Wellbeing is at the core of good care provision
Renaissance Care has given its activities coordinators a new title and job description to better reflect their role in enhancing resident wellbeing. Operations director Yvonne Richardson explains.
One of our core beliefs at Renaissance Care is that care across the sector should be first-class, and people should be able to live their lives to the fullest. This includes engaging in the activities that people receiving care had previously enjoyed, helping to ensure they are fulfilled, happy and content.
A recent revolution in wellbeing at Renaissance Care was inspired by a mass consultation with all activities coordinators across the group’s 17 care homes. The aim was to understand how we could better approach lifestyle and social inclusion across the portfolio, using staff insights to gain a boots-on-the-ground understanding of how things could be developed and enhanced.
These conversations identified simple and practical ways for Renaissance to better support our care teams in enhancing our wellbeing offerings.
Our number one finding was that the traditional activities coordinator job description was outdated in a post-pandemic world. Staff highlighted the monumental role they play in protecting and, in many cases, enhancing residents’ social and mental wellbeing, providing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual support for residents every day.
Through the provision of both group and one-to-one activities, whether that be participating in an exercise class or reading a magazine together, our team play a lead role in reducing feelings of social isolation and loneliness, which improves general health and wellbeing in elderly residents.
We recognised this should be reflected in their title, which we reframed as ‘wellbeing leads’. Along with this change, a new job description was written and agreed upon by our wellbeing lead network with a new central aim: to enhance and support the health and wellbeing of residents through meaningful connections by offering a wide range of activities, both group and individual, which improves their quality of life.
To support this new mission, we needed to ensure our wellbeing leads had the right tools to provide this model of care. There is a theory and skill behind the provision of truly compassionate care that requires ongoing investment and support.
New technology has led the way and we recently launched DanceSing in our homes – a virtual and interactive platform that facilitates physical movement and exercise classes, mindfulness sessions to promote positive mental wellbeing through music that engages a generation. These sessions can be conducted as independent or group activities and can be tailored to accommodate a range of abilities within our homes and are already having a hugely positive impact on our residents.
It is important to us that we are able to promote meaningful contact for all our residents, regardless of perceived ability. Our lifestyle and wellbeing programme is adaptable, incorporating outings and events but never forgetting that 1:1 personal contact with an individual is equally important. Even something as simple as an informal conversation can have positive outcomes for many of our residents.
And it’s this human touch that is still paramount at Renaissance Care. While technology takes us forward, we still value the basics. We conducted an appraisal of our staff’s talents through one-page profiles to better understand our in-house skillsets, which in turn would enhance the experiences we would be able to offer residents. It’s amazing how many wonderful skills you find just by speaking with the people who work in our homes, and this is key to being able to offer residents engaging new experiences.
The whole process has been truly invigorating and a testament to engaging staff directly who are involved with the delivery of care in organisational decisions that impact them.
They are the experts in their field, working hard every day to provide residents with quality care, delivering support with wellbeing and compassion. It is only through engaging with their knowledge and experience that we can successfully innovate and enhance service provision.