Happiness is catching – and happy staff mean happy residents. But the last year has been a significantly stressful time for people living and working in care homes across the UK. As we make good progress on the road back to normality, we must acknowledge the toll this time has had and continue striving to promote the wellbeing of both our staff and the residents in our care.
Communication is key
Once you understand where people might be struggling, it gives you the power to act. So an effective way to prioritise wellbeing is simply to talk to your team about ways to help them tackle any stress or anxiety they may be feeling and arrange coping strategies. This will make them feel supported and valued, which is key to building an environment of trust.
The same applies to your residents. This has been a particularly difficult and potentially frightening time for them. Make sure you ask about any concerns they might have, so you can take steps to address them – whether it’s finding a new activity to keep them occupied or arranging a social event if they’re lonely.
Make activities meaningful
Keeping busy is crucial for mental wellbeing. Planning activities such as games, arts and crafts, singing and dancing, or gardening will help residents join in with the care home community. Day trips are important too, and should become easier as the pandemic restrictions lift. But what’s especially important is chatting to your residents about the types of activities they prefer so you know they are getting the stimulation they enjoy.
The same approach will benefit your staff too. Organise group activities, such as weekly lunches or monthly games nights – giving your team the chance to relax and bond with each other. You could even explore employee perks such as a discounted gym membership or cinema tickets to encourage a better work/life balance, which is crucial for their wellbeing.
The power of connection
The pandemic has proven the value of technology such as Zoom, FaceTime or Facebook Portal to help maintain human connections and keep loneliness at bay. As visits are allowed again, let’s not roll back the clock on that progress. Setting up an online call with a family member through a smart TV or tablet means families can talk privately for longer periods of time and alleviates the need for lots of travel. In turn, if your residents get more social time with friends and family, it lessens the pressure on your staff to keep them company when it gets busy – creating a happier environment all round.
Give yourself a helping hand
Looking after the wellbeing of your residents and team is highly rewarding – but it’s still another responsibility to add to the list. So it’s important you help yourself out too. A robust care home insurance policy is a highly effective way of ensuring peace of mind – giving you the security to run your care home safe in the knowledge you are covered if anything goes wrong, while freeing up your time and attention to ensure your team, and the residents they care for, are happy and fulfilled. 530 words
For more information, contact the Aston Lark Care team on 01622 528 141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org