After the success of last yearâ€™s music festival week, this July, Dementia Ambassador Aileen Craigie and her colleagues at Perth and Kinross Council’s Lewis Place Resource Centre, a day centre for adults, invited their clients, partners and carers to join them in a holiday themed week.
Staff transformed every room in the centre into destinations around the world ranging from Blackpool, Austria, the Middle East and Las Vegas to the sights and sounds of an African safari complete with its very own Tarzan! Staff dressed to match the themes and lunch reflected a different destination each day with, for example fish, chips and mushy peas and ice-cream cones to represent Blackpool and chicken schnitzel and apple strudel for Austria.
As with all activities, particularly when they are a break from the usual routine, each individual clientâ€™s needs was considered. The needs and abilities of clients vary greatly, some having reduced physical abilities, others living with varying degrees of dementia, so some areas provided a range of quieter activities such as word searches and art. For those who preferred to try something a bit more lively, there was belly dancing in a Bedouin tent, singing and yodelling in Austria and some serious poker playing in Las Vegas to the musical accompaniment of the Rat Pack.
Heather Reid, centre worker said:
â€˜At Lewis Place we have found that weeks like these give us an opportunity to include the people who support our clients, showcasing our work and breaking down some of the barriers that can exist between the centre and the wider community. We sent invitations to partners and carers, along with relevant professionals, our sister unit at New Rannoch and a day opportunities group who occasionally share our building. It was particularly pleasing to see the various groups joining in so well together.
â€˜There is no doubt these events require a high level of effort, team work and commitment from all the staff at the centre but, as with all things, the value can be seen both in the faces in the photographs and the positive feedback we received from clients and carers alike.â€™
A carer wrote:
â€˜Thanks for inviting me to share a wonderful holiday. To see how much the clients enjoyed what you did was just a joy. It was more than I expected, I didnâ€™t know which destination to choose!â€™