A day in the life of a care home at Agincare is full of comfort, support and stimulation. Residents’ days are frequently peppered with visits from family and friends, trips out, and visiting entertainers – but what about the calm days at home?
Suzie Wise is the Activities Coordinator at Gainsborough care home in Swanage. She joined the team in September and works with care teams and residents every day. “I really enjoy it,” she says, “I’ve settled in and gotten to know the residents and their preferences. That helps me to do my job best.” Today, Suzie talks us through a normal day for the residents of her home.
This information gives a good idea of an average day, but for each resident it will be different. Our care is entirely person-centred, and structured around individual preferences, so our residents have total control of their days. Refreshements, activities, and care are always at hand, around the clock.
A day in the life of a care home
First of all, when residents get up in the morning, they’re offered some breakfast and personal care by the care team, in whichever order they choose. Residents are welcome to have breakfast in their rooms or in our sunny lounges.
That brings us to mid-morning, when a selection of teas, coffees, and biscuits are offered around to residents as they get their days started.
It’s at this time that Activities Coordinators such as Suzie will begin their morning visits to each person. Suzie pops into each room, one-to-one, and will find out what every resident would most like to do.
“It can be anything, and it’s person-centred. There’s no use in giving a resident a jigsaw puzzle if they don’t like them! I make sure I find out about my clients, get to know them on an individual basis, and then I can easily put them, their hobbies and interests first. This may be a walk in the garden, a crossword, some reading, it can even be manicures if they like!”
With the finishing of morning activities, the day rolls into lunch, for which Suzie will join other teams in the home to help serve the food. Meals will be filling, tasty, and nutritionally balanced, and are cooked by our wonderful kitchen teams.
When lunch has been thoroughly enjoyed, residents can relax and enjoy the comfort and community of the home.
In the afternoon, Suzie will start up a group activity for the day, and invite every resident – with participation being entirely up to them.
“Sometimes you’ll have fifteen or more residents all getting involved which is always fun, or other times it can be just as few as five or six, which makes the activity more personal. I keep the plans dementia-friendly; we will do something completely inclusive and offer it to all – Ocean Bingo is a favourite!”
Activities are entirely led by residents and their interests. At Gainsborough care home, for example, Suzie organises a Monday “music and movement” session, and a biweekly delivery from Dorset Memory Box Library for reminiscence therapy.
“I’ll place the memory box and its contents on a trolley in the lounge for everyone to peruse. People will often come and say ‘oh, I remember this!’ or ‘my granny had one of these!’ which is lovely to see. Residents who don’t know each other will strike up conversations and form connections when they find out they have something special in common.”
When it’s not one of these scheduled activities, favourites are hoopla, beanbag games, armchair music, and arts and crafts. Residents can either take part in the fun, or simply chat and have tea or cake. Refreshments and snacks are always available, but we like to also offer our trolley service directly to residents, regularly throughout the day.
For those who’d prefer to opt out of the group activities, there are plenty of other options. You can visit the garden, watch a film, socialise with others, or take yourself to your room for some tranquility. There are ongoing projects that residents can get involved with, such as gardening, or when Suzie brought the great outdoors inside last winter with flower buds in to grow indoors. Many residents remember the journey these plants have taken and are delighted by their growth!
Residents can unwind, relax, and enjoy each other’s company by watching TV or spending time in communal areas. Dinner comes in the evening, and after that, residents may decide to head to bed.
Evening and night
It is the job of the care team for the rest of the day to ensure residents are comfortable. The winding down of the day is led completely by residents – there is no need to go to bed if they’d rather stay up and continue their film, for example. Many people are night-owls, after all! Tea and biscuits are always available if people would like a late-night snack.
Care Assistants are there to offer company, and later support for each resident whenever they decide to head to their room.
This concludes an average day in an Agincare care home. Everyone gets their beauty sleep, so they can do it all again in the morning!