08 Sep 2017
I’m on a mission at the moment – and it can be summed up as: “TVs off and music on!”
Visiting a lot of our care homes over the past few weeks, I’ve seen the power of music in capturing attention, inspiring activity and re-kindling memories. You can’t say the same of television - which all too often can be just background.
So helping our residents keep active mentally and physically through activity is, for me, just as important as the care they receive. It’s all part of how we support people living in our care homes - and providing activities is a whole-team effort.
We understand that the activities people carry out in their free time are often the things that they most look forward to and enjoy. This is central to our approach to wellness and activity at Anchor.
It’s also a key reason why people choose to live in our retirement housing locations. Our retirement housing schemes are not just a roof over your head, but a place where you can feel part of a community.
Supporting care homes to come up with new activities, ideas and resources, and finding new ways to engage our residents is a key part of my role.
I believe the Activities Calendar is one of the best things we do here at Anchor – every month there’s lots of events care homes can draw on, involve their residents in choosing topics, and, of course, publish their activity events to their communities and residents loved ones through press releases and social media posts. Today (16 August), for example, we’ll be celebrating the swinging 60s in many of our homes.
We’re constantly changing perceptions about what activity is. It’s not just for groups of residents; making it person-centered is what matters. Consulting residents and finding out their likes is fundamental to our approach at Anchor.
I’m the technology lead in our team and I’m always looking at ways we can use technology to benefit our residents. I regularly seek out new activity apps our care home teams can use on their iPads. We've been using them across our care homes for a number of years now, you can find out more about our pioneering the use of modern technology here.
I mentioned at the start how music is an important way we connect and engage with each other – and I have quite a diverse music interest, from RnB, to Asian music, to listening to Classic FM on long car journeys.
But what’s really music to my ears is hearing how great activities are bringing great joy to our residents’ lives.
Zahid Khan is one of Anchor's Service Delivery Consultants