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Morgan 17th Feb 2018 Activity Director
Hi everyone, I am running into a problem and myself and the others in the admin team are not sure where to go next. We have a separate unit for our residents who have advanced dementia. There are usually about 7-10 residents back there depending on the current census. We do not have the staff to have someone from activities back there constantly, and we tried it in the past with not great results.

The care staff back there have more than enough time to engage the residents but they don't. They talk to each other instead and use it as a social time. It is listed in their job descriptions to facilitate activities and engage residents, and they have also had several reminders and check ups from me but still they do not do activities back there. They have many activity options for them for all levels of ability, but they do not utilize them.

We are at a stand still and are looking for any advice. Thank you!
Solange 19th Feb 2018 Diversional Therapist
Hi Morgan, how sad that care staff has so little consideration for the residents. I would take the problem a step further by mentioning it at a general staff meeting. You have done what you could and perhaps it is now time for management to deal with it. I hope the problem is solved soon. Thank you for sharing; I am sure you are not the only one or the first one having this problem. All the best.
michelle 20th Feb 2018
You might have to do a few activities involving the care staff so they feel confident to do it themselves. Hopefully management will be helpful in facilitating that. You could always play the ''experience'' card, because by them helping out with activities, it will look good on their CV for when they want another job someday...
Madalena 20th Feb 2018 Activity Coordinator
Hi Morgan i have that problem myself where I work and management his now aware of the situation. Waiting for things to change hopefully. I hope things change too in your facility.
Kim 20th Feb 2018 Registered Nurse
Your term " back there" puzzles me ,sounds like they are in a back room. Anyway, have you considered involving them with your mainstream residents , you may be surprised as to how they will fit in. As for your staff, if it is a documented duty then maybe some sort of disciplinary action could be implemented. By not providing activities to those residents your facility could be non compliant to the Govt. guidelines. This could lead to more serious problems. Discussing the situation again with your staff maybe a solution but maybe that time has passed. Good luck ,but remember the wellbeing of those residents is at stake.
Jennifer 20th Feb 2018
Hi Morgan, Yes it is often difficult to get all staff on board when it comes to dementia care. We had an onsite virtual dementia tour (Look up Second Wind Dreams online) which was helpful in educating staff and gave everyone something to think about. I agree management needs to intercede and remind care staff of their job descriptions. Perhaps care staff with more empathy and training can be rostered to work in this unit - just a thought!
Alison 20th Feb 2018
I agree with Michelle. It’s often down to encouraging staff and showing them how to do things but in a way that they feel they are not being patronised. However, I know without good staff-we don’t have a facility,but it’s not all about the staff, the well-being of the residents is key and should be the main focus. If staff experience how rewarding it is it will empower them to do more. Upskilling staff should be at the forefront but if it’s more like a social catch up after you try additional options then maybe time for some new staff!! Good luck
Renee 21st Feb 2018
Agree with many other posters. Sounds like you need to have some time to train your staff on how to facilitate activities, teach them about the activities, etc. Or it sounds like your facility really needs to hire a seperate person to facilitate the activities since obviously you can't be in two places at once.
Opal 21st Feb 2018 Lifestyle Co-Or
Hi Morgan, I too have uncounted staff from other teams, besides activities, not wanting to interact with residents outside of care. It can be tricky to get them to join in. One approach I have used is to make it non-stress for the carer, such as when the activity team is in the room ask some of the carers to help out with something very simple eg. painting. The aim is for the carer to have fun and relax and to see that the resident is having fun and behaviours are reduced. It can be a bit of extra work but hopefully the payoff is worth it. Also some people see that sitting and talking with residents is not actual work so I reassure them that it is the most important job of all. Good luck hope it work out for you.

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