Cooperation with the local community

This digital article based on Swedish conditions is computer translated. Hopefully we can inspire people from other countries.

Cooperation with the local community can add a golden edge to life in the nursing home. An example is the TV series "Fyraåringarna på sledreboendet" which showed with desirable clarity that the elderly became engaged and active. There are nursing homes that work with a special profile, have volunteers who come regularly, sponsors who arrange tickets for hockey and theater or a friend association that contributes in various ways to the well-being of the residents of the nursing home.

Foto-Knud-Nielsen-Mostphotos-webb

The Value of Collaboration with the Local Community


Collaboration with the local community is of significant importance for a senior care facility and can offer valuable benefits for both residents and staff. Here are some reasons why this is important:
Increased Social Interaction: By collaborating with the local community, residents have the opportunity to interact with people outside the walls of the senior care facility. This can reduce the risk of social isolation and depression and promote positive social relationships.

Variety and Activities: By partnering with local organizations and businesses, the senior care facility can offer a wider variety of activities and events for residents. This can include cultural events, outings, or workshops that provide meaningful engagement.

Cultural and Intellectual Enrichment: The local community can provide access to cultural and intellectual resources such as libraries, theaters, and art galleries. This allows residents to continue learning and engage culturally.

Support and Services: Through collaboration with local service providers, the senior care facility can offer practical support and services to residents, such as healthcare, hairdressing, beauty treatments, or physiotherapy.

Inclusion and Participation: By participating in community activities and events, residents can feel more included in the broader society. This can increase their sense of participation and independence.

Support for Staff: Staff at the senior care facility can also benefit from collaborating with the local community. It can provide them with the opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge with other caregivers and organizations, as well as offer educational opportunities.

Strengthened Community Bonds: By being part of the local community, the senior care facility can strengthen its community bonds and build positive relationships. This can create a supportive environment for both residents and staff.

In conclusion, collaboration with the local community promotes an integrated and enriching lifestyle for senior care facility residents and enhances community cohesion while providing resources and support for staff. It's a win-win situation that can improve the quality of life and well-being for all parties involved.

The TV series "Four-Year-Olds at the Senior Care Facility," where a preschool regularly visits the residents at a senior care facility, demonstrates the qualities that collaboration with the local community can bring.

Volunteers


Volunteers can help add value through activities and support. Volunteers, also known as volunteers or those who work voluntarily, come in various forms. Many people volunteer in different contexts. By doing something meaningful and contributing to a better world, life feels more fulfilling. There are plenty of tasks where outsiders can contribute to adding joy to life.
Collaboration with volunteers can significantly improve the quality of care at the senior care facility in many ways:

Increased Social Interaction: Volunteers can provide companionship and social interaction for residents, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Variety of Activities: Volunteers can contribute different skills and interests, opening up a wider range of activities and events at the senior care facility.

Personal Attention: By providing one-on-one attention and support to residents, volunteers can help meet individual needs and preferences.

Support for Staff: Volunteers can assist staff by handling simpler tasks and tasks that do not require medical expertise, freeing up time for more complex care.

Enriching Experiences: Interaction with volunteers gives residents the opportunity to share experiences and create meaningful memories, promoting their mental and emotional well-being.

Additional Resources: Volunteers can provide resources in the form of time, knowledge, and commitment without increasing the costs of the senior care facility.

Strengthened Community Connections: By collaborating with volunteers, the senior care facility strengthens its ties to the local community and builds positive relationships that benefit both residents and the organization as a whole.

Collaboration with volunteers is a valuable resource that can enhance the quality of life and care for the elderly at the facility. It creates a positive and supportive environment where residents feel seen, appreciated, and well-cared for. Some facilities have partnerships with organizations like the Red Cross or others. There are many tasks for volunteers, such as visiting lonely elderly individuals, taking people out, reading newspapers, books, singing, or painting together, which brings life and activity.

A group that could make valuable contributions is younger retirees. For those without close relatives in the vicinity, assistance with clothing shopping can be valuable. For those who are often alone, having someone visit occasionally to talk about the past can be highly valuable.

It's possible to establish collaborations with the Red Cross, City Mission, or local pensioner organizations to create an exchange. Some municipalities provide volunteer coordinators, while others may fund youth positions during the summer, which can add joy to life.

Profiled Senior Care Facilities - Customized Environments for Different Interests and Needs


Profiled senior care facilities are becoming more common. Embracing one's strengths and making something positive out of them creates clarity for the elderly when they are moving to a senior care facility. Some care providers make profiling their signature. Most senior care facilities have strengths and advantages, but not all take the opportunity to profile themselves.
Many facilities design a specific focus based on the unique characteristics of that particular facility. There are language-specific facilities for Finnish, Persian, Spanish, or Arabic-speaking residents. There are also facilities specializing in spa, gym, culture, dance, music, a hotel-like atmosphere, existential questions, and more. All senior care facilities can profile themselves by formulating a care guarantee in one or more areas.

Profiled senior care facilities have become increasingly popular in elderly care and offer tailored care environments for the elderly with specific interests and needs. These facilities aim to create a meaningful and rewarding lifestyle for the elderly by focusing on various themes such as culture, sports, or nature. Here are some examples of profiled senior care facilities and how they adapt their activities and environments to suit the residents' preferences:

Cultural Profiled Senior Care Facilities:


Activities: These facilities may include art and craft workshops, music lessons, book clubs, and visits to cultural events such as theater performances and art exhibitions.
Environment: The interior is often decorated with artwork and musical instruments to promote creativity and cultural engagement. There may also be a library with a wide range of books.

Sports-Oriented Profiled Senior Care Facilities:


Activities: Physical activity is prioritized here with group exercise, walking clubs, swimming, and other sports-related activities.
Environment: The facility may be equipped with a gym, swimming pools, and access to sports facilities. The outdoor environment often includes gardens and walking paths for exercise.

Nature-Oriented Profiled Senior Care Facilities:


Activities: These facilities focus on outdoor activities such as gardening, birdwatching, hiking, and outings to scenic locations.
Environment: The living environment is often surrounded by nature, with green gardens and pathways. There may be greenhouses and bird feeding stations to attract nature enthusiasts.
Profiled senior care facilities also make an effort to tailor the competence and training of their staff to the interests of the residents. This means that staff can plan and participate in activities relevant to the chosen theme, creating an engaged and participatory atmosphere.

For the elderly, profiled senior care facilities mean they can live in an environment that promotes their personal interests and needs. This usually leads to an improved quality of life and well-being because the elderly can continue to engage in what they love and interact with like-minded individuals. Profiled senior care facilities demonstrate how elderly care can be both individualized and enriching for the elderly residents.

In some cases, senior care facilities are co-located with shopping centers or swimming pools, which become part of the profile. Others focus on environmental profiles, organic food, nature, or health. Many senior care facilities receive regular visits from therapy and support dogs. Some have aquariums, cats, and chickens.

Where there is competition for placements, the market pushes for profiling. There is nothing preventing a facility from profiling itself without market pressure. Natural conditions may exist that, if utilized, can improve the quality of the operation and the pride of those who work there.

Sponsors


Some senior care facilities can be quite dull. I'll tell you about a senior care facility in a medium-sized Swedish city. The property owner visited one day and found the premises to be dull. He owned an art collection and suggested to the facility manager that they display art on the walls of the senior care facility. One thing led to another, and a collaboration developed. Now, the senior care facility regularly receives new art, and they receive sponsor tickets to hockey games and theater performances, allowing the residents of the facility to go out and enjoy the community outside the facility regularly.
One way to broaden the possibilities for activities and beauty experiences is through sponsorship. It could be the property owner, a friends' association, or another organization in the local community that can contribute to adding joy to the facility's operations. There are many people in our country who want to contribute to improving care on a voluntary basis without personal gain.

Other senior care facilities have friends' associations that organize parties, and yet others have collaborations with nearby daycare centers that come and perform activities like a Lucia procession. It's possible to allow volunteers to come into the senior care facility and contribute to developing activities, decorations, or other elements that make the facility more pleasant and lively.

Events and Activities:
Sponsors can finance events such as music concerts, theater performances, dance performances, and themed days. This gives the elderly the opportunity to enjoy cultural and entertaining activities without leaving the facility. It creates a lively atmosphere and gives them something to look forward to.

Excursions and Travel:
Sponsors can contribute funds for outings to parks, museums, or other interesting places. Excursions give the elderly a chance to discover new places and relive old memories. It also promotes social interaction and increased mobility.

Art and Design:
Sponsors can donate artwork, decorative items, or contribute to the redesign of common spaces. Art and design can beautify the living environment and create a more aesthetically pleasing place. It can also serve as conversation topics and inspiration.

Technological Resources:
Sponsors can invest in technology such as tablets, computers, or virtual reality equipment. Technological resources can provide the elderly with access to digital activities, learning, and communication with their loved ones.

Gardens and Outdoor Spaces:
Sponsors can help create and maintain gardens and outdoor areas. Natural spaces promote physical activity, relaxation, and contact with nature, which is especially important for the well-being of the elderly.

Sponsors who invest in elderly care not only provide financial support but also contribute to improved quality of life and a more dynamic living environment. Their efforts can create a meaningful and stimulating life for the elderly and allow them to continue enjoying the small and large joys of life. This collaboration between sponsors and senior care facilities is a winning combination that enhances the lives of our older generations.

Living Library


Living libraries have become a popular offering in some parts of the country. Often, it involves a person who has experienced a serious illness sharing their experiences of healthcare and treatment. Variations of this concept are possible. Many of our elderly have life experiences that can benefit others.
Those who have experience as patients or as caregivers can contribute significantly to the development of healthcare. Living libraries consist of people of different ages, backgrounds, and competencies. These individuals represent a specific disease group or are caregivers. The common denominator is that they want to contribute their experiences of healthcare. They can participate in projects, development work, development days, workshops, introductory training, and conferences.

This gives the average person the opportunity to access various stories and learn from them. Having people who share and provide advice based on their own experiences of illness or disability offers a quality that traditional healthcare cannot provide.

Reflection - Collaboration with the Local Community
Care staff:
• How do you view volunteers who come to the facility?
• What do you do in your unit to leverage your strengths?
• Is there expertise in the staff group that is underutilized?

Manager, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, and Physiotherapist:
• Do you ensure that volunteers are welcome if they come forward to contribute?
• Have you conducted any analysis on how you could profile your facility?
• Is there any forum where relatives have influence in the development of your facility?
• Does your senior care facility have sponsors or a friends' association?

Resident and Family Member:
• Do you have people in your network who could and would like to volunteer?
• Do you believe that the senior care facility has any specific advantages that they should promote more strongly?
• Are you invited to contribute to the development of the senior care facility?

Erland Olsson
Head nurse
Sofrosyne
Better care every day

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