This is just one of the ways recreation programmers like Kent and Laurie Anne Brown work with people at the manor.
The first week in February, staff at the Queens Manor will be celebrating recreation awareness week (or recreational professionals in health week). The week is recognized across Nova Scotia by the Recreation Professionals in Health association, says Tara Smith, director of recreation, volunteer services, at Queens Manor.
Smith says the week is to create awareness about facilities like the manor and what happens in them. Another goal is to build understanding about the role of recreation in residential care facilities.
“Often times, people don’t know what happens in our facilities,” says Smith.
As part of recreation awareness week, there will be two in-services for staff at Queens Manor.
“It (the in-service) will be about the importance of knowing the residents because, really, that’s our role,” Smith says.
It’s important for staff members to know residents’ histories; for example, where did they grow up and go to school? Another aspect of getting to know residents involves finding out what they’re able and what they would like to do.
With that knowledge, staff can plan appropriate programs, adds Smith.
“We need to know them (residents), and we need to develop a relationship,” she says.
Smith describes this as person-centred care, which is the idea of every staff member, no matter what her or his job, knowing residents.
“We need to know what makes that resident tick,” she says.
She says it’s important for the staff to try to adjust their schedule and work around people’s needs.
Person-centred care involves not focusing so much on routine.
“If a person doesn’t want to have their main meal at lunch time, then we could save that meal and they could have it at supper time,” says Smith.
Teaching people how to use iPads is an example of person-centred care because it takes people’s abilities into account.
“The iPad is a wonderful tool for touch,” says Smith.
Queens Adult High School teacher Ian Kent and students Kimberly Nielsen and Rachel Guest went to Queens Manor last week to teach residents Betty Manthorne and Richard Daury to use the increasingly popular pallets. They went to the residence as part of a community mentorship program.
Smith says through celebrating the awareness week, the manor hopes to promote the scope of recreation programs at Queens Manor. The week also acknowledges and honours staff members, volunteers, families and community members.
The big thing Smith stresses is how varied recreational programming is. Programs could include anything from large-group activities to one-to-one visiting.
It’s “more than just bingo,” she says.