Activities & MealsAt Wisteria House we do all the things that other good care homes do from having a hairdresser in each week, going on mini bus trips, have visiting entertainers. Record peoples life history. We also hold daily group activities which many of the people living in the home attend, although we realise group activities are not for everyone.
Although the staff team feel that these have some value in relation to quality of life we, on the other hand particularly value relationship care more. This is ever present, from the time each person gets up in the morning, throughout the day and just before going to sleep, for example:
Getting up in the morning – a welcome smile, choosing your clothes, choosing your jewellery, choosing some lipstick, getting dressed just chatting away all the time.
Throughout the day – if you are sitting at a table, and a member of staff is clearing the table, at Wisteria the member of staff is likely to chat as they work. We do not like to talk to people living in the home as though we are working in a hotel, we like to be more familiar and friendly.
All of the staff team from the manager to the handy man stop working and spend time enjoying all their meals at the same time as the people living in the home. Just like a normal home should be.
Just before going to sleep – the night staff have the time to sit and chat for a few minutes and give a hug if it’s welcomed.
It’s very common to find a member of staff just sitting having a cup of tea with several of the people living in the home.
Relationship care between the staff team and each individual living in the home is really getting to know each other. I believe you can sense this in the atmosphere within the home. Why do most of the people living in the home smile when a member of staff approach them? Why do most of the people living in the home trust the staff team so implicitly? It all comes down to the relationship care.
We believe that there is more to polite and superficial conversation, that can tend to occur in other homes such as ‘did you enjoy your cup of tea’, ‘did you enjoy your meal’, ‘I’m just going to take you to your bedroom’, etc. Just like in shops we hear, ‘have a nice day’ it’s polite, automatic but not a real conversation. We believe in the importance of making that extra effort, not just in conversation but also a bit of appropriate banter and a sense of humour, bringing out a laugh or two. This also benefits the people living with dementia stimulating the parts of the brain that are functioning well, instead of sleeping too much through lethargy and boredom.