Spotlight on Lifestyles Lead at Anya Court, Sue Mitchell

11th May, 2022

We caught up with Sue Mitchell, Lifestyles Leader at Anya Court Care Home, to find out what her role entails and how she supports residents to live life to the full.

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We caught up with Sue Mitchell, Lifestyles Leader at Anya Court Care Home, to find out what her role entails and how she supports residents to live life to the full.

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What does the role of Lifestyle’s Leader entail?

My role at Anya Court Care Home covers lots of areas. We focus on the engagement and wellbeing of residents at the home, from providing a full and engaging activities programme seven days a week to managing the therapists and hairdressers who help residents look and feel their best. As part of my role, I also support and line manage a team of four Lifestyles Assistants, source and book entertainment and facilitate trips out.

What does a usual day look like for you?

There is never a ‘usual day’ at Anya Court. Every day brings new adventures. It makes everyday interesting and there is never a dull moment!

What are some of the residents’ favourite activities they can take part in?

Residents at Anya Court love to be outdoors in our beautiful, landscaped gardens, so activities such as boules and gardening are very popular. We have lots of singers and entertainers at the home regularly too, as residents enjoy anything musical! We all love a singalong.

How do you ensure that the residents embrace the activities programme on offer?

Each week, I produce an activities programme and all residents receive a copy of this where they can look over it and decide which activities they would like to attend. The team also assist the residents in identifying activities on offer and helping them to find the right ones to suit their interests and passions.

Some of the activities that take place are tailored to the individual and are one to one. Activities are a whole home approach, so care team members and lifestyles team members will both facilitate these activities. Residents are encouraged to come along to group activities and to try something new, so they always have a choice.

We also listen to the needs of the residents at our monthly residents’ meetings, where they can share ideas for new activities too, which are always taken on board.

How do you tailor activities to meet resident’s needs?

Every resident at Anya Court is assessed using the PALs tool (the pool activity level) to decipher their activity levels so we can ensure there are choices for residents of all needs and care requirements. We also have an individual planner for each of our communities that will include extra activities for a particular communities’ needs. For example, on the dementia community, we choose activities that are more sensory like baking or art activities.

How do you encourage the team to get to know the residents?

When moving into the home, each resident, with the support of their loved ones, are asked to fill in an ‘about me’ book. This asks for the residents’ life history, hobbies, likes and dislikes. This information is then used to ensure we are creating activities and trips out for the residents that we know will interest them and help them to continue to live a life they love.

What do you love about your role?

The smiles and laughter from the residents are definitely highlights. Its very rewarding when we get positive feedback from the residents and when they thank us for the activities we have provided. The feeling you get when you have made a positive difference to someone’s day is something I love about my role.

What makes you proud to work at Anya Court?

I’m very proud to work at Anya Court. I have been working at the home for seven years and have been given the opportunity to progress my career to Lifestyle’s Leader, which is a role I’m so happy in. I feel a real sense of belonging when I come to work and the residents, are like an extension of my family.

How do you spend your free time?

I have a big garden and I absolutely love gardening! I also love to knit things for other people such as gifts, especially for new babies! I have three grandchildren and a husband too, and spending time with them is very important to me. If I’m not gardening or spending time with the grandchildren, I’m usually on the internet looking for new ideas and activities for work.