Activities for service users with learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries
With Spring in the air, we are looking forward to longer days and better weather. However, even in the winter, we have a varied range of activities for our service users. Community participation and presence are two of the key principles that underpin our organisation. We take positive steps to enable service users to integrate into the local community and build culturally-valued relationships, and we do this in a number of ways.
Our care home at 23 Duston Road, Northampton, accommodates ten adults with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries or a dual diagnosis. In addition, service users have complex needs and may present with behaviour that challenges. Here is a brief list of some of the activities that they did, supported by their care workers, in January and February this year.
- Walk into the village centre, visit local shops
- Drive out and walk around garden centre
- Visit local park, café and mini zoo
- Singing in the music room, karaoke at Care with a Difference
- In-house board games and movies
- Trip to the cinema
- Trampolining, swimming, working out at the gym
- Ten-pin bowling, short-mat bowling
- Card making at Headway
- Dancing at the Rock Club disco
- Shopping for clothes and toiletries
- Visiting the library, visiting the museum
- Meals out, pub lunches
- Supported visit to see family in London
Many of these activities anyone would do at a weekend or part of their daily life: they are not particularly unusual. However, for someone who has previously been living in a hospital or institutional setting, they are a big step forward in their quality of life and an important part of their care plan.
For someone with learning disabilities and complex needs, managing their anxiety sufficiently for them go on a shopping trip and enjoy other people’s company has a very positive impact on their well-being. And for someone with an acquired brain injury, just being able to do some of the things that they did before their injury can be an important step. It is part of our focus on ‘normalisation’, enabling our service users to live as close to a normal life as possible and to improve their emotional well-being.
In addition, these activities benefit service users in several different ways:
- Physical activity improves fitness as well as having a positive impact on mental health
- Decision making – we respect each person’s individuality and support them in making their own choices
- Skills development – craft activities improve dexterity and creativity, while developing skills in any area increases confidence
- Reducing anxiety – gradually increasing the range of activities an individual undertakes, while helping them to develop their own awareness and coping strategies, reduces anxiety and improves their quality of life.
For more information about how our services improve the lives of service users with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries and complex needs, see our case studies