Start activity planning
Who doesn’t love a trip to the seaside, on the penny machines, taking a stroll for an ice cream, enjoying the sunsets? It’s time to dust off the activity planner and involve the people you support in activities for the upcoming months.
Regardless of whether people live in their own homes or in a care home, there’s something for everyone. And for any clients who can’t get out and about, you can bring the experience to them.
Here are some activity ideas:
- Arrange for an ice cream van to come to your care home
- Take someone out in a wheelchair to see the sunset
- Set up a pretend beach with sand, shells and even seaweed for the scent to bring back fond memories.
Remember, the hottest part of the summer day is between 3pm and 4pm, so try to be somewhere cooler, outside of direct sunshine during this time. Have a look at the government’s heatwave plan from last year for guidance on how you can protect vulnerable people.
Prepare your menus
We can say goodbye to the casseroles and hello to the salads, picky teas and barbeques!
Have a chat with your service users and find out their favourite summer meals, to create a brand new menu that includes their choices.
In my last registered manager role, the summer favourite was always the weekly social barbeque, where residents, staff and relatives would come together and enjoy sausages, burgers and salads – not forgetting pudding!
Create hydration stations
One of the downsides to the hotter weather is the increased risk of dehydration. Setting up hydration stations or leaving people with plenty of fluids before you leave them is essential. Read some further advice in my hydration blog.
Swap around wardrobes
Help your service users swap their winter wardrobes for their summer ones, making sure there’s easy access to looser, lighter clothing ready. Don’t forget to check people have sunglasses, hats and plenty of sun cream.
Review your contingency plans
Sadly, we’re not out of the pandemic and with COVID cases on the rise again, our contingency plans should cover all eventualities, including potential lockdowns and visitor visiting.
Other contingency plans should include heatwaves, cooling system breakdowns, low staffing levels, utility failures, fuel shortages, supplier failures and ensuring an up-to-date list of key people to contact.
Organise your rotas
Make sure the rotas are done in advance so gaps can be highlighted and overtime shifts can be put out to ensure all the rotas are covered. This makes life much easier for your carers who’ll need plenty of time to organise their holidays and book in childcare.
Update your care plans and risk assessments
Winter death rates have historically been higher than those in the summer, however the gap is narrowing and therefore its vital care and support plans are reviewed, especially end of life care planning and peoples risk assessments.
It may be that the local GP or district nurse needs to be involved with regards to a physical health check, medication planning or even just being alerted to the fact someone at risk is living on their own.
My final advice
This is not an exhaustive list but will guide you in the right direction for getting the people you support and your services ready for the summer. Remember, this time of year can be stressful and hot, but take time to have fun, enjoy the moment and capture some happy memories.