For the second year running, the OSJCT care homes prepared themselves for ‘I can’t believe it’s a care home week’.

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

Watersmead kicked off with a day of Darts led by The Wiltshire Darts Team. This activity proved particularly engaging for the gents in the home, many of whom would have played a casual game with friends in the pub on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Residents gathered in the main hall and watched on as each took their turn to approach the board. One resident, Terry, wowed the crowd with a bullseye and impressed even himself. Cheers erupted as the darts landed and echoed through the halls of the home, creating the wonderful atmosphere which Watersmead regularly enjoys. Encouraged by the carers, residents delighted in the theatre of it all.

Next up was a day of Archery, provided by Moving Mountains Outdoor Skills and Education Ltd arrived brandishing bows, arrows and targets! These were set up outside the doors of the hall which lead out onto the patio. A safety net was hung, and residents of all abilities were encouraged to have a go, some seated in wheelchairs and others standing.

The Watersmead team were particularly impressed with how well the Moving Mountains group managed to ensure each resident was engaged, regardless of ability and limits. One by one residents took their aim and the power of the arrows as they took flight, showed the residents just how much energy they could transfer into the bow string, breaking down their own perceptions of age and frailty. This type of activity really helps to re-instil feelings of control and power back into residents who may, at times, feel that the world is simply moving around them, whilst they look on.

Residents reminisced of days from their youth where they would enjoy outdoor pursuits and the impact of this showed as the strength seemed to reappear in their muscles, re-energised, they fearlessly approached the task with vigour and confidence.

The final activity of the week was a mini sports day prepared by the homes Activities Team; Natasha and Sara. The sun shone down into the garden as residents enjoyed bean bag throwing, hoopla and egg and spoon races. All participants won a medal, but the ultimate winner was Ray who won the most gold medals. Residents beamed as the carers did their own races and laughed at the surprising ferocity of the competition.

As the week drew to a close, residents had many new stories to share with their friends and families. A sign that the efforts of the team were absolutely worthwhile.