Meet our Activities Coordinator, Karen Dillon
Karen Dillon is our Head of Activities and has worked within the home since 2005, starting out as a Carer. Karen is very outgoing and full of fun. She has many hobbies, with arts & crafts being her favourite, and her passion for this can be seen in the activities she arranges.
Karen’s activities team is made up of herself, Magi Bell and Sharon McArthur. Between them, they ensure that residents are happy and have loads of fun.
They are very keen to involve the residents in the decision making within the home to enhance their experience. They take part in the residents' meetings, catering forums and assist the General Manager in interviewing new staff members.
Activities at Balclutha Court
At Balclutha Court our resident’s happiness is extremely important to us. We all know that a large part of this is keeping active and continuing to enjoy your interests and hobbies. At Balclutha Court, we have regular activities including arts and crafts, music, entertainment, trips to local attractions such as canal trips, safari parks and many more. Our activities team are always busy organising events, entertainment and excursions with the broadest possible appeal and many of our residents see living at Balclutha Court as an opportunity to develop a new skill or interest. It is important to us that each individual who we support can get as much from these as possible, so we try our best to arrange activities that reflect their interests and capabilities as best as possible, and encourage them to participate in any way they can. We also encourage relatives to join with activities and events as often as they can.
Life at Balclutha Court Care Home
Keeping in Touch
Balclutha Court is helping to tackle any feelings of isolation during this period within their own community. Assistance for residents to use iPads, Skype, Facebook and Facetime is being encouraged and facilitated by care workers as a way to reach out to families, friends and loved ones during these isolating times. Residents have also been writing down their messages to share to their families in the traditional way of putting pen to paper!
Activities Coordinator, Karen Dillon, has encouraged and helped residents to create and then write their messages on to for friends and family to read, this has been heart-warming for the residents, bringing smiles and a sense of comfort to them, knowing their families are safe and well.
We wanted to make it even more personal to the residents' families and have been emailing photographs with personal messages from individual residents to their own individual families. Our residents have thoroughly enjoyed spending one-to-one interaction with the activity team to come up with these personal messages to send to their families.
Arts & Crafts
Some of our residents enjoyed doing some crafts. We have placed the rainbows in our window at the front of the home.
Over the Rainbow
Residents of Balclutha Court have been busy making rainbows, which they have displayed on windows throughout the home to bring a smile to someone as they pass the home. The idea is that members of community display rainbows in their windows so that children can go ‘rainbow spotting’ when out for their exercise with family. The colourful displays are brightening up everyone’s day! The Facebook group has over 90,000 members and the home is delighted to be part of the community spirit.
National Nest Box Week
Residents of Balclutha Court have decided to make its garden more attractive to birds by planting shrubs and flowers that will benefit wildlife throughout the year.
Everyone came together to enjoy a morning of crafts, making and painting nest boxes for their feathered friends as part of National Nest Box week, which is an annual event that takes place every year with St Valentine’s Day, as this is traditionally when birds pair up for the new breeding season. Putting nest boxes in the garden is brilliant news for birds!
The Wild West
It was a case of west is best as Balclutha Court staged a USA-style country party for residents and staff, with everyone donning their Stetsons to become cowboys and cowgirls for the day.
There were also Red Indian squaws — and teeny guests from the home's pals at Glen Park Nursery. Country and western music got the party started and everyone tucked into burgers, hot dogs and southern fried chicken.
We hold theme days from time to time, but we've never had a wild west theme before. We had a photo booth with ‘Wanted' posters, country music, games, a tin pan alley and all the staff, and residents threw themselves into the spirit of it.
Everyone got involved, from the reception to kitchen staff and HR. The children from Glen Park Nursery come in here regularly, and the intergenerational work we do with them is fantastic. The nursery is very good in trying to bring the same children in each week, so they can build up a rapport with residents.
Celebrations have been in full swing at Balclutha, as a resident reached her 60th birthday in style. Birthday girl, Sandra, enjoyed a trip to a newly-refurbished restaurant, The Carriages, for a meal accompanied by her friends from the home.
The birthday girl said she is to be spoilt all day and is looking forward to lots of chocolates and birthday cake. Everyone enjoyed the trip and looks forward to a return visit.