Activity based care (ABC) is the philosophy we use to support people living in our care homes or attending day clubs to continue living meaningful and fulfilled lives.
We feel it is key for the person to continue with their day to day activities, interests and routines and that moving into a care home or attending a day club should support this. For example, people are activity encouraged to assist in the day to day tasks and activities that we all take for granted, like preparing a meal or snack, pottering in the garden or around the home, going to the cinema or popping to the shops.
Life histories play an important part within our care delivery and involve not only the person being supported within the care environment, but also any relatives or friends. Having a rich picture of what people like to do in their spare time and during their working day helps support a truly person centered care approach.
What all of our teams have in common is a belief in setting achievable aims and encouraging people to continue with as many everyday tasks as possible in order to improve self-confidence and maintain independence.
As Easy as ABC
We have produced a guide, As Easy as ABC, that lists 100 practical hints and tips for activity based care and is for carers, relatives of residents and visitors to our homes to help them work with residents to get the most out of each day.
Activity coordinators are supported by all their colleagues in providing ABC, from life skills support workers enabling independence with personal care to housekeeping staff enabling familiar activity such as housework, to maintenance teams encouraging residents to paint their own rooms. ABC is a team effort. The most important thing we can give all our residents is time to ensure they are doing what they want, when they want to do it.
Keeping in touch with the local community
We help our residents maintain active links to the local community and understand the positive impact that delivering care in the heart of the community can have on their health and wellbeing. Many of our care homes make an active contribution to the local community and have links with societies such as Alzheimer’s groups, Age UK, places of worship, lunch clubs or bowling clubs.
For example, residents at Sunningdale Court have been invited to judge competitions at local schools, Cavell Court runs the Archie project, an intergenerational programme between schools and care homes aimed at lowering the stigma attached to dementia, Colne View care home run a cinema club for local residents in the area and also a carers support group for carers in the community to come and share experiences, while Kingsfield run their own dementia café for the community on a monthly basis.
Reminiscence and evoking the senses
As language becomes less useful to people living with dementia, so other means of communication become more important. That can be touch, sight, taste or sound.
Popular activities at our care homes include music therapy, using sensory items, pet therapy and reminiscence sessions.
For many people living with dementia, memories from times gone by can be easier to access and talk about. Different objects and pictures can often help spark memories and create a conversation.