BAB Communities of Interest in Care Homes
We were delighted to announce earlier in 2017 that Alive will be working in partnership with Growing Support to deliver the Communities of Interest in Care Homes project, funded by Bristol Ageing Better.
Community development is increasingly recognised by the care sector and social care commissioners as vital in tackling issues of social isolation in our older populations living in care homes. This project will connect care homes to groups in their local community, such as schools, colleges, local charities, clubs or creative, and outdoor groups so that older people can take part in fun, meaningful and dynamic activities. We will build on the existing strengths of the care homes and their communities to develop relationships that will endure, and become self-sustaining after the completion of the project.
The Communities of Interest in Care Homes project will work in the following ways:
Empowering: We will work with residents to learn about the activities they enjoy, and how they would like to engage with their local community. Activity sessions with community groups will then be designed around the interests of the residents, as well as the assets and strengths of the care home staff.
Building links: Steering groups made up of residents and care home staff, will help care homes to plan activities collaboratively. Through building lasting relationships with community groups, older people in care will feel more connected to, and better able to contribute to community life.
Support & partnership: We will provide coaching programs to care home staff to help embed steering groups, activities and community links that will be sustainable in the long term.
Evidence-based: We will provide care homes with information on the measurable difference that the steering group, community activities and staff coaching has had on life at the care home.
December 2017 – We’re excited to announce that community connections are now being made to run activities suggested by residents. These include:
Stokeleigh, who have linked with Muddy Boots nursery for weekly visits, that started in November. This Forest School nursery are located right across the road from Stokeleigh, but the two have never met up before, until last month. Already the impact on residents seen by care staff has been incredible
Granville Lodge, whose residents are also taking part in gardening activities as part of Lawrence Weston Community garden, facilitated by Growing Support.
We look forward to facilitating more community connections and activities with residents in the New Year!
November 2017 – This autumn, the first Steering Groups of residents have been established in each of the four care homes. These Steering Groups will meet every few months to discuss resident’s activity ideas, to ensure the activities in these care homes are completely led by the interests of the people living there.
Their first meetings built further on themes suggested in the consultation. We’re also undertaking 1 to1 conversations with residents and smaller group activities to explore their interests further as part of this co-production process, prior to creating activity plans for residents to approve.
Suggestion boxes have also been left at each care home for all residents to contribute ideas at any time
August 2017 - An external consultation as part of this project has now been completed, having run focus groups with residents in each of the four care homes, as well as interviews with staff and relatives. This enabled us to assess the interests, assets and strengths of residents, as well as any current barriers to undertaking activities. The findings of this consultation are now being used to inform the co-production process and how best we can find out what residents actually want to do, giving them a strong voice and input to their day to day life in a care setting.
January 2017 -Read our press release here, with statements from the Chief Executives of Alive and Growing Support on being selected as the delivery partners for the Communities of Interest in Care Homes project.