Besides our fantastic in built activities like our shopping malls and railway carriage experiences, we have a bespoke programme of engaging, inclusive and person-centred activities to entertain and stimulate our residents. These include:
As we believe that everything that we do with a resident should be an activity: all activities are led by activities co-ordinators. Sometimes this might be just doing odd jobs around the house – which help to induce feelings of a ‘normal life’ and helps with reminiscing. A good example of this was when one of our residents commented that he used to earn pocket money washing cars, and so we got the hosepipe out and washed a car or two!
We also use activities to engage and connect and we always tailor them to the individual. For example, one resident used to love photography -, so we organised for a wildlife photography session in nearby woods with a professional photographer for him. Another resident – previously a chartered accountant – was asked ‘What makes you the happiest?’ He replied that he wanted to be busy and back at work. He needed to feel busy again and that the favourite part of his job was doing tax returns. He was then assisted to print old tax calculation forms off the internet and staff brought in receipts so we could build a tax return for him to complete. He was extremely enthusiastic and wanted to complete this in three days. He continues to do tax returns on a regular basis.
Another resident said that he once got into trouble because he was always fixing bikes in his mother’s kitchen. Our activity coordinator bought in an old bike for him to fix. Others became interested and this led to a bike workshop being set up. Residents got involved who previously had struggled to socialise and several fully restored bikes being donated to deserving children at Christmas.