When I think about activity provision, I think of everyday meaningful interactions with residents, families, staff and volunteers. An activity can simply be greeting someone when you walk through the door in the morning, or perhaps sharing a cup of tea and a chat with a resident. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to focus on the person as an individual, seeing what is important to them.
We have looked at changing activity provision in our home so that my role has become more of a Community Coordinator role. The change in my title has helped colleagues to recognise the importance and varied nature of my role. I spend time outside the home, building interest and excitement about who we are, what we do and how people can get involved as volunteers or community groups. These new connections often mean increased footfall in our home which results in a welcoming, busy, environment, where life is for living.
“New community connections increased footfall in our home resulting in a welcoming, busy, environment, where life is for living”.
Our residents are passionate about ‘giving something back’ to society and we often take on charitable projects to raise money. Recently Stratton House set a challenge for its residents to cycle from Land’s End to Bath, using floor pedals in the lounge as a way for all residents to take part. Anne, a resident, managed to turn the pedals of the cycle just once in her bed while Jack cycled 41 miles, (his achievement made it into the local newspapers!). It was lovely that everyone, regardless of ability, could take part in the challenge, and together we cycled a total of 250 miles, raising £1045.
“Jack cycled 41 miles and made it into the local newspapers”.
In my experience, activities work at their best when we really get to know our residents and we understand what matters most to them. The likelihood is you’re already doing a great job with activity provision in your home, and you should celebrate that, but you could also try something new. Getting to know my local community has made so much difference to what we can offer our residents. Who’s out there in your community? Who can you engage with? And what new things can that bring into your home?
Our thanks is extended to Sarah and her Care Home for taking the time to share her experiences with My Home Life and NAPA.