For the second year running, the OSJCT care homes took part in “I can’t believe it’s a care home” week.

This annual competition sees each of the homes go head to head in a quest to break down negative perceptions of living in a care home, by showcasing some of the most unique and unexpected activities which are organised for our residents.

Goodson opted to have a jam-packed day full of quirky activities. They kicked off at 11:00am with a yoga warm up followed by a drumming lesson. Residents lined the perimeter of the garden lounge and were treated to some slow and relaxing movements to loosen their joints before the drums came out.

African Djembe drums were handed around the group and residents began to make sounds by tapping different parts of the drum. The volume gradually increased as their confidence grew which drew in a few more of the shyer residents to sneak a peek at what was happening. As carers recognised the arrival of the new participants they were each passed their own drums. The intensity of the drumming continued to grow until a final chorus of vigorous drumming filled the air, to the rhythm of ‘nice-cup-of-tea’! Residents laughed and gave themselves a round of applause before they gradually departed, having burned off enough calories for a particularly hearty lunch.

Residents reconvened in the garden at 2:00pm for a ‘paint splat session’. Whilst the residents were tucking into their lunch, a few enthusiastic young men on work experience had been busy preparing the arena. Balloons were filled with brightly coloured poster paint and pinned to a large backdrop of lining paper.

With darts in hand, the team invited the parade of residents up the path, one by one residents stepped up to the mark, took aim and fired their darts in the balloons direction. Cheers erupted throughout the garden as each balloon was burst, revealing the brightly coloured paint inside which splattered dramatically onto the canvas. Some balloons were rather more explosive than the team had expected, and a few rouge splats made their way back towards the crowd, demonstrating the value of planning and the wise purchase of the water-based paint!

Resident Mary sported a rather fetching blue streak through her hair, but Mary didn’t let this bother her, nor did the few residents whose frames, and walkers that were redecorated. The residents were having so much fun that a little spray would not dampen the mood. As the darts continued to fly and more balloons met their end it became obvious that certain residents had some previous experience in throwing. With a particular degree of finesse one residents popped three balloons in a row, one after another.

Later that afternoon residents took part in a Zumba class, this proved challenging but very exciting and many departed from the prescribed moves to a more familiar dancing with partners. Whilst many entertainers will automatically default to the songs of old, the residents delighted in bopping around to modern day music.

The music got the residents dancing, clapping and laughed their way through the hour, swapping partners and spinning around the floor. Some of the residents were keen to show the young carers how it was done and the instructor herself was stolen for a dance on several occasions! Carers wrapped feather bowers around a few seated residents and performed their best shimmies to the delight of those watching. At the end of the hour both carers and residents were thoroughly worn out and as they left the lounge, they were cheerfully encouraged that a big cup of tea was needed to replenish their fluid levels.

Residents continued to recount the highlights of the day long into the evening and confirmed that they would like to see a repeat of each of the activities in the near future. A great day was had by all, a sign that the team did a truly marvellous job in ensuring the day was a success.