Homes need fun and activity

Donna Pierpoint is the manager of Sheffield's renowned Broomgrove Nursing Home.
Donna Pierpoint is the manager of Sheffield's renowned Broomgrove Nursing Home.
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Organising activities for residents of a care home can often be a soul-destroying job.

You arrange various events but only a handful ever seem to want to participate.

You feel like residents don’t want to join in and you can often feel your efforts haven’t achieved anything.

But you have to understand that this is simply not the case.

Too many people forget that every resident at Broomgrove – and any other care home for that matter – had a totally different kind of life before they arrived.

They holidayed in different places; had totally different leisure pursuits and pastimes. Some were the life and soul of the party, some preferred to stay home and watch TV and others preferred the company of close family – everyone was different.

Care home residents don’t lose their likes and loves – it’s up to the care home to rediscover them and work hard to find the kinds of things they enjoy.

So that’s why at Broomgrove we have a very wide range of activities and we focus on what individuals want to do. So it doesn’t matter if you only have a small group – it’s expected.

The golden rule is don’t get frustrated, just focus on what a resident likes.

We employ three activity co-ordinators, each with their own skills. We find this is very helpful way to provide the find of pastimes that residents want.

Moira is brilliant with knitting, painting and arty type stuff. Kay is a fabulous musician and is great with music therapy. Denise is great fun and wonderful at taking residents for walks and doing one-to-one activities like playing cards.

As well as having in-house activities we also buy in a lot of entertainment and have a minibus so we can take residents places.

We organised a trip to South Yorkshire’s Tropical Butterfly House recently. That was wonderful. Seven residents out of 37 went. It’s not unusual to have that many people on a trip.

We raise money for entertainment through things like our summer fair.

I think every single resident deserves quality entertainment tailored to their own taste in their later years. Care homes should do all in their power to provide it.