Residents enjoy ‘une belle promenade’

Excitement builds as residents take part in a virtual walk across the English Channel.

The cross-channel mission will see our residents counting the steps they do on their daily walk, with the aim of remembering past holidays and enhancing their mental and physical wellbeing. When they make their virtual arrival in Calais our residents will enjoy a traditional French breakfast of croissants, pain au chocolat and coffee.

The distances will be totted up via an app whose other virtual globe-trotting challenges include walking the Inca Trail in Peru, climbing Mount Everest and trekking along the Great Wall of China.

Frith, lifestyle coordinator lead decided to offer the ‘app’ walk after seeing how much the residents enjoyed walking around the home and grounds.

Every day is different at our home which positively encourages our residents to embrace activities of their choosing. These can range from bursting into song, dancing in the garden, cheese and wine tasting or being creative with artwork, explained Frith.

“As some of our residents enjoy getting out and about this gives a little extra purpose to their strolls. We lay on all sorts of activities to give them an opportunity to engage with experiences that they may not have had before, or which tap into their particular interests, or things they enjoyed doing when they were younger.

“We know some of our residents enjoyed trips to France when they were younger, so this will be a great opportunity to tap into those happy memories while we walk. It’s quite common for people with dementia to think they are off on a journey – often full of happiness and excitement – so if we end up discussing trips to Spain, the next town, or the New Forest, it’s all beneficial for them in helping them connect with times in their lives that make them feel good.  It also helps them feel empowered by their ability to remember.”

Frith and her colleague David Richardson wear the ‘Conqueror’ app on the residents’ behalf, while walking alongside them in the garden or around the home, enabling them to seamlessly combine the scores of every participant, and they hope to reach France by the end of October.

Manager Karen Byres added: “Our home is very specialist and we cater exclusively for people living with dementia. We find our approach enables our residents to become themselves again. Living here gives them a new lease of life and their relatives often can’t believe the positive difference in their loved one after moving here.”

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