Improving Activities Provision

Discover the simple training programmes that help you improve your activities and truly deliver person-centred care, from understanding the different stages of dementia, to using music, sensory gardening and ideas for male residents.

Providing effective and meaningful activities in care homes, or with loved ones or clients, means a lot more than merely filling up the day with things to do.

An excellent activities provision is one that puts the person first, creating activities that give people a sense of purpose and helps them retain an important sense of self.

Activities that help people connect over a shared love or allow them to recall happy memories of their youth are the key to giving people back their dignity and their understanding of their place in the world.

It is possible to live well with dementia, and activities which allow people to make a positive contribution are a very important part of this.

Our e-Learning courses focus on the essential knowledge and skills needed to support and enable people living with dementia and their carers to live as well as possible, whether they live at home or in a residential care home.

“I am working through your online training courses and wanted to say THANK YOU. I enjoy your training courses and always learn something new. I am going to recommend the course Distressed Behaviour as Communication to my manager and propose that she offers it to all the staff.” (JM)

With this unique and flexible training programme, our overall aim is to empower activity staff and carers to provide the best quality of life for people living with dementia.


One key thing the CQC is looking for when they visit a care home is evidence of person-centred care across the home, and activities play a vital part in this.
Targeted activities which meet the needs of a wide range of levels of dementia, as well as those with other cognitive impairments, are really important. So, too, are activities that allow a person’s individuality to shine through.

Ask any expert in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and they will tell you that there are as many variations of how Alzheimer’s disease is expressed as there are people with the disease. Personality, life experience and variations in the effects on the brain all contribute to the individual differences, but there are also some typical patterns.

In our Effective Activity Approaches For People With Dementia course, we begin by providing brief explanations of various forms of dementia, common losses and remaining strengths. We then show how to use this knowledge to carefully adjust your activities to meet these different needs.

We all know how different we are, and the things that interest us are many and varied. Being able to spark the interest of everyone in the care home is really, really important, which is why this course also explains how to use the knowledge you have for more effective interactions in activities.

In the same way, Activity Programmes for Men focuses on the male residents, who often get forgotten when it comes to activity planning. It is common to find that men and women in a residential care community or day centre tend not to enjoy the same activity sessions. Offering person-centred care means recognising that men appreciate doing some things separately from the women, and this course takes you through a host of brilliant male-orientated activities around things such as jobs, career and work, military service, sports, cars, money and finances, social clubs, DIY and hobbies. We also suggest a range of activities that men and women will enjoy together and the ways to manage these interactions.


Aside from targeting activities to specific interests and personalities, it’s also really important to ensure all the senses are stimulated and that those most linked to memory and reminiscence are utilised.

We all know how much music can take us back to a time and a place many decades ago, which is why musical programming features in so many activities plans. Our Music Matters course is a comprehensive look at the importance of using music in activities, considering the effects music has on the mind, body and soul.

We will look at the benefits of music for the elderly and people living with dementia, and also cover the concept behind the Mozart Effect, music therapy, music as pain relief, the importance of movement, finding the right music for a group and pairing music with gardening.

If gardening is popular in your care home, or with your loved one, you may also want to look at our Gardening for the Senses course, which deals with the sensory circle approach to horticultural therapy, which is particularly useful when working with people with dementia. We look in detail at sensory gardens, including the important design elements and plant selection, and the major benefits and functions. We also explore how to incorporate the five senses into an outdoor garden and also discover how it is possible to create an indoor sensory garden.


One key aspect of providing person-centred care is in how we consider the whole person, and that includes their mental health, emotional wellbeing and relationships.
People living with dementia still experience the vast range of human emotions, but often without the tools or understanding to properly articulate them. In addition, they often experience considerable loss, both of their own identities and homes, as well as the safety nets of family and friends. As time passes, people in their care home also pass away, and grief is something they too must navigate.

Two of our courses look at coping with emotions and behaviour, supporting you in understanding different behaviours and supporting residents or loved ones through grief.
In Distressed Behaviour as Communication, we explore how behaviour is always a form of communication, and show that distressed behaviour can be best worked with when we understand what is being communicated. We provide tips on understanding why a person is acting as they are and also address possible root causes of the behaviour.

While this course is aimed primarily at understanding behaviours in people with dementia, you may find that the guidelines work for people without cognitive handicaps as well.

Our Grief and Loss Among Care Providers and Receivers course aims to look more deeply into loss, and help not only residents and loved ones work through their feelings, but also their carers. As people age, an increase in losses makes them vulnerable to grief in ways they may not even recognise. In this course, we discuss grief from the view of the person with either a chronic illness or dementia, and also the view of the carer of a person with a chronic illness or dementia.

We then provide suggestions on how to build stronger relationships with residents and families of residents by increasing your understanding of what they are experiencing. This course is appropriate for all carers, and also helps activity staff create ways to support residents and their families.

All our courses can be done online, anywhere and anytime, meaning you can tailor your learning to fit in with your schedule. Our courses are fully recognised as CPD and ideal if you are an activity coordinator wishing to enhance your knowledge, or a carer looking for guidance and support in the day-to-day activities of a loved one.

The Daily Sparkle has been a popular and respected provider of Activity Coordinator trainings in the UK for the last five years. During this period of Covid-19 we have developed a range of e-Learning training courses that you can do from work or home. All courses come with a downloadable certificate on successful completion, a monitor of progress for managers and are recognised by NAPA.


Activities for Men
Good for: person-centred care, men’s activities, making and doing, meaningful activity, activity ideas
22.98, Book now >>

Distressed Behaviour as Communication
Good for: better communication skills, dealing with difficult behaviour, managing emotions, advanced dementia, distressed behaviour, emotional wellbeing
22.98, Book now >>

Effective Activity Approaches For People With Dementia
Good for: different dementia stages, person-centred care, activity ideas, advanced dementia, planning activities, introduction to activities
22.98, Book now >>

Gardening for the Senses
Good for: sensory activity, outdoor activity, garden lovers, wellbeing, summer activities, personalised activities, ideas
22.98, Book now >>

Grief and Loss Among Care Providers and Receivers
Good for: managing emotions, dealing with death and loss, distressed residents, building relationships, grieving together, emotional wellbeing, person-centred care
22.98, Book now >>

Music Matters
Good for: musical activities, sensory activities, reminiscence, advanced activities, advanced dementia, using music as therapy, activity ideas
22.98, Book now >>