Drinking and socializing go together like cheese and biscuits, fish and chips, or ice cream and sprinkles. So it makes sense that a charity has started to host cocktail evenings in care homes. It seems to be the perfect way to encourage the elderly to mingle.
Magic Me, a charity based in London, sends its volunteers to eight different care homes in the capital. The evenings were created after discussions with the residents, who felt that the care homes focused on day time activity only. They wanted something to do in the evenings.
The parties happen on a Wednesday night, and friends and family are encouraged to attend. The residents get to choose the music, and drinks on offer. Every night has a different theme, giving the party-goers an excuse to dress up and show off.
The collaboration with John Lewis has seen themes such as ‘Old School Hollywood Glamour’, ‘Costa Del Cocktail Beach Party’, and ‘Winter Wonderland’. Props and materials are sourced from the store to ensure the venue is transformed into something extraordinary. The music is usually courtesy of a live band, and allows the residents to reminisce about party days gone by, or to keep up with current music. The ability to converse with the younger volunteers is especially beneficial to those who do not have family to visit them. It is also a good opportunity for all guests to get to know each other. It encourages them to leave their rooms and be sociable. This is important to combat loneliness and depression, two ailments that are common in care homes.
Board games are available for those who wish to play, and karaoke evenings are also popular. The breakfast banter the following morning is usually related to the night before, and gives residents something to talk about.
And of course, what about the cocktails themselves? The menu is created by private members club, Shoreditch House, who also trained the volunteers in the art of mixology. It includes the classics, such as Cosmopolitans, Margaritas and other fruity cocktails. Wine, beer, sherry, Baileys, and spirits are also available. It is easy to forget that the setting is a care home, and some of the residents even believe they are out at a posh bar. Care homes in the area are now being added to a bulging waiting list, as the project grows.
Donating to the cause is easy. Visit http://www.magicme.co.uk/htm/support_us.php to buy a cocktail for a good cause.