Amanda, Lethen Park Care Home: Embracing CAPA

I am in my first activity coordinator job and when I first started and heard about CAPA I was very nervous about it but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I met Paula, our improvement adviser and I was sitting thinking this is amazing but a lot of work to do – how am I going to have time to do both this and my job.  As I read more about CAPA and went to a group meeting I realised it wasn’t hard and actually it was going to help me in my new role as activity coordinator. Paula was always there if I need a hand or to encourage me.  The next barrier was getting staff on board which was not easy.  I had staff say it was more work for them and they don’t have time to do it.  Then when I spoke to them about it and spoke about the benefits it would make to the residents, I got some on board with me.  I then got Paula to come to a staff meeting to talk about CAPA.

I started introducing some new activities with the residents, one being Boogie in the Bar.  I was really interested to see how it would make a difference in my residents just with dancing.  We went along and I couldn’t believe how amazing it was and how much the residents got involved and enjoyed it – their faces just lit up.  They also interacted with different people and talked so much.  I couldn’t believe the impact it had on the residents – they spoke about it for days after and were asking to go back.  One resident even socialised more and started to come to more activities instead of staying in her room.  I have loved being part of something that is going to help so many people.  I have CAPA to thank for that as I wouldn’t have gone to Boogie if it wasn’t for the CAPA Programme.

We are now more involved with the local school and wider community – we have children from P6 coming to the home monthly and some residents have started being pen pals with the class.  The residents just love it. Three primary school volunteers come twice a week after school to help out with whatever activities are going on.  I met other community groups such as Dementia Friendly Portlethen, and I am now on the local committee – which will be great for the care home.  Our new project will be a walking group and there are lots of other ideas.

I have noticed a big difference in some of the residents. CAPA has helped me a lot in my journey as a new activities coordinator.  I love my job and working with all the lovely people I have met through being in the CAPA Programme.