Care Home Activity Audit Tool
Activity provision is a diverse discipline and sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees. This care home activity audit tool is designed to help lifestyle coordinators, and other carers with the responsibility to provide activities, run through what they have and where they might have opportunities for improvement. We hope this will inspire you to broaden your activity provision and give you a sense of achievement for the areas that you already cover well.
In each section we will give a brief introduction to the topic and then provide 3 guiding questions for you to think about, followed by 3 ideas of things you could either do or tools you could buy. We would recommend sitting down with this self-audit sheet and make notes as you go of things you would like to try, research further, or buy.
How do you welcome and get to know new residents?
You probably have various procedures and processes that you go through when welcoming a new resident into your home. To what extent do you look to activities to aid this process. Some examples of things you might consider:
- How can we make their room personalised to them?
- How can we introduce this person to other residents?
- How can we find out more about this person’s needs and interests?
Some tools that you might find helpful:
- Getting to know you ball
- Through the Window Wall Art
- Memory Box
How do you help residents connect with memories?
Commonly known as reminiscence therapy, this is especially important for residents who are experiencing memory loss. Very often long-term memory can remain intact for much longer than short term memory. People with memory loss can find solace in longer term memories.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you run routine reminiscence sessions?
- Do you build reminiscence into other activities?
- Do you try to use all the senses to help retrieve memories?
Some tools you might like to consider using:
- Reminiscence boxes
- Fragrant memory kits
How do you encourage residents to spend time outside?
Spending time outside has a multitude of benefits, so trying to get your residents outside as much as possible it is important for sensory and wellbeing.
Some questions you might like to ask yourself:
- Do you ever try to take an activity outside that you would normally do inside?
- What could you put outside that would make it more interesting for inviting residents to go outside?
- How could you activate more senses outside?
Some tools you might like to use:
- Outside games collection
- Gardening tools
- Add windmills and wind turbines or spinners to your garden
How do you enable residents to get creative?
There are so many different forms of creativity that the list of things you could be doing is almost endless. The important thing here is to find out what your residents are interested in.
Some questions that might help:
- When getting to know new residents do you ask them what hobbies they have or once had?
- Do you run several types of arts and crafts sessions?
- Other than arts and crafts, what else do you offer that is creative?
A few ideas for less obvious creative activities:
- Story telling with puppets
- Cheese Making
(A quick Google search for ‘unusual creative ideas’ will give you plenty of inspiration)
How are you helping to keep residents fit and healthy?
We will assume you have little influence over the food that is available, and that this is aspect of healthy living is taken care of. Here we want to think about how we can get residents moving and stretching.
Here are a few questions that might prompt some ideas:
- Do you offer exercise sessions at various times of the day, to suit different people’s preferences?
- Do you offer opportunities for exercise that are not labelled as exercise?
- Do you offer exercise possibilities that residents can do by themselves?
Here are some products that we know help lifestyle coordinators with providing exercise opportunities:
- Move it or Lose it DVDs
- Exercise Accessories
- Active Games
How do you expand your repertoire of activity ideas?
Keeping your activity provision fresh, interesting, and engaging can be challenging over time as ideas start to run dry. Here are some thoughts on how you could go about expanding your repertoire.
- Do you use the internet to source inspiration? The likes of Pinterest are a gold mine for creative ideas.
- Do you have access to activity provision books?
- Do you reach out to other lifestyle coordinators to exchange ideas?
Here are some of the resources we offer to help:
- Resource Books
- Help and Advice section of our website
- Free Activity Downloads (updated continuously)
How do you brighten up the environment?
There is a variety of things you can do to brighten up the care home environment and make it more engaging for residents.
A few questions to prompt some ideas:
- What activities do you have on the walls for residents to engage with when passing by?
- Do you leave some activities, such as board games, out for residents to use?
- Do you have an area where you can create a topical scene?
Here are some things that care homes use to brighten up the environment:
- Through the window art
- Sensory and tactile wall panels
- Wall mounted games
How do you encourage interaction between residents?
Positive social interaction is a cornerstone of human wellbeing, and no more so than in care homes. Some residents will have no problem at all interacting with others, however there are many who may struggle.
Some common ways to encourage interaction:
- Host a quiz with the residents playing in groups
- Run ‘getting to know you’ sessions
- Arrange group games
Some products designed to aid interaction:
- Toss and talk balls
- The Art of Conversation cards
- Pictures to Share books
How do you celebrate seasonal and special events?
Seasonal and special events are fantastic opportunities to organise activities around, whether it be arts and crafts, cooking, decorating, or conversation and reminiscence.
What do you do around the following events:
- Saints’ days (Patrick, George, Andrew, David, Valentine)
- Religious festivals (Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah)
- Sporting events (World Cups, Olympics, Wimbledon, and other major tournaments)
We have a whole category of products to help you with events, here are some of the products:
- Shamrock Window Decorations
- Decorations and Tableware
- Multi Nations Flags Bunting
What do you do to engage with families of residents?
The families of residents can be of a lot of help when it comes to providing activities and enhancing wellbeing.
Here are some ways you might be able to engage with families:
- Do you ask them about the resident’s past? They might know more than the resident can recall themselves and they could help with steering reminiscence sessions.
- Do you ask them to fund individual products?
- Do you ask them to come in and partake in some of your activities?
How do you help residents relax?
Relaxation can look quite different for different people so the key in this area is to ensure you are providing a breadth of possibilities for residents.
- Do you ask residents, or their families, what they find relaxing or how do they like to relax?
- Do you actively timetable in time for relaxation?
- How many ways can you think of that people like to relax?
There are some of the products we know care homes use to help residents relax:
- Empathy Dolls
- Companion Pets
- Soothing Audio and Visual CDs and DVDs
How do you keep residents informed?
Sometimes a barrier to participation in activities is not knowing where and when they are running, or not being mentally prepared for them.
- Do you have a wall planner up where people can see the planned activities for the week?
- Do you actively inform families about upcoming activities and events?
- Do you use opportunities such as mealtimes to advertise activities?
We have a couple of wall planners you can use:
- Activity Wall Planner
- Activity Calendar