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Activities and Hobbies

13th May

Activities in care homes offer a range of group or one-to-one activities, to help keep minds stimulated.

There’s lots of choice for everyone, we will always encourage residents to join in, but at the same time we respect their wishes to choose a one-to-one activity.

During the Pandemic, we looked at other ways of entertaining the residents as lockdown prevented entertainment from outside sources. Although we are now testing the waters and inviting entertainment sources back into the home, we are also very cautious as we do so. There are so many ways that we can encounter activities such as virtual or streaming experiences. These are readily available on the internet which opens a whole new experience to the elderly. It’s possible to introduce armchair travel to those who love to explore the world. You can enjoy an amazing experience of a country or a museum from your armchair to many far-flung places or experience a walk-through an art gallery.

For example Swarthmore took the residents through the streets of London on a streamed experience. You can easily set up a room to help the experience seem realistic. A full guided tour of the sights was thoroughly enjoyed followed by an afternoon tea. What a delight!

We also have Virtual Reality headsets for anyone that may be interested. This is more interactive for those who are willing to take it to the next level. For example, a walk through the Louvre in Paris where you can immense yourself into a painting such as the ‘Mona Lisa’.

Here a few links you can try for yourself:

Take an interactive tour of 4 of America’s National Parks

Check out pandas via the “panda cam” at the Atlanta Zoo

National History Museum - https://naturalhistory2.si.edu/vt3/NMNH/


Puzzles, jigsaws, word search – help improve our brains, help us relax, also very good for interaction when possible. Placing puzzle pieces together helps concentration, improves our short-term memory, and helps with problem solving.

Art –Swarthmore offers plenty of choice from drawing, painting, creative art, celebrating religious days. Another way of improving concentration, creativity, and relaxation. Studies connected art to improving lifestyle, better hand dexterity and higher morale.

Poetry – One of our residents’ daughter volunteers to read and discuss poetry on a weekly basis. This is very popular and inspiring. Our residents have written their own poems and songs.

These discussions are therapeutic and mentally stimulating. It’s never too late to listen or take part in literature readings. You may ask yourself why:

Age is just a number

• Just like wine, life gets better with age

• Growing old is inevitable, but growing up is optional

• Old enough to retire, young enough to enjoy it

• Solving the puzzle of writing a good poem can keep us healthy


Music and Movement - Music improves our mood, brings back happy memories, and encourages socialisation. Dance or movement is also good for the body as we age, movement is important, so our body remains healthy with the ability to move around as long as possible.

Celebrations -   We all love a reason to celebrate; everyone deserves to celebrate all occasions. No one is forgotten, we all love a sing song, a slice of cake and a cup of tea. It’s important everyone has a moment to feel special and not forgotten.

Religious services - Everyone is equally welcome from all religions and faiths. We arrange all services of worship for residents who wish to attend.

Entertainers - Activities team arrange various musicians, pet therapy, museum curators, fitness instructors etc to come and entertain the residents. Everyone enjoys a good old sing song and some love to dance. A joy to see! Movie afternoons – enjoy an afternoon film with popcorn and drinks.

Games - The list is endless, all of which are good for the mind and body. Thought process, movement, nimble hands, improve memory and life skills, it can also help us feel independent as we focus on something for ourselves. A game of scrabble, a quiz, bowling, skittles – and most of all this provides laughter with our fellow residents. Laughter is the best remedy to make anyone feel good.

News from around the world - What’s hitting the headline news and discussions around economics. It’s important to keep up to date with the world and the changes around us. It also helps the brain function and may help bring back memories that relate to today’s news.

Outings - As the weather improves, we have a yearly boat trip from Henley. Garden centre visits, centre for hearing dogs, shopping trips and strolls around the village.

Cooking Afternoon pudding club – cooking together – lovely desserts such as Eton Mess, Banana Split………..

Loneliness and social isolation within the elderly is a growing issue. There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people living in the UK, this is set to reach 2 million by 2025.

Where loneliness and boredom may be part of our daily life as we age, care homes provide companionship and wellbeing for those who are unable to care for themselves anymore. Stimulation supports the theory that engaging in mentally stimulating activities can help keep the mind to remain sharp. Companionship is a difficult subject due to the loss of a loved one or not living close by to family so we can visit often. As we age, we don’t want our families to feel responsible or feel a burden to anyone. We all seem to lead busy lives; we all hope that we can look after our family, but it can become difficult as we age ourselves. We are living longer as a population. We hope that we can look after our family as they age, just as they did for us. It’s called the ‘Circle of Life’.

These are all ideas to keep you younger longer. If you are considering a Residential home for loved one or yourself, consider Swarthmore Residential Home for a month’s trial with a view to stay longer. We can help you re-discover your hobbies or learn something new. Make new friends and help you in your daily routine. Hobbies can be tremendously beneficial and can also be a long-term part of our life.

Remember it’s never too late to learn a new hobby and make new friends.  Why not come and give it a try.  We can offer a short respite stay with a view to stay longer for anyone considering Residential Care.

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