Whether you are completely new to the role of Activity Coordinator or you are beginning again in a new care home, you will need to take some time to learn what is needed from you. Every care home is different and the support you get from the rest of the care team may vary too. Learning how the business works is important for the role – Yes, you are there for the residents. Yes, they must come first in your activities planning, but until you know what the backbone of the business is, how will you know what you can realistically offer them at this point?
Yes, I hear you at the back. Heckle all you like, we are not in the business here of making empty promises.
Find out what resources you have available to you and build from there. If you are passionate about providing the right activities for each resident you are in the right place and it won’t take you long to get really stuck in.
You’ve probably realised that we are keen fans of The Sound of Music, - ‘Bright Copper Kettles’, #BCKFavouriteThings - well ‘let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start'.
When you begin your new role, ask to shadow members of the care team, at least for the first couple of days. You will be keen to know; the lay out of the care home, the names of the residents, and how members of staff relate to the residents and each other. This also gives you a great opportunity to get to know others in the care team and, you didn’t know the care home before you started the job, you will get a clearer picture as to whether this role will work for you.
If there is already another Activity Coordinator in place you will then want to shadow them for a couple of days, again, this gives you a chance to see how things are running at the moment, how the Activity Coordinator relates to other members of the team and it will give you a clearer picture of how residents are responding to the activities being provided.
Next, you will want to get to know the residents better, take time to sit and chat with them. Explain that you are new and ask if it would be okay for you to make a few notes while you chat as you have so much to learn about everybody.
Last, but not least, take time to assess your resources. I will be posting about this in greater depth soon. Meanwhile we do have an older post which gives some ideas of the tools we think are essential to the job.
Ps. We've used a line from a different musical for this post, did you spot it? Let us know in the comments box.
Have you heard about our new course? It's called 'How to plan care home activities' because it teaches you just that. It's a great short course with lots of downloads to help you with your future planning too. Find out more by clicking HERE