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Small step for man but a giant leap for care home residents

Care home residents took a giant leap with a madcap celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing – by transforming their lift into Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle.

The wacky out of this world experience at Pendine Park’s Highfield House Care Home in Wrexham was accompanied by appropriate music like Frank Sinatra singing Fly me to the Moon and Walking on the Moon by the Police.

Once they reached the lunar surface aka the first floor, they planted a flag in a decorated sick bowl which was doubling up as a crater…but this time it was a Pendine Park banner rather than the Stars and Stripes taking pride of place.

The idea for the special event was the brainchild of Pendine Park’s lead enrichment and activities co-ordinator Christine Lewis who thought up the madcap plan while lying in a hospital bed.

She and her colleague, James Wallice, even dressed up in space suits to mark the landmark anniversary of the momentous moon landing when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the powdery surface.

Pendine Park residents celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing; Pictured (L/R) James Wallice, resident Gladys Cross, Chris Lewis and residents Rose Samuels and Noel Hughes .

Christine said: “Back in March I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and was in hospital feeling a bit sorry for myself. I was talking to a fellow patient who reminded me this year was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“I was trying to think of something different to inspire residents but in a fun way. I thought up the idea of transforming the lift into a space capsule and recreating the surface of the moon on a landing at the care home using bubble wrap and painted sick bowls, which make perfect lunar craters

“Saturday’s and weekends in general are quieter so I wanted to give residents something different, but something that would be fun and at the same time give them a chance to jog a few memories.

“It certainly got residents thinking with some recalling what they were doing when the moon landings took place 50 years ago.”

She added: “James and I dressed up as astronauts and we have had a huge amount of fun. Residents thoroughly enjoyed the event.”

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James, a junior enrichment and activity co-ordinator, added: “We really wanted to make the lift look like the inside of a space rocket and added effects such as windows and control panels on the walls.

“Residents had music playing too, Frank Sinatra’s  Fly me to the Moon as the lift went up, S Club Seven’s Reach for the Stars as we landed, Walking on the Moon by the Police and Disney’s Wish Upon a Star as we planted the Pendine flag.

“Then residents got to enjoy space themed confectionery treats such as Milky Ways, Mars bars and Galaxy chocolate.”

It’s been a fantastic fun event and brought a smile to a few faces. Residents have really joined in and wanted to be part of the event.

“Some have said we have caught a dose of moon madness but if it’s got people thinking and laughing then we have done our job.”

Resident Glenys Cross, 85, was one of the first to brave the moon-bound capsule and said she really enjoyed the event.

Glenys, who hails from Wrexham, said: “It was really good. The rocket to the moon was really good and better than watching telly.

“Christine is great and is always thinking up new things. It’s always fun and something different.”

Glenys, who has a son, a daughter and one granddaughter who visit her most days, added: “Fifty years ago I was working in school meals in Wrexham. My husband Gerald, who passed away 30 odd years ago, was still alive then too.

“Today brought back some memories but most of all it’s been good fun. I really enjoyed it.”

Fellow resident Noel Hughes, 71, also had a ball.

He said: “It was brilliant. I was only a lad really when the moon landings happened but I do remember it vividly.

“We have had a brilliant day and I enjoyed making the sounds of rockets and astronauts talking on the radio.”

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