As the countdown to Christmas begins, care home provider Exemplar Health Care have revealed how they are working to make this Christmas special for their residents.
Providing care for adults with complex needs, Exemplar homes and services are tailored to the needs of the individuals in their care. With the aim to make every day better, it’s no surprise that there is a great deal of activity and enthusiasm about the Christmas season.
Supporting independence is at the core of care plans and this year Exemplar have worked with their Service User Council to develop a Christmas card competition. Residents across the care homes have been involved in designing cards to be sold from their home with regional winners announced.
Exemplar’s Service User Engagement Manager, Sophia Feurtado said “We were impressed with the entries to the competition and loved seeing residents’ creativity come to the fore. Over the last year we’ve seen the people in our care show entrepreneurial spirit and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to support them in creating the Christmas cards to help them increase the money available in their activities funds.”
The winning homes have received £100 towards their activities fund and each individual home that sells the card designs will be able to use the income towards fun, additional activities such as cinema trips, visits to National Trust properties and simply a coffee in town.
The card competition follows other entrepreneurial activity from residents such as the opening of a pop-up coffee shop, The Platform at Quarryfields in Doncaster. The space is being transformed for Christmas and has a new menu of festive-themed treats and gifts available, alongside a cookbook of recipes that the volunteer-led team have created since the pop-up opened in April.
For food lovers in Exemplar’s care who have swallowing restrictions, Exemplar’s Catering Manager at Willowbeck Care Home, Claire Fretwell has been developing pureed food techniques to provide plates of pureed meals that look like the whole foods.
Claire has utilised moulds, piping bags and blenders to display the food so that it looks like a traditional Christmas dinner, mince pies, Christmas cake, and cheese and crackers. Claire and her team have been working with her team since the summer to perfect the creations so that they look as realistic as possible.
Claire said “Christmas can be an incredibly joyful time of year, but it can also be difficult for some of our residents. This might be because it’s the first year in a home setting or because it evokes memories. Food is usually at the heart of gatherings at Christmas and we understood that those in our care would enjoy and benefit from us transforming their meals into recognisable Christmas treats.”
She added “We always try to make anything that’s requested, and we’ve included a few other dishes to our Christmas selection to make it even more special. The team are excited to see the faces of our residents when the foods are served over the Christmas period.”
As well as supporting food related traditions, the care team at Havenmere in North East Lincolnshire are working together to present a Panto-like nativity performance to delight their residents. The performance will be made up of short scenes with lots of music and dancing to get the Havenmere residents into the Christmas spirit.
The nativity isn’t going to be your traditional Christmas nativity with lots of Pantomime tropes such as ‘me-to-you’ scenes as the stage is set and Angel Gabriel lecturing on health and safety policies and procedures.