Wellness Coordinator Emma Wright talks about the importance of Care Home Open Day
My feet are a talking point – or rather it’s what I wear on them which grabs our residents’ attention. Today it’s a pair of red, glittery shoes with white hearts, a big red bow, and a enamel cat sleeping on a heart.
That’s probably caught your attention too!
In my role as a district wellness coordinator supporting our care homes to create stimulating, meaningful activities, it’s important to spark conversations and reminiscence among our residents. In terms of creating those conversations, my feet sometimes do the talking.
This month, our homes are gearing up for their biggest event of the year: Care Home Open Day on Friday 28 June. I’ve been visiting the homes to support with the planning, invites and activity preparation.
The theme of Care Home Open Day this year is the arts.
As an art teacher for 14 years before joining Anchor Hanover in August last year, I’ve seen how transferable art activities are across the generations – and our homes will be inviting local schoolchildren of various ages to come in and join our residents in art-based activities on 28 June, as well as arranging a number of other activities.
As you get older and become more self-conscious, it’s said you learn how not to draw - so Care Home Open Day is a really nice opportunity where we’ll create an environment where young and old work together, enjoy each other’s company and have fun. It’ll be a joy to see.
Everyone working in our care homes, including housekeepers and catering colleagues, knows the importance of getting involved in resident activities. Group activities are always popular, but one-to-one activities with residents can often make the bigger difference.
My favourite recent experience was helping a lady, who usually didn’t engage with activities, to complete a picture puzzle. It was about the seaside in bygone times – and an image of a man wearing a traditional bathing suit prompted her to say how her late husband used to wear such a costume. It was lovely to see her smiling and thinking about those precious memories.
I hope Care Home Open Day will encourage many more such reminiscences. We’re inviting members of our local communities to come and visit and find out more about our homes and see how we really make an impression from top to toe.
Emma Wright is a Wellness Coordinator, working with eight care homes in the South Midlands to develop meaningful and person-centred activities for residents.