Originally published on http://www.countrycourtcare.co/ 22/05/2019
All Country Court Care homes employ ‘Wellbeing and Activity Coordinators’, who are responsible for getting to know each of our residents individually and provide them with a range of opportunities to engage with activities that are meaningful to them personally. The idea is to support residents to have the best quality of life possible and most of all to be happy living in our homes.
We asked Lucy Blinco, Activity Coordinator at Rose Lodge in Market Deeping, to tell us more about her job and what it involves:
I completed my degree in Fine Art at the University of Northampton in 2018 and I’ve always been interested in Art Therapy. I have an A-level in Health and Social Care so I’ve worked in schools and care homes on work experience as part of my studies and have also volunteered in a hospital providing art therapy for patients. I joined Rose Lodge in August 2018 - I wasn’t sure what to expect from the job but I’ve loved it here.
To be an Activity Coordinator, also known as a ‘red coat’, you will need to be well organised, creative and proactive. Like many jobs, no day is the same; one day you could be throwing a themed event to celebrate summer and the next day you could be in a dementia-friendly cinema watching the Wizard of Oz!
Planning your week
Our main role within a care setting is to provide activities that benefit the wellbeing of a resident, ensuring we focus on their emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Each activity coordinator brings their own ideas to the role and will find their own unique strength. Some people are great at creating quizzes, conducting craft sessions and others excel at stimulating physical exercise through gardening or other outdoor activities. It is important to plan a diverse activity week, our weekly planned program helps Activity Coordinators to construct this.
Using your local knowledge
Behind the scenes, we are organising events and reaching out to the local community to ensure that residents don’t lose touch with groups and friends that they enjoyed locally before coming to live in a care home. The phrase ‘it's not what you know it’s who you know’ is fundamental to this job role and having a little notebook with you at times can often be beneficial. Even if you do not know the local area well, you will begin to collect local contacts and resources such as schools, churches, and charities that make your job even more rewarding.
Go with the flow
There is never a dull day as an activity coordinator. Planned activities don’t always go the way you want, so you have to be proactive and think on your feet. Sometimes residents decide that they don’t want to join in at the last minute, but it helps to ask people what they want to do instead. Good communication skills are essential and you need to be flexible and ‘go with the flow’ some days. Other days you can be surprised when a successful one to one or group session brings tangible benefits for a resident.
Being an activity coordinator for Country Court Care is a unique and important role within the care profession. I find it really rewarding and I’m so glad that I gave it a try!
If you'd like to learn more about being an Activity Coordinator we have a short course available for £19 - you will receive a certificate upon completion of the course too.