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Kymberly 1st Mar 2016

Posted on the Forum

Hi. I'm an activities coordinator & rotate 3 mornings a week spent with different groups of semi-dependent residents. I've developed the activity as being a 'social' morning, when we all sit at a large table set-up, about 15 ppl at most, and have a group discussion. This has helped neighbours develop relationships & hv contact outside their units.
I've tried to arrange something they can do on the mornings their group doesnt have morning tea, but they are missing interaction on the other days without my company. And so residents are coming to each of the 3 mornings. This increases the numbers, its less of an intimate activity, & i actually do the same things on each morning - which they dont seem to mind. Same jokes, same current affairs, same reminiscing topic etc.
I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of a group activity residents can do without my company. My hours are limited but the demand is there for socialization. i dont like asking ppl to leave but its becoming a OH&S issue :)
Solange 1st Mar 2016
Hi Kimberly, it is a shame the group is missing out when you are not there. My suggestion is to find a volunteer who would be willing to watch what you do a couple of times and then form a group of her own. Having a leader is really important for cohesion and harmony. Advertise in your newsletter for a volunteer or place a request on a community board of a church for the days you are not available. Best wishes and good luck!
Kymberly 9th Mar 2016
What activities are volunteers legally able to do unsupervised? Its become so difficult to let residents participate in their own mornings without breaching some oh&s rule. I havent been allowed to designate tasks involved in activities with my attendance let alone leaving them with volunteers
Solange 12th Mar 2016
Hi, the rules may have changes. In my experience adult volunteers are an essential part of care facilities. After being trained and supervised for a couple of weeks, volunteers are perfectly capable of leading a small group of people. E.g.: a table of three or four people for table games and reminiscing, or a larger group for quizzes, riddles, drawing, crosswords, and one-on-one as a companion for a lonely client: reading papers and poems, hand massage, assisting with the caring of an animal or plant. However, the rules and regulations may differ from one facility to another. Best wishes.
Kymberly 23rd Mar 2016
Is hand massage something I can do without specific qualifications - i hv a cert 4 in health & leisure.
Josephine 2nd Apr 2016
Hi Kimberley, just on the query of volunteers. As long as their police check comes through clean & an agreement signed, a hand book given of expectations, then they are able to be left alone with Elders. This was recently reconfirmed with an unannounced visit by the Quality Agency (I am in Melbourne). Training and being clear of what you seek, I go through orientation with the volunteer - I usually find out what a volunteer is good at and go from there. I will supervise the volunteer and give tips on how to handle a situation for a few weeks, then once they feel confident in undertaking the activity by themselves, I ensure that I assist setting everything up for them and do not leave alot of people with them. e.g. We recently commenced a book reading club and this has no more than 8 people there of high functioning Elders - our volunteer is great, she selects short stories of books that is sourced from the local library or an autobiography of interest in relation to Elders background - this leaves me to then undertake an activity with a different group of Elders.

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