Education & Training:
Building & Amenities:
A typical day in the life of... Liz Black
LIZ BLACK, an activities co-ordinator at Frances Hodgkins Retirement Village in Dunedin, shares a typical day at work.
I have worked as an activities coordinator for rest-home-level care at Frances Hodgkins Retirement Village in Dunedin for 17 years. Over this time, I have gained great experience in putting together an interesting and diverse programme, catering for the needs of residents on an individual and at a group level.
Ongoing training is offered with activities seminars held annually for Ryman Healthcare staff and monthly meetings and in-service training at our village.
A day in my life at work consists firstly of organising and ensuring I have everything in place to carry out an effective programme. Communication with others on duty including the nurse manager, activities and care staff and the chef are all important so that the day runs well and maximises resident participation.
I start the programme each day with a half-hour newspaper-reading session, thus giving residents local and world news as well as informing them on what is organised for the day.
Mornings include a ‘triple A functional fitness’ exercise session, encouraging fitness and strength at a safe level. They are 30 minutes long and are held twice a week. Other physical activities include bowls, boccia, petanque and walks outside. Floral appreciation, gardening, baking and craft are scheduled during the month as well as quiz sessions and team quizzes.
Spiritual needs are met by organising weekly church services covering five different denominations; ministers also visit individual residents by appointment.
The Public Library offers a fabulous service, choosing books to satisfy the individual needs of residents. I issue these books weekly and also oversee a book group, which is run by two wonderful ladies who come to the village every month to share books and interesting topics on travel, art, gardens and movies with the residents.
Van outings are very popular and at least two are on offer each week. We go to many destinations and all residents are given the opportunity to go out. Scenic outings to various locations are organised as well as meal outings to hotels, fish and chip lunches, shopping trips, visits to gardens and private homes, and picnic teas to watch cruise ships leaving the harbour. Short outings in the car are also available.
Entertainment takes place once or twice every week and the bookings are generally made at the beginning of the year. There is wonderful variety including piano, classical, country and western, easy listening, sing-a-long, school choirs, dance groups, preschools, multicultural groups and drama. The entertainment brings added diversity to the programme and is very uplifting, making people happy and creating a lovely atmosphere around the rest home.
We have several larger functions during the year with village barbeques, a family fun day, birthday celebrations, mid-winter solstice, Christmas parties and larger entertainment events.
To add to the organisation and implementation of the activities programme, there is also time spent on documentation, recording, creating care plans and ongoing evaluations.
I aim to encourage a good level of independence for residents within a safe environment, always looking to their individual needs and wishes.
It is busy, with never a dull moment, but it is a very satisfying job that I love.
Note: your email address will not be displayed