"It was out of this world – literally!" 

Abbeyfield Westall House, dementia-friendly residential care home and soon to be Independent Living facility, recently held their very own space month. The house was decorated in a space theme, complete with hanging planets painted (from home) by a regular volunteer of Westall house – there was even a life-size space man!

Heather Rogers, Activity Coordinator at Westall House said, “We held with a ‘launch lunch’ with cosmic cocktails and box of supplies for the journey, including a knitted space man, knitted by one of our wonderful carers.

“Throughout August, we had many activities planned; tales of the unexplained, food tasting, film nights and more! One week, we talked about UFO sightings, whether anyone had ever seen a UFO, we mentioned famous sightings and discussed whether we believed there is other life out there. I played some old Sci-Fi movie clips that the residents may have seen before and recognised and we listened to the radio show presented by Orson Wells of HG Wells’, War of the Worlds when the American citizens thought was a real invasion and went into panic.

“All the residents loved the star sign reminiscence morning – we talked about the different horoscopes, who did and didn’t believe in them, and more. There were a number of themed music sessions with songs like ‘The Planets’ by Holist and ‘Fly Me to the moon’ by David Bowie.”

“I enjoyed the discussion about UFO’s as I’m a believer and I’ve seen a couple. I also enjoyed listening to ‘The Planets’ by Holist.”                – Tony Worthington, Resident

“Everything was very space themed, even the food!” said Heather. “The month ended with a ‘Down to Earth Lunch’ where the staff and residents put on various alien disguises; two residents were crowned ‘Miss out of this world’ and ‘Mr down to earth’!

“We held an ’Alien Art Attack’ competition which went down well! It was nice as we could also include family members and those in the local community to take part too by inviting them to email their art to us.

“The residents absolutely loved it! Everyone thought it was great fun. They love learning new things and listening to new music – even if sometimes it is not to their own personal taste. One resident heard David Bowie come on, he didn’t like his music but said it reminded him of his daughter playing the music when she was a teenager just to annoy him. That made him smile.”

“It was very nice, I really enjoyed it, and in fact it was out of this world!” – Ron Cragg, Resident

Heather added “We all like to have something to look forward to, so every month at Westall House we try and do something special in addition to the normal regular activities. In August last year we went on an imaginary cruise around the world with lots of themed activities, which included many entertainers, speakers plus family and community events in the home.

“This August, our imaginary holiday was going to be ‘Westall on Safari’ however, during this period of restrictions the space theme allowed us to do something special but all in house. As far as we know, there is no COVID-19 in space!”

“It was so lovely to see the residents and staff laughing and having fun at this very difficult time for all” – Jemma Thompson, Operations Manager

In August 2021, all being well Westall House plan to hold their ‘Westall on Safari’ month. If going ahead, there will be many events and activities including an outing to the Red Lion pub for lunch, visiting speakers, bands and acrobats!

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