We believe everyone we support can achieve exceptional things. In every Choice Care home, we provide a wide range of engaging and meaningful activities, tailored to individual capabilities, to promote social, vocational and life skills and help to build confidence and self-esteem. The emphasis is always on living life to the full and having fun. There's lots to get involved in and enjoy, from daily activity schedules, sports and leisure and social events, to projects and competitions and regular outings and trips. In a recent survey 100% of our residents said they enjoy their activity programme, participating in an average of 12 separate activities every week.
Daily activity programmes
All our homes have a Day Activity Coordinator who develops personalised activity programmes. Everyone has their own plan. Itineraries are devised in partnership with those we support, as well as relevant care professionals like speech therapists, local music, drama and art therapists, local colleges and our own Positive Behaviour Support Team, who offer psycho-educational events such as dog therapy days and mindfulness workshops, to encourage socialisation while also developing emotional regulation skills.
During down time, homes have communal lounges (often including a designated "˜quiet' lounge) with sofas, TVs, games consoles, computers and internet access. There are games and hobby and sports equipment for residents to use.
To find out more, visit A day in the life of the people we support.
Everybody in our homes has access to a variety of community-based leisure and entertainment facilities, including local shops, sports and leisure centres, cinema, community organisations and volunteering groups, pubs, clubs and restaurants, as well as the opportunity for religious worship.
Many of those we support also take an active role in their immediate community and environment, through regular discussion and feedback, by agreeing house rules and behaviours, helping in the selection of new staff and by getting involved in training programmes.
In addition to weekly activities, we organise regular special events throughout the year that everyone looks forward to. There are group activities, competitions, parties and celebrations such as:
- Regional fun days
- Sports events
- Summer BBQs
- Gardening competition
- Halloween party
- Christmas party and decoration competition
- Choice Has Got Talent show
Short breaks and holidays
Everyone needs a break! Holidays are an important part of the support we provide and for those living in care, can represent a significant achievement as well as being very rewarding.
Recently, one young man we support realised his lifelong goal by visiting the USA. To do so, he had to overcome his fear of flying. To prepare for the trip, our colleagues helped familiarise him with the process: taking him to an airport to see how busy it could be; going through security checks; and finally taking a shorter flight to Spain as a practice run. His confidence grew and he was able to fulfil his dream with a holiday to Florida.
Making holidays a success means involving people in choosing where to go, who to go with and helping to plan their stay. For those without capacity, we involve their close circle of support, to ensure each individual's needs are considered and catered for. Together, we complete a Holiday Risk Assessment & Financial Evaluation covering all the details.
An annual allowance is allocated towards the cost of each individual's holiday. Additional costs, including the cost of support staff, are agreed with them or an appointee and others involved in their care.
Last year, over two-thirds of the people we support enjoyed a holiday, by themselves or as part of a group: caravan holidays, weekends away at attractions and theme parks, short breaks to Spain, a cruise to Bruges and even a trip to Lapland to meet Santa.
Educational and vocational support
To help those we support lead more independent, active and fulfilling lives, we provide tailored support, including access to appropriate training, to help individuals build the skills and confidence to gain employment, both voluntary and paid.
Help with managing finances
The people we support use and manage their own money as and when they choose. Of course, some people need help managing their financial interests, but this support never overrides their right to access their money or to decide how and when they wish to spend it. Money is never withheld because staff disagree with someone's decisions.
Everyone has a financial profile as part of their overall care plan, which includes, amongst other information, details of what the person needs to pay for, a risk assessment of their money management skills and a money management action plan. The action plan details activities to help build capabilities and confidence in managing finances, including budgeting, saving and making purchases.
Each person in residential care receives a weekly allowance to cover the cost of personal expenses, including clothing, snacks and eating out, and social and leisure activities as well as a contribution toward annual holidays. Staff are there to help as necessary, and when required to support people outside the home - going to the cinema for instance, or eating out - those they're supporting are expected to cover their costs.
Where someone lacks capacity to express their needs, care staff and the people making financial decisions on their behalf work together to ensure that any available personal funds are used to enhance the person's quality of life. Even if someone is unable to understand certain aspects of their finances, they're still involved as much as possible in choosing how their money is spent.