As January begins, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Alongside the resolutions you set for yourself in the coming year, why not think about making some resolutions for your care home?
Here at Care Shop, we’ve pulled together a selection of resolutions you could try implementing, to help make your care home a happier and healthier place.
Read our suggestions below to get some inspiration, or tweet your thoughts @CareShopBunzl.
Loneliness can be a big problem amongst care home residents, so why not try something new next year to help tackle it? You could try organising group activities like book clubs or arts and crafts sessions to help get residents with shared interests together.
Alternatively, for residents who aren’t keen on socialising in groups, you could try organising visits from therapy dogs to help encourage interaction and relieve feelings of loneliness. For more tips, take a look at our blog post on overcoming elderly loneliness.
Exercise is important for everyone, so why not start a regular exercise group for residents? Getting residents together could be a great social opportunity, as well as being good for their overall health.
Naturally, each resident’s physical abilities will vary, so it’s important to select exercises to suit everyone in the group. Take a look at our guide to exercise for older people to see a few suggestions.
Dehydration can be a big problem amongst elderly people in particular, which can have an impact on all aspects of a person’s health. To help residents stay hydrated, why not try a new approach?
For example, you could provide drinks with ice and lemon to make them more appealing, or offer residents ice lollies, jellies or soups. You could also try some of our specialist cups for people with dementia, to help make drinks easier to hold. For more details, take a look at our blog on preventing dehydration in the elderly.
January is a great time to start thinking about all the events you could plan in your care home over the coming year. For example, you might like to plan some day trips to local attractions or the seaside, so more able residents can get some fresh air and enjoy exploring new surroundings.
You could also plan some fun events within the care home for everyone to enjoy, such as a summer fete or a visit from a local music group. These types of events can take a lot of careful planning, so the sooner you can start thinking about them, the better!
Studies have shown that more than half of older adults in care homes have tooth decay, compared with 40% of over 75s and 33% of over 85s who do not live in a care home.
Good oral healthcare is a key indicator of the care your residents are receiving, so make sure you find ways to prioritise it in the coming year. Ensure that residents are provided with oral care products which are right for their needs, and assist any residents who need a helping hand. For more guidance, take a look at our guide to oral care in care homes.
With winter on its way out, it’s time to give some thought to spring cleaning. A good cleaning routine is important all year round in care homes, but it’s still well worth setting aside some time for a clear out and some thorough deep cleaning.
If you aren’t sure where to start, download our free care home cleaning schedule, which outlines all the areas of your care home which might need some attention, or take a look at our guide to the dirtiest places in your care home and how to clean them.
Your care home should provide a welcoming and homely environment for residents to enjoy, so if it’s been a while since you last redecorated, it could be time to refresh things. To help you get started, take a look at our blog on choosing a colour scheme for your care home, and start gathering ideas for how to brighten things up. We’ve also put together a guide to what to consider when furnishing a care home, so you can ensure that you make the best choices for residents’ needs.
Dementia presents a wide range of challenges, but there are lots of things your care team can do to help. Why not try some new reminiscence therapy activities that you haven’t tried before, or assess whether there are some changes you can make to residents’ bedrooms to make them more dementia-friendly?
Dementia can feel incredibly isolating, so you could try organising group activities such as arts and crafts, music and cooking, to help stir the senses and get residents motivated and engaged. You could also provide staff with further training to enhance their knowledge of issues such as how to talk to someone with dementia.
At Care Shop, we stock a wide range of dementia care products to help make life easier for those living with dementia, including specialist signage, kitchenware and activity supplies – why not take a look and see if there’s anything new you could try?
Are you making the most of your outside space? A garden can be a great place for residents to enjoy some fresh air, as well as being ideal for hosting events for visitors in the warmer months.
Creating a sensory garden for your care home with specially chosen flowers and plants will give your residents a therapeutic experience and stimulate their senses. You could also try asking residents which plants they’d like to see in the garden, or form a gardening club to allow green-fingered residents to get more involved.
None of these resolutions would be possible without a hardworking care team, so our final suggestion is to ensure that you find more ways to make your team feel valued.
This could take all sorts of forms, from giving your team the training they need to reach their potential, to ensuring that their voice is heard. You could implement a recognition scheme to give your team rewards for a job well done, or you could do something simple to say ‘thank you’ and let them know that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Get in touch with us on Twitter @CareShopBunzl and let us know what you’ll be getting up to!