Sudden Death and Activity Provision – What’s the link?
My Home Life & NAPA Developing The FaNs Vision

Can we find another word for Activity?

NAPA_training_image2NAPA has debated, discussed and deliberated this question for many years. It forms part of our charities’ name so should be dear to us. However, we know that it doesn’t accurately describe what we are about. We would need a whole host of words to describe our passion for supporting purposeful and meaningful engagement which creates care settings full of life, love and laughter. At the excellent Celebrating Arts in Care Conference this week many came to the conclusion that life for older people should feel like a party every day. I’m not sure that everyone would respond well to a daily party but the feelings that a good party generates should be achievable and an aspiration for all who care. Perhaps we should be the National Party Feeling Providers – not sure how well it would go down with the Charity Commission or society in general!

We tend to use Activity Providers as a generic description for anyone who might engage with an older person. This might be the postman who chats for five minutes every morning in Reception or the Housekeeper who helps a resident to trim and tidy the flowers in a vase. Commonly it is seen to refer to someone who holds a specialist role as the Activity Coordinator but we now have a myriad of other titles as owners and managers try to define the role to suit their care setting. Lifestyle Leaders, Experience Coordinator, Leisure and Well- being are a few that come to mind.

I guess what we really need is for an acceptance across the board that Activity is all about how a person spends their day or better still how they would Napa_training_image3like to spend their day. Every individual will want something different tailored to their needs around health, mobility, frailty etc. We then need to consider their choices around socialising, leisure interests etc. In addition for those with cognitive challenges we need to observe, experiment, talk to families and be reactive to mood and feelings on the day. All this takes a skilled specialist to support the care team whatever their title.

Maybe the day will come when we stop labelling Activity as something separate as it will be so integrated into everyday care that we won’t even need to identify it. We look forward to when that day comes and everyone at NAPA will be happy to find a new name.