How Twilight’s Activity Program tailors activities to residents unique interests

By 16th February, 2021 News No Comments

Under the Twilight Family Model of Care, residents are valued as individual members of our family, and their unique interests are catered for through Twilight’s Activity Program.

This month, we caught up with Twilight’s Lifestyle and Volunteer Coordinator Elaine Wyse to find out more about the program.

How does the program work?

At each of our Twilight homes, we have a 7-day Activity Program. The Activity Program includes both group and individual activities and social interactions which aim to meet individual residents interests, needs and preferences. The program is led by our team of Recreational Activities Officers (RAOs).

Twilight Aged Care’s Recreational Activities Officers

How do you ensure the activities are suited to the residents?

This is an important aspect of the activities we offer at Twilight. Our homes are run under the Twilight Family Model of Care, so we want to ensure that each resident is valued as a member of the Twilight family, and that the activities we offer reflect each residents unique interests.

To ensure the activities meet our residents needs, our RAOs hold regular Resident Meetings and Activity Planning Meetings in the homes to discuss what activities, outings and events the residents would like to see introduced to the monthly Activity Calendar.

This allows us to really get to know the residents interests, and for them to give their feedback on what they would like to see happening in their home. RAOs also have regular one-on-one visits with the residents, to ensure that their interests and needs are being met.

How has COVID-19 affected the program?

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 restriction period meant that most external providers such as singers and entertainers, musicians, dog therapists, chair Zumba, church services, kindy visits and volunteers were unable to visit our residents. It also meant that family visits were restricted.

Our RAOs have had to be creative and find alternative activities to continue to meet our residents’ needs and interests and ensure that the residents remained connected with the community.

The internet became their new best friend, and the residents learned about a whole new world of technology. The RAOs introduced activities such as:

  • Virtual concerts
  • Virtual dog therapy
  • Virtual dance sessions (such as Chair Zumba and Chair Yoga)
  • Virtual church services (some were led by the residents themselves)
  • Armchair travel
  • Virtual museum and zoo visits
  • Intergenerational projects with local schools, including card writing and individualised artworks
  • Cards with Care and Pen Pals with Purpose (UNSW’s Volunteer Army)
  • Virtual morning teas
  • Virtual visits with family and friends via Microsoft Teams
  • Social Window of Love
  • Virtual volunteers who continue to run games of Hoy and Bingo
  • Green Thumbs Gardening Club with Twilight’s Gardener David
  • Virtual Art Exhibition led by Twilight’s Art Therapist Joanne

Can you share with us a good news story that you’ve seen come out of the program?

One story that comes to mind is about a close friendship that was formed during the COVID–19 restriction period between one of our residents at Glades Bay Gardens and a Twilight volunteer.

Our resident Liz met volunteer Ashima back in April 2020 when they were successfully matched and began to have weekly virtual visits via Teams.

Ashima and Liz talked for an hour every week and they both looked forward to their catch ups.

Together, Ashima and Liz created Liz’s life story and made it into a book with all her photos and special memories. They continue to talk every week and are looking forward to meeting face-to-face when it is safe to do so.

Liz and Ashima on a video meeting

How do volunteers factor into the program?

Volunteers are a big part of Twilight’s Leisure and Lifestyle Program. They provide residents with cultural, spiritual, social and emotional support, friendship, and companionship.

My family member lives at one of your homes. How can I ensure they are doing the activities they enjoy?

We value all feedback and suggestions from our residents and their representatives regarding lifestyle needs and activities, so please feel free to contact the house RAOs, Facility Manager, or myself (Elaine Wyse), or complete one of our Your Feedback is Welcome forms, which can be found at the home, or on our Twilight website.