Our home held an older persons services information drop in afternoon in which we invited in local organisations and support groups to discuss services available to older people in the area and opened the event to members of the public.
We held the event in our home to provide a relaxed, comfortable space for people to come in and seek advice.
Representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Care and Connect North Tyneside, Equal Arts, and the North Tyneside Carers Centre met with guests to discuss their services and the help, advice and support available in the area.
Why did you decide to hold the event?
We thought that this would be a great way to connect with organisations relevant to our residents and their families and friends, as well as provide the opportunity to showcase the works of Older Persons advice, support and social groups in the area and help inform local people of the resources and support available and equip them with the knowledge of where to go for help and further information. The open day also offered a networking opportunity for local older persons groups, as well as older people living in the area.
What was the impact on the professionals/residents and staff?
Following the event we received an email with some lovely comments about the event and the home from the Chairman of North Tyneside. The staff were very proud.
We also had some new visitors from a neighbouring sheltered accommodation complex who said they’d like to come along to our weekly coffee morning and future events which is great for our residents who like to make new friends.
What have you learnt about the power of community engagement?
As care homes we often think about how getting involved in the community can benefit our residents and our home but we also have so much to offer our communities too. As part of day-to-day life we form many close relationships and networks in our area, from our visiting healthcare professionals, to local suppliers, to our local authority, to community groups and churches involved in our activity provision.
We can use our connections and shared knowledge to help benefit people living locally and better our communities as a whole.
Thank you to Joanne Rossiter, Maria Mallaband & Countrywide Care Homes.
Hallmark Care Homes told us about their Christmas Lucky Star competition which encourages residents to make a wish for the coming year, write it on a star and place it on the Christmas tree. It helps to plan for community engagement and promotes positive relationships in the homes.
We ask each resident if there is anything they would like as a gift from us in the New Year or if there is anything they would like to do as an activity inside or outside of the home or with their family? We also have a nominated fairy godmother from each home who will dress up and gather the wishes.
We want to give the opportunity to all of our residents to make a wish, but also understand that not every resident will want to make a wish and not every resident can vocalise their wish. We include our resident’s families to determine what it is they may like and look over their past history and hobbies. This is something we did at Admiral Court, our care home in Leigh on Sea last year. We hosted a classic car show at the home after learning from the care team that the resident used to own three supercars when he was younger. The classic car show was attended by over 100 people, funds raised on the day were donated to charity and the resident was brought to tears upon seeing the Ferrari California and Rolls Royce, which we brought into the home’s car park.
Lucky Star has had a tremendous impact on our residents with lots of tears of happiness and laughter shared. The relatives have also been extremely grateful, joining in with the planned activities which has enhanced our relationships with them.
Wishes fulfilled last year included:
Reuniting a resident with his teenage sweetheart after 20 years apart. Taking a resident to the Ritz with her family by limousine so she could celebrate her 95th birthday and taking a resident to watch Peter Andre in concert and meeting him after the show.
Smaller wishes granted included giving a bouquet of flowers to a resident’s wife who visits him in the home every day, and taking a resident to the local garden centre for afternoon tea.
Thank you to Verity Prentice, Hallmark Care Homes for sharing this lovely idea for collecting residents wishes for 2017! http://www.hallmarkcarehomes.co.uk/
Imagine my concerns when during a monthly team meeting it became apparent that my team felt that their ideas and worries were not acted on.
The process we had in place to collect staff views was to feed them into the melting pot at staff meetings. But it became was clear to me only things that we had time to pick up or deemed as urgent were being actioned. On day two of the My Home Life Leadership Programme we learnt of the six sense framework, it made me think about how my team must have been feeling about their wishes and concerns not being acknowledged.
I said to myself, “Sarah, what does a deputy manager do?” I needed to give a clear structure to capturing staff comments and to have a team that knew who to report to and receive feedback from.
We have captured fantastic ideas such as care assistants with hobbies that can be transferred into activities and new ways of working to steer away from task orientated days. Another great aspect of this is that these lines of communication have become our supervision lines.
Overall this has allowed us to become more relationship centred as a home and united as a team, who are passionate, caring and devoted to the resident and service we provide! Creating a visual tool for colleagues to appreciate the structure and flow of our home and support system has helped everyone.
As a bonus it also acts as clear evidence that inspectors and support services look for when entering our residents home.
Many thanks to Sarah Clarke Deputy Home Manager, Buckinghamshire for sharing her experience with us.
Over the years we’ve had a relationship with different groups of young people in our care home but we had lost contact with them, so we decided to start to build the links up again. It wasn’t completely straightforward – when we first started to try to find groups to link with some of them said that they had other things going on and weren’t able to commit to visits, even not very often. But we’ve kept trying and now have a good relationship with our local Girl Guides and Scouts, and different age groups from schools, who all visit the home regularly.
One thing that’s worked really well has been coordinating with the school about what the children are working on and building in the care home visit opportunity. For example, our Activities Coordinator went in to visit the primary school children beforehand and read the group a story designed to help children understand people with dementia. Then they had a group activity drawing pictures of their grannies and grandads for a display in the front of the care home, which was waiting for them when they arrived. Continue Reading