Most care homes, HC-One included, have some form of wellbeing activity for older Residents run by ‘Activities Co-ordinators’. It’s a role that’s fundamental to the wellbeing and happiness of Residents, but is often unstructured, undervalued and task rather than outcome orientated. Typical activities might include bingo.
We helped HC-One to examine what meaningful lives look like in a care home, initiating a cultural shift – a change of mindset – that focused on the promotion of individual wellbeing through a range of activities that genuinely enhanced mind, body and soul.
OUR STRATEGY: Create a Wellbeing Club
We started from scratch, imagining the needs of various Residents within the home as well as their varying capabilities. We researched all the needs and requirements, ran a workshop with a leading dementia care expert and interviewed over 20+ Activities Co-ordinators for insight into the challenges they faced and to understand the logistics and constraints.
We reframed the idea of ‘activities program’ to the more inclusive and welcoming idea of a Wellbeing Club. Activities co-ordinators became Wellbeing Club Leaders with the emphasis of their role shifting from keeping Residents busy to enhancing their total wellbeing every day. A vital shift was to re-train busy team members to think in meaningful moments and getting Residents involved in everyday activities as well as planned activities.
It was vital to build an internal club and community and to provide the right tools to launch the new Club across over 300 homes.
A CLUB WITHIN A BRAND
To create a real sense of the Wellbeing Club as distinct from the brand we kept it close to the HC-One brand but gave it its own identity. We wanted the identity for the Club to feel clear, happy and sunny, to reflect the ‘moments of sunshine’ that Wellbeing Club leaders bring every day to people within the homes. It borrowed from the HC-One brand assets but was more upbeat and iconic. Sunshine the perfect analogy and visual language to motivate the team in a challenging role, galvanise behaviour, and act as a simple shorthand for the joyful benefit for Residents.
WELLBEING CLUB TOOLKIT
It was important that we create the right tools to ensure that team members could all feel inspired to run the Wellbeing Club and Residents would notice it and want to be involved. It must roll out across 300 homes with minimum introduction and workshopping so had to be self-explanatory.
TOOLS FOR WELLBEING
The Feel-Good Guide is a 100 page ideas book. Its role is to inspire Wellbeing Club leaders by defining what we mean by Wellbeing and the role they play in enhancing lives. It focuses on the outcomes as well as providing plenty of ideas and tips to support them. The ideas are all collated from best practice within the homes discovered during our deep-dive interview process. It’s a handy reference size so that ideas can be revisited. Real life examples and ideas make it feel possible as well as build a sense of community and ownership.
The nuts and bolts of the whole wellbeing program is a one-size-fits-all timetable developed and designed with extensive consultation to consider government recommendations on amount of daily physical activity, best practice, and operational requirements of how the homes are run. From our interviews and workshop, we introduced a whole new way to approach activities and included new ideas such as afternoon tea, Clubs, and relax time. Body activities were best in the morning when Residents had more energy.
We also conceived wrote and designed over 150 Activity Cards to inspire and help Wellbeing Club Leaders to plan against the newly designed timetable. These are categorised into Mind, Body and Soul. We kept many of the Residents’ favourites as an anchor, but also introduced some fun new ideas and ways to adapt them for different needs. Each card roots the activity in a good outcome to help team members understand its role in wellbeing, as well as providing them with a list of what’s needed and instructions on how to run.
Residents’ feedback on what they liked and what they didn’t was key to building a sense of empowerment and community. We created cards for Residents to hold up to make the feedback process fun and visual and encourage discussion between Wellbeing Club Leaders and the people taking part.
Residents were told about activities but often forgot what was planned for the week. We wanted to ensure they got daily reminders that would encourage them to take part. We created a Wellbeing Club board for the communal area which would house the timetable but would also focus on the daily activities and achievements of particular Residents. The Out and About section also encourages Residents to look beyond the home and become involved in the local community.
A fundamental pillar of the wellbeing project, championed by our client, was that it had to begin in the Resident’s room. How to encourage team members to enhance wellbeing within the room? We created a simple Trip Advisor style Sunshine Scale to help all the team to assess each room and figure out how to enhance it for the Resident.
Each home has one or two Wellbeing Club Leaders but they rarely get the opportunity to meet each other for advice and sharing. To help create a thriving wellbeing community we created a closed Facebook page and invited Wellbeing Club Leaders to share ideas and experiences. It’s now a thriving group of over 400 people nationwide.
‘All I can say is thank you. It was like nothing else I’ve been to. It’s changed my way of thinking. It’s reignited the feelings that prompted me to get involved in a caring role in the first place. My job’s a very important part of my life but it had gone stale. This workshop and the way you’ve challenged me to do better has really excited me – it’s made me see that the company feels like I do about old people’s lives.’