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Personalising our home – pictures and corkboards

ASHCROFT_GV_034We have been looking at different ways that we can improve our care home and our relationships with our residents – we are always asking ourselves: ‘how can we put more effort into the residents and their lives?’  There are always the same old struggles but what can we do and what new ideas can we come up with?

With our activity co-ordinator Leanne, one thing we have done is to personalise each room with pictures on each resident’s door and cork boards in each room, tailored to them. We have a board on each resident’s door with their name and a picture they choose – either of themselves or something that means something to them.  So for example, if they like gardening, we might put a picture of a flower on their door.

Inside the room, we have a cork board.  When a resident first comes to the home we sit down with them and find out more about them – what they like and what’s important to them.  We put this information on their board, so that anyone who comes to their room knows what this might be – it might just be how they like their tea or something about their life, which visitors and staff can connect to.  

“We also put pictures up of the activities done recently, to enable conversations about [our residents’] lives now, as well as in the past.”

We also put pictures up on their board of the activities they have done in the home recently, to remind them of what they have done and to enable conversations about their lives now as well as in the past.  We change these regularly.  We often bring animals into the home as an activity – rabbits, sheep etc and we might put a picture up of one of these, if the resident enjoyed the activity.

It’s worked really well, not just to personalise their experience but as an activity in its own right – it’s a really good way to connect with the resident when they first arrive and find out more about them – we talk away and before we know it, we’ve found out so much about them. I really recommend it.

Colleen runs a home in Brighton and Hove.  

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