What a refreshing change to see care home residents offered a choice in the entertainment provided.

Fairmile Grange, a residential care home run by Encore Care Homes and based in Christchurch, Dorset, offered it’s residents a list of activities to choose from after the residents had made it clear they wanted something “a bit different”. They were offered a choice of more contemporary activities and chose pole dancing.

Local councillors, reportedly deemed it “inappropriate” to have pole dancing as a form of entertainment, however, the overarching response has been very positive with support from the public, a great article in the Guardian by Michele Hansona fantastic response from relatives and most importantly, the residents thoroughly enjoyed it.

A troupe of six women from the Pole Dancing Factory in Dorset attended and demonstrated incredible skill in their sport – I say sport because pole dancing is a recognised sport that is working towards Olympic status – with their gymnastic ability displayed to music from the 50s and 60s, including Frank Sinatra.

Izzy Nicholls, Operations & Quality Director, Encore Care Homes:

“We always give our residents choice at Encore Care Homes. At Fairmile Grange, our care home in Christchurch, relatives and residents requested more modern-style activities. Residents were given several choices of activity and specifically chose for a local pole dancing company to perform. Those residents that wished to be involved, welcomed Pole Dancing Factory, which saw talented dancers showcase a display of fitness and strength to music from the 50s and 60s.

“Dementia residents and non-dementia residents all thoroughly enjoyed this artistic display of musicality and gymnastic ability – and the showcase received overwhelming positive feedback from relatives.

“We are proud to challenge stereotypes and will continually offer our residents the choice to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities.”

This person-centred approach is fantastic to see and we hope we hear of more care homes taking this approach and offering their residents a choice of some different and more exciting activities.