As a matter of course we arrange that each of our homes have a monthly house meeting where all of the Service Users and the staff come together and plan group outings for the coming month as well as provide the opportunity for some open discussions with the service users. One of the biggest discussions leading up to the summer is the topic of where the Service Users want to go for their summer holiday. They are actively encouraged to give us some ideas on what they would like to do and sometimes they help with the research as well. Now…at this time of the year, the house meeting gets really exciting! The Service Users get to decide what they would like to do when they are actually on the holiday – a bit of journey and day trip planning.
House meetings are held every month at each home as a way of enabling discussions about things relevant to the Service Users as a group or community. It is an opportune time when they can let us know what they think about living in our home(s) – giving them ample chance to promote their independence, choice and control. House meetings are also a forum for making decisions and the Service Users vote collectively on things and what affects them as a community.
The kinds of topics that are discussed are as follows:
- Exercise – ways to include exercise in daily group activities such as walks and sport (usually group trips to the gym or swimming pool). Activities and exercise that are more individual-based (such as horse riding) would be included in a Service User’s care plan unless a group of Service Users decided that they all wanted to go to the stable (for example)
- Information – Service Users are updated with relevant information about the Home (e.g. any new Service Users moving in; work being carried out on the grounds or communal areas; etc).
- Policies – a policy affecting the Service User is picked for the Service Users to discuss. Staff will explain why the policy is in place and what it is for – e.g. infection control or open house visiting policies. This provides the Service User with a chance to suggest a policy to be added.
- Quiz and Theme nights – Service Users discuss and plan evening-in house activities together.
- Health Issues – information is relayed about common general health conditions. This might be about education, prevention or management of conditions like diabetes, epilepsy and cholesterol. It might be linked to involving Service User’s in healthy choice menus for example and linking it to lifestyle.
- Activities Internal / External – where shared activities are planned – such as bringing in a new therapist if for example “drama” was popular. The Service User may decide that they want a drama activity in the Home just for residents; or that they wanted to join a community session held at the Theatre.
- Food and Drink – every aspiration in terms of trying new things is encouraged even if it’s a weekly hog roast (However the hog roast might be on the “wish list”!)
- “Wish Listing” – Service Users are encouraged to talk about their likes; dislikes and what they would like to add to their “wish list”. We encourage balance – for example if people did not enjoy salmon because it was too fishy they might decide to try a white fish so as not to eliminate the fish totally from a diet. (Recipes and menus are talked about)
- Shopping – Service Users talk about who would like to go shopping. Some Service Users go on daily shops as a daily living activity, but some people hate it. If it is personal shopping service users would be encouraged to make the decision individually as opposed to an item that they may want that could be included in a weekly shop
- Holidays – planning on the types of holidays the Service Users likes and/or dislike and of course when the time of year is right – they plan where they want to go and what they would like to do when they get there.
- Sport – discussing the kinds of sport that the Service Users enjoy or don’t enjoy and then planning communal sport activities
If you would like to learn more about how our Service User experience, please contact Sian, Diane, Bill or Louise on 01604 791 772 and they would be pleased to give you a personal tour or chat more to you about our services.