Our simple ‘How To’ series with Robyn Taylor is back – this time with suggestions for how to set up and run a residents’ activity meeting…
Residents’ meetings are becoming essential in care homes. The CQC will always look to see what is being asked and what you are putting in place, as part of your commitment to person-centred care. Plus, having regular meetings just about activities will give you a better idea of what the residents like and do not like.
WHAT TO DO
Pick the same date and time each month so it becomes routine.
Make a poster. Advertise it around the home and email out to relatives.
Make an agenda and suggest ideas for the residents to elaborate on.
Hand out the agenda to residents prior to the meeting so they can write notes and have time to think about suggestions.
Invite another staff member and a relative to each meeting – the more input the better.
Discuss the agenda, put forward ideas and ask for feedback. Always thank the person for their feedback.
IDEAS TO DISCUSS – (keep it activity-focused)
- What would they like to see happen in the activity programme?
- Where would they like to visit in the local area?
- How could you get the local community more involved in the care home?
- What talents do residents have that they can bring to activities?
- What do they not enjoy?
- What would they like to see more of? Eg themed food events, takeout ideas, trips out, entertainers, school/college/nursery visits, gardening, cooking, crafts, technology, religion etc.
- What would they like to learn?
- What would they like the budget to be spent on?
- Are there any ideas for one-to-ones?
TOP TIP: Documentation
Always document what is being said.
Make a chart with four columns – What Residents Discussed, Action Plan, Date Planned/Completed and Evaluation.
When you are making your calendar of activities, always have this chart next to you to refer to so you can make sure that you are planning what residents have requested. Remember that things take time, but by making an action plan you know it will happen, and when CQC visit you can just hand them the form to look at.
HOW TO KEEP THE MEETING ENGAGING
Some meetings can be boring, and residents may tend to fall asleep. Asking direct questions and using residents’ names will keep them alert and give them the chance to speak up if they feel like they do not know when to speak.
Start the session with a five-minute exercise warm-up, quiz or sing-song.
Throughout the session, look for moments where you can link your agenda with a song to pick the mood up. (Eg “Would anyone like to visit the seaside next month, and if so, what would you like to do when we are there?” From here, you could sing ‘Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’.)
Ask each person to introduce the person to their right. This way they have to think, and can get used to speaking in a group with new people. End the meeting with each person saying their name and what their favourite hobby is.
Meetings can be boring and hard work but as an activity coordinator, you have that special ability to make it fun and exciting. Put your own twist on it to get the best outcome you can.