I think of the residents like my granny and ask myself, ‘what can I do to best support them'
he role of the wellbeing coordinator, sometimes called activities coordinator or lifestyle coach, is increasingly seen as a linchpin in any care home.
It is a role of many parts and your days can be filled in countless ways, from leading arts and craft sessions and baking with your residents to organising sing-alongs, dance afternoons or gardening sessions.
You need to have bags of creativity and imagination and come up with fun ways of celebrating special days and festivals throughout the year.
You are the link with your local community and will be involved in hosting events for the wider public, including summer fetes and Christmas fairs.
You will organise regular outing for residents and accompany them on trips away from the home.
Jodie Solaiman, 25, did her degree in criminology at Leeds Beckett University and had no direct experience of working with older people when she successfully applied for the role of wellbeing coordinator at Redwalls Nursing Home, near Northwich, in Cheshire.
She said: “My grandmother had dementia so I knew what to expect. I really wanted a job where I was caring for people and able to make a difference.
“You need to be very caring. I consider myself to be an empathetic person. I think of the residents like my granny and ask myself, ‘what can I do best support them’.”
In her first months at Redwalls, Jodie has successfully staged a Halloween event, with staff dressing up and collecting food for the local foodbank, organised a Thanksgiving Day meal, accompanied a Far East war veteran to a Remembrance Day ceremony and hosted a memorable Christmas party.
Her thoughts have now turned to Dignity Action Day at the start of February.
Jodie’s important tips for being a successful wellbeing coordinator:
- Get to know your residents. Successful activities and events can be built from the life experiences of people in the home.
- Be organised! Successful events and activities take advance planning.
- Enlist help. Colleagues and residents’ families will often be happy to support events and outings.
- Use the environment you are blessed with. Redwalls has a fabulous garden for outdoor activities in the warmer months.
Find out more about Redwalls nursing home