Good activity co-ordinators are an essential part of good care homes

Blog posted

25th June 2013

A good activities co-ordinator is a vital resource for any care home provider committed to delivering a good quality of life to their residents, according to the English Community Care Association (ECCA)
 
A view shared by registered charity, the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA) which says social health is an essential element of elderly care and its importance should not be underestimated.
 
Every person who resides in a care home will have a care plan tailored to meet their needs and a social and activity plan should form part of this.
 
A dedicated activities co-ordinator, like those employed within our retirement care villages, provide a vital conduit for resident activity levels and social involvement. 
 
But it’s about treating people as individuals. We have a huge variety of activities organised every week within our care homes. A good activities 
co-ordinator will work to establish the appropriate activity for engagement for each resident in order to stimulate them meaningfully and improve their wellbeing longer term.
 
NAPA has found that care givers who enable residents to continue to participate in activities will help to reduce problems such as depression, dependency and people at risk of falls. A growing number of residents will have dementia and it’s important that person-centred care here focuses very much on past hobbies and interests to try to stimulate recognition and rekindle memories.
 
Quality of life is essential – moving to a care home shouldn’t mean it suddenly stops, in fact, it might just be the start of a new social life for many residents.
 
Activities at Retirement Villages are wide and varied. At Thamesfield for instance, activities co-ordinator Louise Light schedules a range of events and activities, some are participatory, others are just to sit back and enjoy: http://www.retirementvillages.co.uk/our-villages/home-counties/thamesfield-henley-on-thames-oxfordshire/residents-diary
 
 
If you haven’t heard about this, it’s a refreshing idea being promoted to as many care home providers across the UK as possible. A video has been produced which uses ping pong as an inspiration for encouraging active ageing for the over 65s. The campaign organisers hope this will be a catalyst for more activity, and yes perhaps more activity co-ordinators in the long run. Screenings are taking place across the country as we speak.
 
Definitely a great project and one that further supports the work of both ECCA and NAPA. For me, someone who has worked in this profession for many years, it is really pleasing to see this subject being taken so seriously now. 
 
Paul Walsh
MD, Care and Operations