THIS heart-warming video captures the moment care home residents were treated to a horse-drawn carriage ride – inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Pulled by two white stallions, the black and red stage coach took more than 30 residents, including those diagnosed with dementia, on a trip around the local area in Bournemouth.
Staff at the Bupa Care home – which is in tier two – surprised residents with the Victorian-style carriage trip to get them into the Christmas spirit and end the year on a high.
They also installed a snow machine at the home and decorated the residency with festive lanterns and a tree – in addition to giving everyone a personalised gift and the chance to sing some carols.
Claudia Carvell, manager of Bupa’s The Lindsay care home, said: “Now more than ever it’s important to go the extra mile to make people smile, and everybody’s face lit up when they saw the carriage.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone and our care home residents haven’t been able to get out to see the decorations like they normally would – so it was our job to bring Christmas to them.”
Multiple trips took place earlier this week to ensure as many residents as possible would get the chance to travel in style – and embrace the festivities.
Joan Blackshaw, aged 91, said: “We have been well and truly spoiled – it was such a lovely surprise and has left me feeling very Christmassy.
“Seeing Santa took me back to my younger years when I used to take the children and grandchildren to visit him each year, and the carriage was wonderful – I’d never been on one before.”
Claudia Carvell added: “We know that animals can have a really positive effect on people, especially those living with dementia, and that was definitely true today – the reactions were just incredible.
“While it might seem like a small gesture, it means so much to us that residents get to enjoy Christmas and we’ll be working hard to keep the celebrations going.”
Colleagues at the home spent weeks buying gifts for residents and plan to spend Christmas Day opening them, before enjoying a full festive feast lunch prepared by their in-house chef.
The home set up a residents’ committee to help choose the celebrations for 25 December – such as the carols, food and selection of Christmas cocktails including raspberry martinis and Buck’s Fizz.
Relatives will also be able to pay a visit thanks to a designated visiting room which was installed especially earlier this month.
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