Stories and information about managing and living in a supported residential service with a focus on getting residents involved.
This video was made with Viewmont Terrace, Cottisfield, Brooklyn House, Merriwa Grove, Delaney Manor, Greenhaven, Alma House and SVVI-SRS Supporting Connections.
Getting your residents involved
Enactment: What are youse doing, guys?
Talking. Talking! What does it look like? You look like a bunch of old women, sitting around here, especially you, Ann. Do you want a game of Uno. Alright, I’m in for that. You’ve got to show me how to play it. I don't know how to play it. Am I allowed to cheat? Yes. I can? Cool. Matt, show us how to do it.
Matt, do you want to hear a funny joke? Yeah. What has four legs and doesn't walk? I don't know. A table!
Jillian Brennan, Proprietor, Brooklyn House: Diversional therapy is extremely important for people who have nothing to do, because they - I mean, their whole life depends on what we can support and give them.
Jim Strongman, Lead Program Worker, SVVI-SRS Supporting Connections: What you tend to find in some of the facilities you go to is people sitting around watching TV.
A lot of people tend to spend a lot of time sleeping in their room during the day and then have trouble sleeping at night, so they go around knocking on doors for cigarettes, or want to converse or coffee and things like that.
Tony Hoare, Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Action Education Consultants: Stimulation and interaction are essential.
They’re essential to good mental health, they're essential to being a social person, to being the person that I possibly can be. And so having activities, having possibilities, having choices is important to every individual, and an SRS is no different to that. In some ways, it is actually more important.
Phillip Martin, Proprietor, Sheridan Hall: It’s very important to have activities that involve residents' creative skills, especially when they're on the verge of dementia, and it seems to delay the onset. We had people who had never painted for 15 years painting again.
In fact, so excited were they to be able to it that the people had - some people had pictures in an art show!
Silvia Borrelli, Lead Program Worker, SAVVI-SRS Supporting Connections: Look, I think if people are feeling well and connected, that has a lot of ripple effects into increasing participation, helping with anxiety and having what some would consider - normalising life - you know, doing what other people do which is quite important for people who can be quite isolated, due to a whole range of reasons, including because of symptoms of their illness.
Sue Gery, Proprietor, Alma House: Some residents love art and craft, so we have a little art and craft group. Some residents hate art and craft but they will respond to acting, so we have a drama group that they go to. Some love movies.
So we need to have a variety of different things that will stimulate them. Some don't want to do anything, and we try and work out what their needs might be.
Jillian Brennan, Proprietor, Brooklyn House: When I took over Brooklyn House,we had three staff. I now have 11. I have one employed specifically for diversional therapy. She does activities, she takes them to zoos, she takes them to the movies.
They have swimming groups, they have music groups, they go to choir. There's just a broad range of activities. It has diminished the behaviours at Brooklyn House by almost 100%.
Linda Huntington, Proprietor, Cottisfield: From a staff point of view, getting them out and doing activities with the guys shows them that they are not just task-oriented, they’re not just folding clothes, they’re not just making their beds, they’re not just helping them in the shower, they’re enjoying something with them.
They are not just telling them what to do or telling them, you know, “This is what I'm doing for you."
"I’m enjoying something with you." It shows the staff in a different way to them so they can get to know each other on a different level. We find that really helps with the residents feeling comfortable with talking to the staff about issues and not necessarily having to come to Andrew and I, as proprietors, and thinking that we're the only ones that can talk to them about things on a personal level.
Dennis Bromley, Proprietor, Viewmont Terrace: To get activities for people - like, structured activities that suits all of them - we actually have residents’ meetings which the assistant manager sets it up. She will do that and I insist I do not be there. I feel they will speak freer if I'm not there. Because they will speak - they will give her ideas what they want to do, she will record them, and then she come back to me. We see what is feasible and what can do as a group. Enactment: (Sings) # And everything will be fine # (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)