Among all the doom and gloom in social care, it is good to hear of a brighter note emanating from the Lovell Place and Meryton Place care homes in Bristol. A report by the BBC describes how residents at the care homes dressed up as their favourite characters from their favourite movies.
Characters from Don Corleone to Maria von Trapp were recreated for traditional movie posters as part of a creative project. Residents worked with staff to select costumes, props, and poses that identically matched the originals. Among them was Roger Hynam, 76, a huge James Bond fan keen to channel Sean Connery in the role.
Experiences of residents
Selina Adams, wellbeing co-ordinator at Lovell Place, said residents had described memories of growing up with the cinema and seeing these movies on the big screen for the first time.
“A pensioner shared her memory of meeting Hollywood actor Tyrone Power outside a local theatre” she said.
“When they shook hands – she refused to wash it for a week.
“It was incredible to hear their experiences, another resident excitedly shared that she used to sneak into the theatre dressed as her brother to sit with all the boys in her teenage years.”
Families involved in the activity
Families were invited to take part in the activity. Marina Goodman aged 88, posed as Charlie’s Angels with her daughter and granddaughter. Elaine Goodman said her mother had enjoyed the day. “We re-enacted the Charlies Angels billboard and Mum had a good laugh which was really nice.”
Lottie, digital elderly care platform
The activity was run by Lottie, a digital elderly care platform that connects care seekers to care homes.
Will Donnelly, co-founder at Later Living Marketplace Lottie said: “Each resident who took part is a shining reminder that everyone has their creative flair and talents, even in their older years.”
“We hope that this project will help to change negative attitudes to towards older people as they are just as important as anyone else”.
The care homes have displayed the posters within their cinema rooms and welcome visitors wanting to look at them.
Other homes plan to create a series of projects throughout the year to showcase “the creative talents of their residents”.
Increasing the level of activity for residents in care homes
Activities for residents in care homes are not always given the priority they deserve. The provision of quality personal care is a given, but care homes can provide much more than that.
It should promote a range of social activities that are vital to the social/emotional needs of residents such as interaction, friendship, and social stimulation that are essential to mental and physical well-being. Residents who are happy, content, feel safe, secure, and loved, will sleep and eat better and be far less likely to suffer falls or hospital admissions.
The project at Lovell Place and Meryton Place evoking memories of the resident’s favourite cinema stars seems to have gone down like a treat. The event supported Lottie, the digital elderly care platform that is to be commended.
I guess critics will say that not all care homes will have cinema rooms, but that should not decry the efforts of those involved in this project that is a good example of listening to what residents want and taking action to deliver it. We all know the importance of quality personal care, but the provision of interesting activities is not always given the priority it deserves.
Engaging residents in activities beyond routine care is an important factor in the life of a care home. A choice of activities is important for improving a sense of independence, confidence, and positive self-image for care home residents along with maintaining their mental and physical wellbeing.
Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy
Photo credit: Lottie.org