28 July 2017
The philosophy behind our lifestyles experience
Hallmark Care Homes aims to enable residents to continue their favourite pastimes and take part in new activities. We sat down with Group Lifestyles Manager, Debbie Sharples-Kirkbride, to discover how she creates this lifestyle experience.
I started working at Hallmark Care Homes in August 2016, and what a time to start. This was right in the middle of awards season, which gave me the privilege of seeing our team members recognised for their hard work throughout the year. We were lucky enough to be awarded with two trophies at the Dementia Care Awards. I was also very excited to attend the Hallmark Care Homes’ Awards in my second month, witnessing our team being recognised internally at the glittering ceremony.
It is this standard that I want to continue and improve upon in my new role within the company. I have a passion for delivering engaging activities for older people and understand how this contributes to residents’ quality of life. I was honoured to be presented with an MBE for my work with activities and services to older people and this has spurred me on to go the extra mile for everyone I work with.
Since starting with Hallmark Care Homes I have been working with our 60 strong lifestyles team to devise new initiatives; including our most recent Welsh Arts Festival. Residents from our Welsh homes had been working with a local artist to create works of art to display to the public and they did a fantastic job. The festival was held at the Penarth Pavilion and was attended by residents, families and local dignitaries.
I have also been working in partnership with Our Yesterday, a reminiscence tool consisting of a bi-weekly newspaper, focusing on what happened in history during that week. It is accompanied by an app through which residents and their relatives can find interesting videos of the past, have a look back at previous fashion trends and sample the music from their era. It is very popular with our residents and is especially powerful for resident living with dementia. The power of imagery and music touches everyone.
Work has now begun on a full strategy for our lifestyles programme, aiming to maximise the use of our company mini bus to take residents to their favourite spots, get even more animals on board as part of our team and add in more light-hearted competitive activities to increase physical activity and exercise.
My main ethos is that everyone should be asked; “how do you want to spend your day?” It is this philosophy that I believe will drive Hallmark Care Homes forward as a leader in care and truly provide high-quality, relationship centred care for all residents.
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