By Sammy Paynter, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Caer Gwent

Living in a care home doesn't mean putting your life on hold. Caer Gwent offers fourteen different activities each week. For instance, Monday is typically a day for exercising both the mind and body. Morning exercises like chair yoga are followed by an afternoon quiz. It is important to take care of your body, mind, and soul.

I do chair yoga with the residents every week, which is one of their favourite activities. There is no strenuous exercise involved, just gentle movements. Our oldest resident, who is 102, loves yoga. You know you are doing something right when residents tell you how much they enjoyed an activity and say, "Well done, Sammy."

There is always something to do, such as exercises, word games, and themed bingo. Additionally, we have external entertainment. Drum Fit is another popular session because it's fun, and everyone enjoys it. We keep our brains active with word games. Also, we do a lot of activities that require dexterity with our hands, such as using parachutes and balloons for chair-based dance moves.

I enjoy meeting with residents who are unable to participate in group activities one-on-one. With the help of my volunteers, I can accomplish so much. As a result, we can spend more time with as many people as possible. Having the opportunity to spend time with residents who may not have many visitors allows us to provide them with the one-to-one attention they need.

There are many residents who are passionate about our sports, especially with Wimbledon recently. During the Wimbledon final, cupcakes themed around tennis and strawberries and cream were served with alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) fizz. A tasting of local cheeses will also take place at the end of the month to celebrate national cheese and wine day.

Each week, we have talk days to discuss current events, such as the recent NHS birthday. There is often a reminiscence about old Worthing among Worthing residents, which makes for an enjoyable conversation starter. Moreover, we discuss modern technology, how the world is changing, and more current issues. Watching television and reading newspapers lead to questions that they bring up during discussions. When we have a question, we either search the internet together or ask Alexa (which we have installed in our home) for more information. In some of our residents' rooms, Alexas have been installed as well. The use of technology has become an integral part of their daily lives. I think that's great. They are not left behind.

It can be overwhelming for the individual moving into a care home, let alone their family members. Are we doing the right thing for mum or dad? Will they be okay? Their minds will be occupied by it. One of the last things I would want is for someone to come into the home and see their loved one sat watching TV with no other stimulation. That's not what it's about. My job is wonderful; I spend my days with amazing people who have amazing stories to tell. I love being able to provide a range of activities and experiences to suit everyone because everyone is different, no two people are alike. There is nothing like it.

For more information about Guild Care and the activities that we offer in our care homes, please contact our friendly enquiries team on 01903 327327 or email [email protected]

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