As part of our Participation Strategy, the staff at Abbeyfield facilitate a number of meetings in order to encourage residents to participate and become even more involved in the life and work of their home:
Residents meet regularly in order to discuss issues that are relevant to them. For example, discussing the National Care Standards, residents know what care they can expect to receive.
These meetings take place 4 times each year and are led by the Chairperson of the Executive Committee. It has been found that when staff do not lead this meeting, the residents are more open and honest, providing valuable self-evaluation evidence for ongoing Home improvement. Content discussed during these meetings has included home-life, décor, menus, activities and suggestions for improvement.
These meetings take place 3 or 4 times each year and are open to all relatives and friends of our residents. These meetings are led by 2 members of the Executive Committee who are themselves, past relatives. The meetings have a key focus topic of interest – including dementia focus and guardianship in the past – where after a short presentation, the meeting is opened up for discussion.
Abbeyfield strives to improve its standards of facilities and care at all times, self-evaluating all the time for self-improvement. To this end, ongoing monitoring takes place along with monthly Quality Assurance systems checked against protocols, embracing national advice and good practice for Home improvement.
Abbeyfield have a very active Men’s Group, meeting weekly to chat about items of interest to those who attend, feeding back as and when appropriate for the group. The gents visit a football reminiscence group every month and then go out to lunch (usually for a “pie and a pint”!).
We have a full-time Activities Team who have a wide experience of physical, mental and social stimulation. They are highly qualified in the care field with a wealth of practical experience. In addition to this they continually strive to increase their knowledge by attending training courses and visiting other units. The enthusiasm is such that everyone becomes involved in activities and outings.
Group activities include coffee afternoons, word searches and quizzes and sing-a-longs. In addition to these practical groups are encouraged, needlework, baking, flower arranging and gardening are among the activities provided. We are of course aware that not everyone wishes to participate in group activities so time is set aside for one-to-one sessions.
Our philosophy in Abbeyfield is to encourage residents to retain or regain their community links and so visits to the library, shops etc. feature in our day-to-day activities. The proximity of the town centre to the house means that, weather permitting, residents can walk to the shops.
At Abbeyfield Irvine we have introduced some new group activities to add to the exsisting line up, to encourage and cater for all residents:
- The Abbeyfield Allsorts Enterprise group is consistently running
- A Reflections group once a week
- A Mens club and a Ladies club!
- A sensory/quiet room which is open any time.
- Memory book sessions
- Monthy Tea Dance
- Fitness classes twice a week
A number of Care staff have been trained as Foot Care assistants. They hold Chiropody sessions on a very regular and often needs basis, thus allowing comfort for our residents. Those who require specialist podiatry care are seen by qualified practitioners.
We realise that meal times are an important part of daily routine and we have formal dining arrangement in place to accomodate this. Residents who wish to eat alone can of course, be accommodated too.
Three full meals per day are provided with snacks and drinks available throughout the day and night. Our experienced cook has an understanding of our residents’ dietary needs and spends time with the residents each day to establish their individual preferences. Every effort is made to accommodate and improve the resident meal time experience with visual menus being used in addition to any special dietary needs.
Guests may be invited for coffee or a meal and a private room can be provided for this purpose.
Birthdays are normally celebrated with family and friends along with other residents and staff. The size of the function entirely being of the resident’s choosing.
When Christmas comes along we really get into the party mood, with an evening of delicious food, fun and music to which friends and family may be invited to come along and participate in the festivities in the house.
Outings are a major feature of life at Abbeyfield, to cafes for a cup of tea and a breakfast or a tasty lunch and if no suitable eating place can be found, the renowned ‘Abbeyfield Picnic’ comes into it’s own!
During the summer months a Barbecue with entertainment is held which is always thoroughly enjoyed by all, and the residents also celebrate the local Marymass Festival, watching the parade go by and having some garden activities.
Abbeyfield Irvine has introduced an updated Visual Communication System to encourage staff to maximise the amount of resident individual input we receive about everyday choices such as dressing, choice of activity, choice of food and to improve everyday communication.
- Every morning a member of staff goes around every resident with a communication board consisting of the date, year and any significant event that happened on that day. Staff have conversations about the weather, the resident’s birthday and anything else the resident may wish to chat about.
- The kitchen staff have been provided with a full 3-week picture menu, which they take around with them and display to the resident when they are enquiring choice preference at meal times.
- A Visual Communication folder containing images for all everyday happenings within the house and a magnetic notice board is now available for staff to use to increase the communication between staff and residents.