The importance of visitors and community in care homes
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have recommended that older people in care homes are offered opportunities to participate in meaningful activities which promote health and mental wellbeing. This means not just doing a half hour exercise class each morning, but actually working with our residents to get them involved in activities which enable them to live life to the fullest. We’re not interested in just ‘going through the motions’; we want to put on activities that really get our residents inspired.
To this end, our team work tirelessly to secure inspirational speakers, entertaining guests and expert coordinators to run sessions and activities that our residents love. These activities are just not just for fun; they are an integral part of keeping older people well and active. Here’s why they’re so important.
· Beating loneliness: It’s all too easy for an older person to shut themselves away in their room, content to avoid social interaction out of shyness. But loneliness has been shown to have a significant negative impact on both mental and physical health, so we work hard to draw everyone out for a bit of fun. Our recent Burns Supper featuring professional piping by Eric Dougherty was a prime example of how we got everyone together (plus family) for a real community celebration!
· Challenging mental degradation: Keeping residents mentally active can stave off the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as reducing depression and promoting self-confidence. We’re always keen to challenge our residents, with our regular afternoon quiz providing mental stimulation for all. Our many different guest visitors help to engage residents with their memories and experiences, such as this session involving creative writing of a poem about World War I.
· Staying physically active: We believe in staying active in older age, no matter what your level of fitness or ability. We’re not talking running marathons here, but gentle, appropriate exercise to maintain good flexibility, stamina and health. Activities such as our song and dance session with Dave Dawson help to get residents up and moving and having fun, keeping hearts healthy and faces smiling!
· Providing purpose (and fun): Even in older age, people love to feel useful. Having our residents help with the care of nursery children, helping to prepare food for special events or even simply giving them the ability to shop for new clothes despite their limited mobility lets them have fun and feel that life has a purpose, no matter how challenging times may be.
· Helping them stay connected: We know that every one of our residents had a whole life outside of Fernhill, and that many still do. That’s one of the reasons we operate a fully open-door policy, allowing visitors to come and go as they please and to drop in on their loved ones when it suits. As much as we work hard to develop fun filled activity programmes for our residents, sometimes nothing beats a visit from your own family!
We know that visitors and community events are absolutely crucial to the success of our home, and to the health and wellbeing of every one of our residents. If you’d like to find out more about how to get involved or what we have planned in the coming weeks, simply get in touch with our friendly team.