It's Diversional and Recreation Therapy Week in Australia (14-20 February), which means it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge the importance of creating opportunities for older people to identify what brings purpose to their lives.
Why is Leisure & Lifestyle important?
At Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT), we have a fabulous team of over 100 people whose primary role is to support and enhance our residents' psychological, spiritual, social, emotional and physical well-being through engagement and purposeful living programs.
Our Leisure & Lifestyle teams consist of Diversional Therapists, Leisure & Lifestyle coordinators and Leisure & Lifestyle Officers who have the knowledge and skills to create tailored programs and activities that meet the residents' identified preferences, needs and wants. This approach can reduce depression, falls, responsive behaviours and boredom, along with positive outcomes such as increased enjoyment, satisfaction, happiness, and overall well-being.
We want to thank and acknowledge this amazing team. Their passion and drive to create engaging programs and activities make a big difference in bringing joy and fulfillment to our residents.
As a person-centred practice, Diversional Therapy recognises that leisure and recreational experiences are a right of all individuals.
Diversional Therapists, who have degrees in health sciences, create the spaces and opportunities for individuals to participate in activities that promote self-esteem and personal fulfillment. They facilitate individual resident choice, decision-making, and participation when developing and managing leisure-based programs.
Each individual's preferences, needs, and wants drive the day-to-day activities and programs, which is why Diversional Therapists are well versed in getting to know people and documenting and measuring engagement.
"We have started using a set of tools to measure and document resident engagement, including a personalised 1:1 monitoring tool, and an analysis tool for cross-referencing the monthly activity calendar with individual needs and preferences. This analysis informs the need for changes and improvements in the leisure and engagement program," says Jacqueline Quirke, Engagement and Purposeful Living Manager at SCC.
Leisure & Lifestyle Staff
Leisure & Lifestyle staff are generally qualified in leisure and health. They work across all our Residential Aged Care homes to create activities that support resident engagement on an individual basis and in large and small groups. By offering a combination of options rather than focusing on the calendar of activities, and including access to both indoor and outdoor spaces, residents can choose to get involved in activities that suit them, when it suits them. Other examples of this include sensory gardens, personalised activity kits and activity stations available to residents 24/7.
Check out some of the great activities residents do with the support of our amazing Leisure & Lifestyle team!