The 2013 NICE Report ‘Dementia: independence and wellbeing’ stated that “It is important that people with dementia can take part in leisure activities during their day that are meaningful to them. People have different interests and preferences about how they wish to spend their time. People with dementia are no exception but increasingly need the support of others to participate. Understanding this and how to enable people with dementia to take part in leisure activities can help maintain and improve quality of life.”
By running meaningful and stimulating activities in care settings residents are given a sense of purpose, which is crucial for health and wellbeing. People living with dementia are no exception to this, and care providers have an important role to play in identifying opportunities and supporting individuals to become involved. Whilst thinking about the activities that you are going to run it is also important to think about how you are going to record what you have done, and to think about what has gone well and what hasn’t gone so well. In all of our own residencies and workshops our facilitators write journals to reflect upon what has happened in each session – these use the same format every time, and never take longer than five minutes to write! We find them a brilliant way to reflect upon what we have done, and what we would like to do in future sessions.
WAYS TO IDENTIFY SUCCESS
- The group worked together particularly well.
- Somebody did something unexpected or new.
- You feel you did something particularly well.
- You feel that an activity or game went particularly well.
- If appropriate ask members of the group what they have enjoyed, or what they feel has gone well.
WAYS TO RECORD SUCCESS
- Write down things that have gone particularly well.
- Write down things that people have said or done that are surprising or that you feel pleased with.
- Get somebody to take photos of the workshop, or of things that people have made.
- Write down any feedback that people have given on their experiences of taking part.
AND WHEN THINGS DON’T GO TO PLAN
- What didn’t got well? What were you not happy about?
- Was there anything you could have done differently within the workshop?
- What could you do differently next time?
Most workshops will be a mixture of things that go brilliantly and things that do not go to plan! Don’t be afraid of this – because making mistakes or dealing with the unexpected is how you will learn, and develop your skills.