Many Activity Coordinators are still struggling to work in care homes with little or no advice as to what their aims should be. It seems that many more are not first in line to receive appropriate training for their role. I often get asked basic questions about the job and I hope that this will help to answer one of these questions.
As an Activity Coordinator your main task is to ensure that your residents have the opportunity to lead a socially valued lifestyle. ‘The achievement of a positive personal identity and a socially valued lifestyle are crucial to the well-being of individuals and so should be at the core of supported housing provision’ (Clapham, David. Accommodating Difference – Evaluating Supported Housing for Vulnerable People. Policy Press, 2015)
This will mean different things to different people but the core values are usually pretty similar.
As a team you should be working together to enable individuals to be part of a community and maintain good relationships with friends and family.
It is important to facilitate opportunities for residents to practice and develop personal skills, experience new learning and share interests with others. You must identify what their skills and interests are and make sure that activities are achievable. You should also ensure that experiences offer the chance for people to feel pleased with their own successes.
Remember we also all need time to ‘just be’. We need to allow time to sit and engage quietly with our surroundings.
Staring out of the window at leaves falling
Listening to the radio or a favourite c.d.
Reading a book or magazine
Looking through a photo album
Sitting in the park watching children playing
Sitting in a cafe watching the world go by
Some residents will need more support than others to take part in your activities programme. You will need to recognise their individual needs and interests. It is essential that you recognise when you need extra help and that you enlist the help of others where and when possible.