Meet our Activities Coordinator, Karen Dillon
Karen Dillon is our Head of Activities and has worked within the home since 2005, starting out as a Carer. Karen is very outgoing and full of fun. She has many hobbies, with arts & crafts being her favourite, and her passion for this can be seen in the activities she arranges.
Karen’s activities team is made up of herself, Magi Bell and Sharon McArthur. Between them, they ensure that residents are happy and have loads of fun.
They are very keen to involve the residents in the decision making within the home to enhance their experience. They take part in the residents' meetings, catering forums and assist the General Manager in interviewing new staff members.
Activities at Balclutha Court
At Balclutha Court our resident’s happiness is extremely important to us. We all know that a large part of this is keeping active and continuing to enjoy your interests and hobbies. At Balclutha Court, we have regular activities including arts and crafts, music, entertainment, trips to local attractions such as canal trips, safari parks and many more. Our activities team are always busy organising events, entertainment and excursions with the broadest possible appeal and many of our residents see living at Balclutha Court as an opportunity to develop a new skill or interest. It is important to us that each individual who we support can get as much from these as possible, so we try our best to arrange activities that reflect their interests and capabilities as best as possible, and encourage them to participate in any way they can. We also encourage relatives to join with activities and events as often as they can.
Life at Balclutha Court Care Home
National Carers Week
Balclutha Court held a day of celebrations to thank care staff at the home, who make a real difference to the lives of those in their care. Staff were treated to delicious chocolates and cupcakes throughout the week to enjoy during their tea breaks.
Alison Dickson General Manager said: “I am very proud of the carers at Balclutha Court in light of the current situation our carers have continued to work tirelessly to provide high quality, personalised care to the people living in our homes, and often go above and beyond the call of duty, which has a huge impact on people’s lives. They offer friendship and comfort to residents and their relatives, during what can be a very emotional time. We appreciate the work they do all year round, and especially in these unprecedented times”.
Birthday celebrations for Resident
Residents from Balclutha Court took part in celebrations as they recognised a fellow Resident, Doreen’s 90th years young. Residents and staff all enjoyed a lovely early summer day in the garden with a cup of tea and birthday cake to celebrate Resident Doreen’s birthday. “What a lovely day to be sat outside and not watching the terrible stuff on T.V”, said one Residents as they raised a cup of tea to the birthday girl.
Residents Enjoy the Sunshine
Residents were eager to take advantage of the great outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and to relax in the homes beautiful grounds to sit back and enjoy a delicious cooling ice-cream. A wonderful time was had by all as they chatted about their favourite memories of seaside holidays and flavours of ice-cream.
Thank You Cards
The team at Balclutha have been recognised for their incredible hard work, flexibility and commitment during this challenging period for everyone. Every member of staff within Barchester have received a special thank you card and rainbow wrist band for their work in being able to continue to put the care of our residents and patients first.
Postcards for Relatives
As residents embrace new technology and keeping in touch with their loved ones via Skype they also been busying with traditional methods and sharing messages with postcards to send to their family and friends, who doesn’t love to receive a postcard!
Residents have also been making use of Skype and FaceTime so that they can video call their relatives – although some still aren’t too sure about the new technology!
General Manager, Alison Dickson said “It is vitally important that we ensure that our residents can remain in contact with their family and friends during this time. New technology is great for this purpose, but of course a good old fashioned letter writing is just as welcome!”
Keeping in Touch
Balclutha Court is helping to tackle any feelings of isolation during this period within their own community. Assistance for residents to use iPads, Skype, Facebook and Facetime is being encouraged and facilitated by care workers as a way to reach out to families, friends and loved ones during these isolating times. Residents have also been writing down their messages to share to their families in the traditional way of putting pen to paper!
Activities Coordinator, Karen Dillon, has encouraged and helped residents to create and then write their messages on to for friends and family to read, this has been heart-warming for the residents, bringing smiles and a sense of comfort to them, knowing their families are safe and well.
We wanted to make it even more personal to the residents' families and have been emailing photographs with personal messages from individual residents to their own individual families. Our residents have thoroughly enjoyed spending one-to-one interaction with the activity team to come up with these personal messages to send to their families.