Pet month

Pet month was celebrated in style at both our care homes in May. Our first visitor was Ronnie, the hamster. His owner, Joseph, is Grove Senior Carer Kirsty’s son. Ronnie was particularly fond of Mrs Spoor.

Monty the Maine coon cat, owned by Grove resident daughter Joy, visited a few days later, we thought it was best not to have them both visit at the same, it could have ended badly! Monty, is a big chap but is really laid back and enjoyed being handled and stroked by our residents.

At Castle Farm the ‘pets’ were supplied by Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, who offer an outreach programme to ‘bring the zoo to you’. The handler from Kirkley Hall gave us an informative talk on the several visitors which included a snake and a lizard. Residents were encouraged to handle them and this was taken up enthusiastically.

A visit from Wilkinson’s at the Grove

On Saturday 22nd April residents and staff at The Grove welcomed Mark and Danielle from Wilkinson’s. To celebrate the opening of their new store at Silverlink, Wilkinson’s donated products to the value of £500. The lovely gifts included gloves and watering cans for our newly-formed gardening club, which will help us get handy in the garden over the summer months. Also donated was a selection of bird food for our feathered friends – if they can get there before our cheeky squirrels! Mark and Danielle rounded off their visit with a cup of tea and a chat with our residents.

Burns Night Celebrations

Burns night was celebrated in style at our Castle Farm and Grove care homes yesterday.

The haggis was ceremoniously piped in and paraded around the room for all to see. At Castle Farm, resident John Forrest made the address and duly stabbed the haggis with his dagger (actually a kitchen knife!)  it was then toasted with a wee dram of whisky.  The address at The Grove was performed by our CEO, John Connelly followed by Edinburgh-born Grove resident, Donald Allan, who recited some Rabbie Burns. 

The piper then took requests and residents enjoyed both traditional Scottish and not so traditional popular songs. The day ended with the singing of Auld Lang Syne and maybe another wee dram!

Lest we forget….

As we approach Remembrance Day our thoughts turn to those who sacrificed their lives so we can live in freedom.

All of our residents lived through the Second World War, a few served in our forces, but all experienced that tumultuous time when families and communities were torn apart. Everyone has experienced personal loss and loved ones are missed throughout the year, but at this time it is also an opportunity to thank those who served and survived.

The selling and wearing of poppies is a small way we can thank and support our armed forces.
…..we shall remember.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Abbeyfield newcastle care residents visit Beamish

Last week 25 residents, staff and volunteers from our three homes took a trip to Beamish  Open Air Museum. The trip coincided with Dementia Awareness Week and Abbeyfield had arranged with the museum to exhibit Abbeyfield residents’ Golden Moments art work and bunting.

In advance of the trip residents had taken part in a project, making bunting from images and items from the past ranging from knitting patterns to pieces of material. The bunting brought back many happy memories and provided an opportunity share these with others. Once completed, the bunting was then used to decorate the School House where it was displayed along the length of the corridor.   One classroom was turned into a gallery displaying residents Golden Moments art works and Grove resident Mrs Spoor provided two of her paintings. Abbeyfield residents are very talented.

Individual picnics were supplied by The Grove chef and were enjoyed at long tables reminiscent of a school dinner hall. Although, some couldn’t resist the fish and chips eaten out of newspaper.

After lunch we headed off to the Band Hall where we enjoyed a sing-a-long with children from Ryhope Primary school.  Enjoying old classics like ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your troubles’, providing accompaniment with drums, tambourines and maracas!

Despite a little rain a we all had a lovely day out that we just didn’t want to end, though even that became fun for some of us by taking the vintage bus or the tram to our own coach while others enjoying a leisurely stroll.

As we arrived home to Abbeyfield there was a feeling of satisfied weariness all round, a lovely day having been had by all!

The Garden Project at The Grove is coming along in leaps and bounds

Abbeyfield garden project

Now that the hard landscaping is finished we are beginning to plant the raised beds with the help of our residents. The paving replaces an unused section of lawn which residents had difficulty walking on and is visible from both our conservatory and sunrooms so can be enjoyed even when the weather isn’t so good.

We have planted up the Alpine, Heather and Seaside Beds with help, or supervision, from several residents. I hope you agree they are looking great.  We are visiting our local garden centre next week so residents can choose plants that they have a particular fondness for, then on their return they can plant them in the fourth bed. We are filling lots of pots with lilies, lavender and other colourful and fragrant plants. These can be moved around to give variety to the space.

The potatoes and herb trug have been planted and next week we will sow our salad and bean seeds to be raised in our small greenhouses at first until the frosts have gone.

It is a big project but everyone is very enthusiastic and having a great time.

Once all the beds and pots are planted we plan a grand opening. Watch this space for details.

‘tis the season to be jolly!

newcastle boys school choir sing at Abbeyfield

santa-visits-abbeyfieldThe Christmas festivities at Abbeyfield Newcastle began with a welcome return of our young friends from Newcastle School for Boys to our Grove care home. The boys entertained residents, friends and family alike with a wonderful range of seasonal and traditional carols and folk songs. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the boys’ visit, merrily joining in with the singing. With the concert over the boys took time to join our residents for a drink and a chat.

A high point of the day was the surprise arrival of Santa and his elf helper who distributed presents to our residents, who had all been very good all year! With duties complete Santa left to return to the North Pole. The afternoon was rounded off with a delicious buffet of sweet and saviour treats prepared by our talented kitchen staff who excelled themselves as usual! A great time was had by all.

Manager Kath Brown said “Our residents always enjoy visits from the boys and it was so nice to have them back to sing for us”.

Spanning the generations

castle farm residents with grand children

Residents at our Castle Farm Care Home heard the patter of tiny feet recently when they welcomed a visit from a local toddler group.

Trinity Tots, the mother (and father) toddler group usually meet at Holy Trinity Church in Jesmond, not far from our home, on Fridays. The visit was arranged by Rosemary Rowe, a Castle Farm House Committee member and also a member of the church, who thought it would be nice to get the different generations together. Ten tots arrived with their parents to enjoy an afternoon of fun and games with our residents. The afternoon was a great success with one resident commenting that it had been years since she held a baby on her knee.

Chris Major, house manager, said ‘we plan to repeat the visit in the spring when hopefully the children can enjoy spending time with our residents in our lovely garden’.