wellbeing programme we’ve teamed up with Encourage Activity, a company specialising in putting fun and fitness into the lives of older people.
Encourage Activity is run by Chris Golding, a very popular figure at our nursing home. Chris injects a youthful sense of joie de vivre into the lives of residents and staff alike. Chris has been working with us for over 12 months now following a trial period. During that time we had to make sure that what he offered would bring real health and wellbeing benefits to the residents – and Chris’s activities have proved so popular we’ve continued to build on the programme going forward.
Regardless of age or infirmity, with Chris’s help everyone at our nursing home Worcester gets stuck into the activities he provides. These include:
- Balloon Volleyball, by playing with a balloon it slows down the speed of the game;
- Indoor skittles, 10pin bowling played with foam pins and bowling balls;
- Kurling, like curling, with the aim of getting your stones closest to the centre of the target;
- Parachute Games, which we do outside where everyone gets involved;
- Boccia: not a lot of people know this, but Boccia is essentially a gentler version of bowls, which you see people playing up and down the country on local village greens.
- Target Practice: using items such as hula hoops, mini bean bags and soft balls, tasks encourage focus and improve balance for residents with severe cognitive impairment. This is one of our most popular activities with residents often spontaneously burst out laughing when playing the game. It’s a joy to watch for us and the families visiting.
- Badminton; similar to the traditional game, but a much gentler version.
It’s no secret that everyone, whatever age, should keep fit and active as often as possible to stay healthy and happy. Our nursing home in Worcester is no different. Ask any GP: keeping fit and mobile has clear medical, psychological and social benefits that include improving self confidence, mood and self esteem, maintaining cognitive functions, reducing cardiovascular risk and the risk of falls as balance improves, and increasing overall energy levels.
As we’ve increased our range of activities with the help of Chris and his team, we’ve found that along with residents and staff, families are now turning up to play along too. And, of course, they’re more than welcome. At Stanfield Nursing Home in Worcester we’re hoping our fun and fitness programme will keep the smiles (and, yes, wrinkles) on the faces of residents, staff and families alike for some time to come.
By Richard White, Owner, Stanfield Nursing Home in Worcester