Written by Active Minds on Wednesday the 27th of April 2016.
We asked Gemma Bartholomew, Leisure & Wellness Coordinator at Haddon Hall Care Home, Buxton, a few questions about our award winning care home kits.
As a Leisure and Wellness Coordinator I have enjoyed the fact that the kits are so easily accessible for staff to use within the Home, which is so important in providing stimulating activities ‘in the moment’ for people with dementia. I have observed that the number of carer led activities have increased since leaving the activity kit on their floor, and the challenging behaviour of residents has decreased as a result. The staff have commented that the activities are appropriate for our residents and the most popular activity recorded was the Aqua Paints.
The Activity Kits get used every day on different floors throughout the Home. We do use the kit to do structured activities such as reminiscence but the kit is the most beneficial when the staff or residents can just pick it up and do an activity whenever they wish to do so. We had a kit on a trial basis and had such positive feedback from residents, family members and staff that we decided to buy one for our Home to keep!
The Activity Kits have certainly improved the mood and level of interaction between residents and staff. Staff have commented that they “Really enjoy being able to pick something out of the Activity Kit with the residents and do a quick activity with them. We do not always have the time to set an activity up so the kit is really handy and the residents engage well with the activities it provides.” We have also encouraged family and friends to use the kit and have received feedback that they really enjoyed using it to interact with their loved ones, particularly when visiting a person with dementia as communication can be difficult.
We definitely would and we have recommended it to the wider community such as day care centres and health professionals that we come into contact with.
The kit was helpful for working with Residential residents especially the Reminiscence Cards as they could be used by staff from different cultural backgrounds to initiate conversations and build confidence in talking with residents. The jigsaws and aqua paints were often used by the children of visiting families, especially where conversations were often difficult. The contents of the kits gave staff confidence and the ability to create stimulating environments.