27 August 2020
An honest interview with Jean, Lifestyle’s Assistant at Lakeview Care Home
We caught up with Lifestyles Assistant at Lakeview Care Home, Jean Griffiths, to find out what her role entails and what makes her proud to work at our award-winning, residential and dementia home.
What does the role of Lifestyle Assistant entail?
My role is about making sure that the residents are happy and stimulated with meaningful activity. I like to ensure that the activities calendar has something for everyone and I have a supportive and knowledgeable team that help me with delivering a full and engaging programme every day.
What does a usual day at Lakeview Care Home look like for you?
I usually start the day by setting the scene on the dementia community with the aim of creating a really positive atmosphere, for example I will put some gentle music on, turn on our scent machine which makes the community smell like lavender and our bubble machine as well. At 8:30am, we start our breakfast club for the residents which varies each day from pancakes to omelettes and a full English breakfast. At 11:00am activities start and the team and I aim to deliver a choice of five activities a day. This varies from baking to gentle exercise, gardening and creative arts and crafts sessions. Despite the challenges faced by Covid-19, our teams are still running 35 activities a week and have introduced innovative ways to keep residents connected with each other to reduce the risk of social isolation. This includes making use of our in-house facilities such as our hairdressers, cinema and café’, coordinating 1-2-1 activities as well as safe, socially-distanced group activities to keep residents occupied and entertained. We have also been encouraging residents to go outdoors as weather allows whilst maintaining the social distancing rule of 2-meters apart.
How do you keep residents connected with their loved ones?
We are currently facilitating garden visits for residents and their loved ones in our comfortable visiting suite. We have purchased several ipads to support our residents to have a weekly video call with their friends and family and we have also installed an app called Rels App. This app is exclusive to Lakeview and our other Hallmark care homes and allows families and residents to send each other messages, pictures and videos which can be replayed again at a later date.
How do you ensure that the residents embrace the activities programme on offer?
Initially, I ask the residents when they move in to Lakeview to attend some of the activities in our current programme. I then monitor them during the activity and ask them for feedback after to see what they enjoyed. From there I would look to tailor the programme further and implement some new activities as well in line with the residents’ likes, interests and personal history.
How do you encourage the team to get to know the residents?
Firstly, I get to know the team and try to understand what activities they would be interested in organising with the residents. I try to partner them with like-minded residents where possible and I also encourage the team to do lots of 1-2-1 activities with the residents as this really helps to build relationships.
Do you have a personal highlight in your role?
I have won three care awards, most recently I was awarded the ‘Most Innovative Activities Programme Involving Service Users’ title at the 2019 Surrey Care Awards and it was wonderful to be recognised. I have also recently completed a 12-month FITS (Focused Intervention Training and Support) programme developed by the Association for Dementia Studies at Worcester University. This which will help me to continue to improve care outcomes for people living with dementia.
What makes you proud to work at Lakeview?
Making a difference and being here for the residents, I look forward to coming into work each day and I love my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had!
How do you spend your free time?
I do a lot of digital art; I like taking pictures and making them into scrapbooks. I’ve made quite a few of these with the residents at the home to document the activities we’ve done together and it’s great also to show the families. I also love to garden and enjoy walking my two Yorkshire Terriers, Ivy and Daisy.
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