It’s no secret that care homes have received bad press over the years, and therefore the public perception is that they are dark dreary places to live with little social opportunities. However, this perception is still based on a model of care 30 years old which prioritised safety and routine over joy and adventure. It is now time to challenge the old idea of care homes as dark and depressing places and instead create an environment where residents can experience a wide range of activities.
Creating an engaging environment in a care home means that you are always looking for new ways to bring fun and enjoyment to the place. Here are some examples of things we do to make this happen:
- Build multiple opportunities throughout the week for residents to socialise with their friends and family. This encourages them to feel connected to the outside world and makes the environment feel more like a home than a care facility. Maintaining a good social network is also beneficial for mental wellbeing, which as we know has a profound impact on physical health too.
- Provide different activities throughout the day including cooking lessons, art classes, music sessions, word games and other activities to give residents a reason to get out of bed each day. These are based on their previous hobbies and interests, as well as new activities they may not have had the opportunity to try before.
- Generate learning opportunities, just because someone is later on in their lives doesn’t mean that learning stops. Perhaps there’s a country they’ve never been to, or they have always wanted to understand how a computer works; we like to give chances to experience new things as well as the things they already enjoy.
- Create activity provision based on their individual likes and dislikes – our teams work hard to not only record what the resident enjoys, but also uses that information to build a bespoke activity plan for them. The emphasis is not on just keeping them occupied, but actually engaging them and enhancing their wellbeing.
- Don’t forget to have fun! – We lead by example and make time for recreational activities like music and board games with the residents. This encourages them to join in and have a laugh with us, as well as fostering that great atmosphere of fun and community.
By making sure we do all of these things regularly, we are ensuring that we are providing a fulfilling environment for all of our residents, with a focus on really making sure each resident has access to resources for their wellbeing.
If you have any other ideas about how you can create a fun and exciting atmosphere in a care home, we would love to hear about them in the comments below!