They loved seeing all the variety of sea creatures, such as the seals and being in the underwater tunnel where they could see sharks, sting rays, turtles and more. They thoroughly enjoyed choosing their own gifts from the gift shop. The residents and staff cannot wait to do this again soon.
The purpose of our Sea Life sensory day was so that everyone could experience not only a different environment, but different senses such as: sounds (running water, noises from penguins, music), smells (the penguin enclosure, the smell of the food that was there), sight (different sea creatures, bubbles, lights).
Each week our sensory days look at different things which affect different senses. Previous sensory days focusing on touch at Weymouth Care Home have included orbeeze and slime. For sound we have used instruments, and for sight we have used sensory lights. We also use our magic table if they are doing a bubble pop game, we also have our bubble machine on and music in the background.
Sensory days are incredibly important for those who need activities adapted, or who struggle to partake in group activities as it helps keep their brains stimulated, it gives them new opportunities to experience their senses.
We have found that by doing sensory days it has had a positive impact on all residents who have taken part, and it’s nice doing activities that all abilities can partake in.
Research carried out by the Co-op revealed that for people of all ages,
January is the month when they are most likely to experience loneliness. And
it’s easy to see why: cold weather, short days and fewer opportunities to get
out and meet people. ‘Blue Monday’ is the notorious 3rd Monday in January that
is thought to be the most depressing of the year.
Now imagine how that feels for an older person
living on their own. They may have been one of the more fortunate ones that had
company and attention over Christmas. Then, once the New Year is in, everyone’s
back to their normal routine and may be preoccupied with how to pay for the
festivities just gone.
It’s easy to assume that we’ve done our bit by
popping in to see an elderly relative or neighbour over the holiday period. And
these visits are valued. It’s just that it’s hard if this is followed by weeks
of seeing nobody.
Loneliness has a major impact on wellbeing, so
how can wellbeing be improved in January?
In our care homes we ensure that people are
kept occupied all year round with activities and are surrounded by people in a
sociable environment. The question is, how this approach can be applied to
people who receive care at home. It’s certainly much harder when it relies on
busy people being able to find a few hours here and there in a busy life.
The reality is that people in residential care
are less likely to experience loneliness and can enjoy better mental wellbeing
as a result. There are activities such as puzzles, games, singing and visits
arranged. Care homes can also look after other aspects that contribute to
wellbeing such as eating a nutritious diet and taking regular exercise.
For many, a care home offers a more sociable
environment compared to living at home, which can promote better health and
wellbeing – in January and throughout the year.