Braintree care home’s ‘Lifestyle Pioneer’ initiative, helps motivate staff and residents, and build community feel.

Riverdale Care Home, like many other care homes across the UK, has faced unprecedented changes over the past 12 months. But, despite the challenges, staff have excelled at keeping residents motivated and fulfilled throughout the national lockdowns.

There is a real focus on creating a community feel that supports residents wellbeing at Riverdale. Over the past 12 months, staff have encouraged residents to join the home’s Lifestyle Pioneer initiative, which has played a fundamental role in this. The initiative invites residents to choose favourite ‘jobs’ around the home, in turn promoting their independence and sense of achievement.

Riverdale’s Lifestyle and Wellbeing Manager Debbie spends her time getting to know the history of the residents and their personalities.  She has helped develop Riverdale’s Lifestyle Pioneer initiative, using it to enhance the lives of her residents; working closely with staff to ensure each resident has the opportunity to partake.

Debbie Blackwell, Riverdale’s Lifestyle and Wellbeing Manager.

June is Riverdale’s Artist Pioneer, and during lockdown she has enjoyed painting and sharing her work with fellow residents. Now the proud occupier of a designated painting area in the home, June said ‘I love to paint, I feel like a free spirit when I’m painting and the teams are great at supporting my passion and allowing me to share my works of art with my friends.’

June enjoying painting at Riverdale

Norman, has discovered a new found passion for history and writing. With the support of Debbie and her team, Riverdale’s Writing Pioneer has even written an autobiography of his life! Norman’s two sons were delighted to see their dad smiling!

Norman, Riverdale’s Writing Pioneer, enjoys typewriting at the home.

Living life to the full

Innovative activities and new ways of working have brought staff and residents closer than ever; with a new found sense of community felt throughout the home. The daughter of a resident living at Riverdale said “I am in awe of the number and range of activities arranged for everyone. I believe that this mental stimulation has been a key factor in Dad coping with the lack of normal contact throughout this pandemic.”

A resident living at Riverdale said “I am very happy living at Riverdale and I’ve made a lot of friends here. I love quizzes in particular, but there are so many interesting things to do and people to talk to. Living in a community you can always find someone to talk to and share stories with.”

Another relative said “I would like to thank all of the staff at Riverdale Care Home for their efforts over the course of this pandemic. Their care and support for the residents in such difficult circumstances has been amazing. All the activities that take place are also fantastic, and it is wonderful to be able to see the photos of what they have all been doing. These really make us feel involved… as we can see our relatives interacting with staff and other residents.”