Activities the key difference between surviving and thriving in res care

A new study into the impact of every day activities for people living in residential care in Sweden has shown it can be the difference between surviving and thriving.A survey of staff from 172 Swedish care homes found that while most residents had been outside the home during the previous week, only one-fifth had been on an outing or excursion.

Very few residents of the total 4831 across the homes visited a restaurant, engaged in an education program, went to the cinema, or even engaged in activities such as hobbies and parlour games.

Resident symptoms, activities and thriving were assessed by staff using a study survey based on established questionnaires, which measured statistics, simple and linear stepwise regression and multiple linear stepwise regression, the authors said in an article published in Journal of Advanced Nursing study.

“Research into residents’ engagement in everyday activities in nursing homes has focused primarily on associations with quality of life and prevention and management of neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the mere absence of symptoms do not necessarily guarantee experiences of well-being. The concept of thriving encapsulates and explores experiences of well-being in relation to the place where a person lives,” the authors wrote.

They found the most commonly occurring everyday activities were receiving hugs and physical touch, talking to relatives/friends and receiving visitors, having conversation with staff not related to care and grooming.The least commonly occurring everyday activities were going to the cinema, participating in an educational program, visiting a restaurant and doing everyday chores.

However, positive associations were found between activity engagement and thriving, where engagement in an activity program, dressing nicely and spending time with someone the resident likes had the strongest positive association with resident thriving, the authors said.

“The study demonstrates that activities are an important approach to increasing thriving, and that everyday activities can be conceptualised and implemented as nursing interventions to facilitate resident thriving as opposed to resident surviving in nursing home care”, said lead author, Sabine Björk.


Meanwhile, as providers look to new and different ways to engage residents in every day activities, Anglican Care offers its residents the chance to participate in an Olympic Games.

The 3rd Annual Seniors Olympics, presented by the Anglican Care Olympic Committee, will be on next week on 8 March as part of Anglican Care’s celebrations as a part of the annual NSW Seniors Festival.

Anglican Care’s talented athletes are aged between 80 and 100 years – but don’t let their age fool you into thinking the games won’t be ultra-competitive! They will represent their pre-selected country in a series of highly contested events, including bean bag toss, lawn bowls, golfing, ten pin bowling, and Olympic trivia.

The games are scheduled to begin at 10am, followed by the official medal ceremony.

“We’re making sure that our competitors are eating well, getting enough rest and taking their performance enhancing supplements….but nothing illegal of course,” said Chef de Mission and Anglican Care’s Marketing Manager, Kylie Jacques.

“Anglican Care’s Seniors Olympics is a highlight in many of the residents’ calendars – this is a must win for our residents! But on the serious side the Olympics are an opportunity for our residents to participate in physical activities as well as some fun and laughter which is always good for the soul and your health,” Ms Jacques said.

Anglican Care is one of the largest providers of community and aged care services providing excellent care and enhanced lifestyles to seniors throughout the Hunter, Central Coast and Manning Regions of NSW.


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