Residents and team members at almost 50 Care UK homes have decided that they love poetry so much, they will be holding a special event on 4th October to celebrate National Poetry Day.
Some homes have gone one step further and invited the local community to join their celebration of words and rhyme. Some have a general open invitation for local people to come in and listen to poetry others have invited school pupils, nursery children, poets and poetry groups to join in with specific activities.
In Edinburgh, the team at Cairdean has invited ‘Robert Burns’ to come and share his poetry and in Surrey, some of the residents from Tiltwood care home have made a special visit to their local library to select poetry books to give them inspiration for writing their own poetry and they’ll also be voting to find their favourite poem.
Additionally, all of the residents in Care UK’s 119 homes have been invited to take part in a competition to find the best poem written by a resident as part of the celebrations for National Poetry Week. A similar competition run earlier this year saw Abney Court in Cheadle walk off with the top prize for a poem written jointly with local pupils from Kingsway school.
As well as being great fun and sociable, poetry can also bring huge benefits for people living with dementia. Care UK’s organisation director Chris Hopkinson said: “Many of our home teams have already discovered just how much pleasure poetry and the spoken word brings to older people so it’s great to see all these events being arranged for National Poetry Day in our homes. For many people of this generation, poetry brings back so many memories of school days or having young children leading to lovely opportunities for reminiscences and social interaction which are particularly precious for those living with dementia.”
National Poetry Day inspires people across the UK to celebrate and promote excellence in poetry. This year the organisers have chosen a theme of change. For more information, visit www.nationalpoetryday.co.uk/
Poetry reading and writing is just one of 100 great ideas for enjoyable and meaningful activities that can be shared with an older loved one including those with dementia. Care UK’s free ‘As easy as ABC’ guidebook can be downloaded for more hints and tips at careuk.com/Easy_as_ABC.pdf
Many of the events in the homes are open to local people. To see if a Care UK home in your area is planning an event for Thursday, go to http://www.careuk.com/care-homes/ and put your town in the location finder or look on the National Poetry Day website.