A CARE home in Eastleigh has embraced technology to hold a virtual afternoon tea party during the coronavirus lockdown.

With all non-essential visits to care homes on pause, staff at Anchor’s Orchard Gardens care home in Eastleigh have been using technology to give residents alternative ways to socialise and build up community relationships.

The first tea party saw Orchard Gardens residents virtually connect with residents in the Moore Place care home in Surrey, enjoying a game of bingo and chatting over tea and homemade cakes.

Elaine Jones, 86, is a resident at the care home and she described the afternoon.

She said: “The afternoon tea was marvellous. It was wonderful to have a change and have other people to play bingo with – I didn’t even know it was possible for us to do that! I’d love to do it again. Maybe we could do a quiz next time!”

Inspired by its success, Anchor care home managers across the country have been launching their own regular virtual afternoon teas, with residents enjoying a variety of fun activities such as quizzes and exercise classes and staff are also liaising with local community groups to support people who live alone, encouraging them to join the sessions.

Chloe Gray, team leader at Orchard Gardens care home, said: “The residents thought the afternoon tea was great fun and didn’t want the game of bingo to finish. In these difficult times, it is amazing that we have the technology to keep our residents connected with their loved ones and the outside world. As a team, we make sure that every resident has the opportunity to interact with their friends and family, and have fun.”