IMPROVING MENTAL WELLBEING WITH COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Mental and emotional well-being is essential to overall health, a positive mental health allows people to effectively cope with the stresses of life and make meaningful contributions to their communities. It’s what gives us our ‘oomph’ and drive to partake in social activities and fulfil work commitments. However, 11.9% of people aged 60 or over have reported low levels of mental wellbeing, equating to 1.5 million individuals in the United Kingdom.

As we look at this staggering statistic, and with the knowledge that there’s over 400,000 people living in care home facilities in the UK, it’s important to take steps to encourage activity involvement of residents in the day to day management of care homes.

CARE HOME GARDENS IN FULL BLOOM FOR CONTEST

In an effort to promote wellbeing at their care homes, The Stow Healthcare Group, which runs five facilities, including homes in Long Melford and Halstead, staged a ‘Stow in Bloom’ competition aiming to replicate a traditional flower and produce show.

Gardening is a cause of relaxation, comfort and enjoyment for millions of people around the UK, the purpose of the project was to enable residents to engage in therapeutic gardening and creative activities.


Ruth French, director at Stow Healthcare, said: “Gardening has a tremendous impact on wellbeing.

“It has been a wonderful way for staff, residents and members of many community groups to come together and enjoy all things green, whilst getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors.”

The introduction of this competition enabled staff and residents to actively get involved in a project together – perfect for helping everyone remain active and engaged.

5 IDEAS FOR GROUP ACTIVITIES IN YOUR CARE HOME

Community gardening is a great opportunity for your residents to get involved in activities outdoors, but if the weather doesn’t quite permit it, here’s 5 more ideas to promote positive mental health and wellbeing at your care home:

  1. Scrapbooking
    This is a great activity to improve memory skills, cognitive ability and to help boost feelings of fulfilment. Give each resident their own scrapbook and materials and then encourage them to stick photos and information in that reminds them of their life.It is also a beneficial tool for residents and staff to get to know each other, as well as creating a bond between residents that may recall similar memories.
  2. Name that tune
    Hosting a music quiz is a great way to trigger memories and provide a space for residents to share moments of their lives with each other.

Music is a powerful tool to bring people together!

  1. Book club
    Reading is an enjoyable activity, and one that can also be enjoyed with a small group of people. Initiate a book club with residents, where residents can attend to talk over themes and discuss plot points in a novel.

You may be able to get support from a local library, too!

  1. Exercise classes
    We all know the many benefits of exercising, from it increasing your energy levels to being vital in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. By providing external support, you’re able to encourage your residents to get involved in community classes to help them keep active.
  2. Have a blind tasting competition
    Stimulate reminiscence by picking distinctive foods that may trigger some memories and encourage your residents as a group to engage in the activity and to discuss what they think the foods may be.

A decline in mental wellbeing is often viewed as an inevitable part of the aging process, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re able to provide opportunity to your residents to take part in meaningful activity and to have sufficient access to good mental and physical health services, they will be able to successfully be involved in the community surrounding your care home.

There are lots of ideas to inspire activities for residents that can combat loneliness, promote community and positive mental health. Do you have tried and tested activities that you want to share? Let us know @AGAMobility!

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