We spoke to 37 residents across the six homes during our visits. A large number of residents had dementia or other needs that meant it was hard for them to participate in our visits. In some cases we spoke to a relative, friend or staff member along with the resident to gain a better picture.
- We found it encouraging that all the homes we visited seemed to recognise the importance of providing residents with meaningful activities.
- One issue mentioned by several care home managers was the increasing frailty and increasing level of need of residents.
- Many residents are limited to their beds and/or a chair and this puts a strain on staff time as group activities become less feasible.
'They do offer me a lot but I have no energy and really can’t join in. There are singers and carols but I feel so ill. I can’t do anything. I like to have poetry read to me. I've got some books and the staff read to me when I want this. I love my radio.'
For activity coordinators in the homes, the move away from running a highly structured activity programme towards one which is more flexible and person centred can be highly rewarding, but it is also a demanding task.
- We think it would be a good idea if Islington Council facilitated meetings where the activity coordinators can come together to share ideas and support each other.