Every interaction matters

A charity dedicated to enriching the lives of people with care and support needs is offering free access to its activity resources during the coronavirus crisis.

NAPA (National Activity Providers Association) is a membership organisation which promotes and supports wellbeing in the care sector – something which is needed now more than ever.

Hilary Woodhead, executive director for the charity, explains: “Here at NAPA, we believe that every interaction matters. Everybody has the right and need for meaningful conversation and connection. Obviously care homes are having to prioritise care and support at this time, but care can still be engaging if staff can connect one-to-one. It will make a huge difference to residents’ wellbeing.”

The speed and severity of the Covid-19 spread has impacted massively both carers and care residents, leaving many struggling to cope.

“We were all in the dark about how serious the coronavirus crisis would get and, when care groups initially made the decision to close their doors, it felt very shocking, although it ultimately turned out to be the absolute right decision,” says Hilary. “As a consequence, care home residents, especially those living with dementia, may feel disconnected from their loved ones. This is difficult for them and their families, especially those with relatives nearing end of life.

“There might not be as many group activities at the moment because of social distancing but all of the staff have a part of play in making a difference – making the most of the moments.”

NAPA has a wide range of online resources to help and inspire care teams to provide activities that engage and stimulate, and the charity is currently offering them free of charge.

“We offer a range of activities for all staff who might be running out of ideas,” adds Hilary. “Generally there is a lot of emphasis on small group work in care homes but social distancing means that may be compromised, so care and activity staff are having to think on their feet and adapt group activities to create one-to-one opportunities for meaningful engagement.”

Hilary highlights the importance of music for wellbeing, and reminiscence for people with short-term memory difficulties. “Activities which trigger long-term memory can help people to feel safe and valued,” she continues.
“The people we support might feel distressed at this time but care teams can help by listening and providing a shape to how the person spends their day, so that it is interesting and meaningful.”

To access NAPA’s free web based activity resources visit: http://napa-activities.co.uk/membership/free-resources
To find out more about becoming a NAPA member email:
membership@napa-activities.co.uk

OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:
• The Museum of Brands – home to a nostalgic collection of more tha 13,000 historic household objects www.museumofbrands.com
• BBC Reminiscence archive – access to a selection of content
from the BBC Archives, designed to support reminiscence therapy https://remarc.bbcrewind.co.uk/#
• Music for Dementia – a campaign to make music available for everyone living with dementia in the UK. Offers a musical guide for people with dementia and their carers during Covid-19 www.musicfordementia2020.com