Grabbing every excuse for a celebration, residents and staff at a Wellington care home came together at the weekend for an alternative Halloween party styled around Elvis Presley that inspired lots of laughter and dancing.
The party at Camelot House and Lodge was also the scene for an awards ceremony to recognise the many individual contributions made to keep life happy, safe and as normal as possible in the home over the past 18 months.
Manager Sam Paddon said: “It’s been a challenge for everyone working in the care sector during the pandemic, and I’m so proud of the way my team has risen to the challenge in putting the happiness and wellbeing of residents to the fore at all times.
“It’s a real pleasure to celebrate the dedication they’ve shown and the party was a perfect opportunity.”
The awards presented were:
- Helping Hand award for carer Madalina Chito and cleaner Caroline Boulton;
- Above and beyond award, won by carer Cecilia Costachi and laundry assistant Debbie Maunder;
- Most hard-working award presented to team leader Vlad Toma and senior carer Richard Kingdon;
- Biggest personality award went to resident carer George Maniosu and resident Roy Crawford (aka Crawford);
- Friendliest smile/person award was won by residents Barbara Doubtfire and Judith Ashcroft;
- And the award for Best Costume went to resident Pam Boyle and cleaner Carole Taylor.
The Elvis theme for the party came about because conversations between staff and the people they care for revealed that residents are not huge fans of standard ‘spooky’ Halloween parties.
However they were thrilled by the suggestion of an Elvis-themed party with a Halloween twist, so the activities team produced ‘Presleyesque’ costumes and applied a Gracelands theme to the décor in the main lounge.
Entertainment at the party featured the activities team – Richard Dempslake, Kathy Burge and James Wilson – performing Elvis classics including Hound dog, Can’t help falling in love, Suspicious minds and Always on my mind, plus a spooky medley of Jeepers Creepers, Monster Mash, I put a spell on you and Bump in the night.
Richard said: “We even had a guest appearance from Elvis himself – a cut-out, of course, not a ghostly Elvis – and this really delighted one of our residents, Alec Wilmot, who is a huge Elvis fan.
“Importantly, Elvis songs are familiar to the people with dementia who we care for, and it sparked happy memories for many of them. It was a joy to see how much they enjoyed the event.”
Camelot House and Lodge is run by Camelot Care, which also has other homes in Bridgwater and Plymouth, see www.camelotcare.co.uk