We started doing theme night here at GBC as an outcome from a resident/relative meeting that we had months ago. We started with the Pie and Mash Night which was a success although we had mixed feedback from staff, residents and relatives. This evening, 16th December 2018, we had a Greek theme night, we had invited Mr George Demetriou, husband of our very own MD to cater for the residents and the relatives who would want to join in.
I myself love Greek food and the smell of it whilst cooking made me think, I must try it. So, I have decided to stay on after my shift. I joked around and said I should be served as well, then I thought, maybe I should sit with them and experience it as well as gather feedback to find out what impact does this theme night with the resident’s well-being have. So the plan was to sit with the residents and join them whilst they eat and have a chat with them, unfortunately the table was fully booked and there isn’t any space for me, so I helped the staff served instead and took the opportunity to go around and ask how was the food as well as to see the residents who have decided to stay in their rooms.
The ambiance was great, the activity team had decorated the dining area with Greek flags as well as centrepiece on the table, Greek music was playing in the background. Our activity co-ordinator has started serving the food by allowing the residents and guests to imagine what it would be like being in Greece.
The starter was appetising and as we served them, I heard mixed reactions already, and when they started eating, I watched their reactions, and as expected, some have liked it and some, not so much
The main course was the same reactions, although some who did not like the starter, had enjoyed their main and vice versa.
They had a bit of cake with some tea or coffee after, chef George joined in where MD and the rest of the family are sitting, he did some Greek dancing which is quite impressive. The residents had commended the chef for all the effort and of course for a lovely meal.
I continued to ask the residents and guests regarding their experience of the food and event, to find out what impact on their day-to-day living this random theme night that we do occasionally has had. During the meeting, when one of the residents suggested this idea, he thought this will be nice and of course taking this on board, we thought, yes, this will be nice. I was not on shift when the Pie and Mash Night happened, so I did not really get much out of it but after talking to few of the residents today, I have learnt what they feel by just having this Greek food tonight. One resident DD has said,” this brings back memory when I used to go out with my friends to London and we eat in a Greek restaurant which was really good”. Another lady WG has said, “Oh, I love Greek food and I used to make this years ago”. She has also mentioned about few fond memories. Knowing that this had an impact in a way of bringing back some old memories and reminiscing the past and looking at how they enjoyed the night makes a difference.
What about for those who did not quite enjoy it? They have honestly said that they have not tried it before and two of our dear residents commented that if these are the food they eat in Greece, then they will never go to Greece at all whilst laughing. The residents who did not like the food were never a fan of trying something else and have always chosen the traditional English food, so we talked about their generation and today’s generation. They openly discussed how a lot of restaurants from all over the world are just everywhere where as before it was rations and all other traditional food that they eat. As PJ said “It was plain and simple” unlike nowadays they serve too much on a plate. Overall, they had fun trying new dishes but may stick to being simple in the future.
It was lovely knowing how an evening like this can make a difference with the resident’s lives. Whether it was bringing an old memory back or experiencing new things out of their comfort zone or even just something to talk about. This evening will surely be part of their lives and giving them a good quality of life by allowing them to experience Greece in the comfort of their own home.