The Outstanding Activities programme provides a monthly box of resources to participating homes. Here are some recent good news stories about how use of the boxes have reached individuals at risk of isolation.
Storytelling Café Box
The Activity Leader at Cedar Court (Healthcare Homes) used a Ladder to the Moon box to engage a resident who never normally communicates (she usually just mimics). Staff were initially unconvinced that anything was possible: at the door to the resident’s room, the Activity Leader was told "It won't work with her." Rachel was resilient and went in anyway. She was non-confrontational and lived in belief rather than expectation, placing the box on the bed. When the resident became curious, Rachel was gently encouraging. They explored the items in the Activity Box, which led to a lengthy discussion about the resident’s husband. Rachel discovered lots! This from an individual who normally 'frisbe's her dinner' and considers all interaction interference. The staff were "OMG!"
The Activity Leader from The Poplars (Forest Healthcare) took a box to a resident who had been accompanied back to bed by care staff. Jackie spent well over hour with her in her room using objects and media to generate conversation and share stories, real life and fictional. Two carers popped in and participated briefly. “Audrey would have been tearful and upset at having to go back to bed. Instead she was calm, engaged and appreciative.”
Icons Photo Shoot box
“Harold doesn't want to eat. Or drink. Can't get him to talk.”
When the box was opened, Harold straight away grabbed the bowler hat. Started spinning it, starring at it, looking inside...
"It's been transforming him"
Staff have followed up the initial engagement, taking Harold the bowler hat everyday.
“And now we can get him to eat!”
In another home, a resident, living with dementia, had become more isolated and anxious.
“We've struggled with Violet. She's got a lovely character, but she’s gone into her shell lately. Lost her confidence. She used to get involved, but finding things to interest her has become more difficult. Using the box worked really well for her.”
“The first day, we took the box and made a fuss of her. Her eyesight's quite bad so we gave her the items to hold. Violet was really interested in looking inside and talking about the film icons, on a one to one basis.
We built on this and took it to the next step. Violet became Audrey Hepburn. She modeled with the props and enjoyed having her picture taken. She said she felt really important.
Giggles started and we got the ol’ Violet back. Violet had been quite reluctant to join in or have her photo taken recently, so this was a very positive moment for her and us.... This box resulted in her being very happy and relaxed and engaged with other residents all afternoon.”