Residents at a specialist dementia care home in Bridgwater are benefitting from the focused attention of a new wellbeing co-ordinator who loves the home so much that after a short break working elsewhere she just couldn’t keep away.
Lisa Priddice worked on the activities team and as a health care assistant at Avalon Nursing Home- on Taunton Road from 2015-18 and then took a break during which she worked as an activity facilitator at Musgrove Hospital and had a baby.
And now Lisa is back at Avalon in the newly-created role of wellbeing co-ordinator, bringing with her accumulated experience of what feeds into positive wellbeing thanks to her time working at Musgrove.
Lisa said: “Coming back to Avalon having worked on the elderly wards at Musgrove for two years, I’m now able to provide enhanced care to those residents who really need that extra support in order to live an enriched and fulfilling life.
“I’m loving being back here and find it so fulfilling to support our residents in maintaining a healthy level of exercise, and a good diet through structured activity time.
“Avalon’s wellbeing programme is all person-centred and specifically aimed at those who are showing a decline.
“I work closely with the activities team and nurses to find fun and engaging activities involving food, drink and exercise because these are at the heart of our residents’ continued wellbeing.”
The wellbeing programme Lisa has developed for Avalon has both ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ threads. This means those residents who enjoy doing in activities are supported to do so, while ‘inactive participation’ – that is just observing and feeling part of an activity without actually doing it – is also encouraged.
Lisa said: “Although a resident’s cognitive decline may mean they are no longer able to join in with an activity, that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t great enjoyment for them in being socially included as observers, and sometimes commentators.
“One example is the weekly cooking sessions we have restarted, which are proving very popular, with residents included in the activity in various different ways.
“Some have enjoyed making items such as cheese straws, tarts, Danish pastries and cakes.
“Others prefer to focus on the prep and organization of the activity, while there are those who prefer the cleaning up afterwards, whether that’s wiping tables or putting away the ingredients.
“One of our gents likes to deliver the finished item to the chef in the kitchen.
“Residents love to try different foods which are appealing to the eye. And it’s also rewarding for them to enjoy food they have prepared themselves and sit down with a nice cup of tea afterwards.”
Avalon Nursing Home is run by award-winning dementia care specialists Camelot Care, who also run care homes in Wellington and Plymouth.