There is certainly a case of Saturday Night Fever at our Cedar Manor care home in New Zealand after colleagues introduced regular dance events for residents to enjoy.
Administrator Jane Verry and Admin Support Tracey Cairns joined forces with other colleagues at the home with one clear aim: to create a one-off event that would really wow the residents.
They wanted to create a special event that would not only include residents, but also involve their families as well as the local community, hopefully turning into an annual occasion to which everyone would look forward to.
They decided on a Winter Wonderland themed ball and enlisted the help of local ballroom dance teachers, who visited Cedar Manor every week for 12 weeks to teach colleagues how to put on a show for their residents.
“We got to know the instructors during our lessons and once they heard about why we were training, they put us in touch with a young couple of professional ballroom dancers who also wanted to get involved,” says Jane.
With a live band and DJ, and the lounge decorated in blues and whites, with snowflakes, stars and twinkling lights, Tracey says: “It was amazing to see the dining room transformed into a winter wonderland. The residents and their families had such a good time and it certainly brought back a few memories for them all. Everybody was talking about it for months to come.
“The event was extremely special and created a wonderful atmosphere. We saw residents who don’t usually engage in many activities tapping their feet to the music with smiles on their faces, which was great.
“And this Person First approach is what it’s all about – getting to know what our residents enjoy and making sure we do everything we can to make them as happy and as comfortable as possible.”
Shirley Smith, a Cedar Manor resident, said: “The ball was a fantastic evening. Everyone went to such great lengths to ensure that it was perfect. It brought lots of life to Cedar Manor and I hope we have many more.”
With the event proving to be such a great success, Cedar Manor then held a High Tea and Hats Garden Party, where the ballroom dancers returned and the care home held a best hat competition. Lots of fun was enjoyed by residents, their families and the local community.
We just can’t wait to see what’s next...