Our residents have lived long, fulfilling lives and we find it fascinating to hear some of their stories and memories. That’s why we came up with the idea of The Arlington Debate Club, as we thought it would be nice for residents to share their views and ideas in a safe, welcoming environment.
Before we started our first session, we issued some rules. Mainly, for only one person to speak at any one time, to respect everyone’s views and to enjoy a glass of shandy while chatting away!
The aim of each session is to get a mixture of topics, some controversial, some topical and some to prompt memories from the past – which can be cathartic and beneficial for our residents.
Since we started the debate club, we have discussed hundreds of topics including:
- What habits do you like and dislike the most?
- Is it ok to use terms of endearment (sweetheart, love, darling etc) in public?
- What’s your earliest childhood memory?
- Describe a special moment with a special person.
We also use the debate club as a way of gathering important resident feedback and to gauge the temperature of the room. A prime example being when we discussed the impact of Covid-19 and whether Arlington House’s strict visitor policy was endorsed by the residents. We also checked if they were happy with our new wall-mounted widescreen TV.
The Arlington Debate Club usually sees around 15 residents in attendance, including certain residents who are living with dementia. There are no right and wrong answers, it’s just another one of our social events where friends can speak their mind, enjoy a drink, and hopefully learn a few new things.
Please keep an eye on Facebook for the output from the next Arlington Debate Club. And hopefully once our visitor policy returns to normal, we look forward to welcoming family and friends at the event!