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How our ALFs help our care home residents live life in colour

By February 11, 2022Borough Care News
Borough Care staff member taking care of a care home resident who is sat in a wheelchair.

Activity helps to sustain both physical and mental health, and it’s vital that older people living in care homes are able to maintain their interests and have opportunities to develop new ones. 

Borough Care’s Activity & Lifestyle Facilitators (ALFs) are like social butterflies and event managers, all rolled into one. They get to know each resident and ensure everyone can experience enjoyable moments every day. Whether it’s something as simple as dropping off a resident’s favourite newspaper each morning or joining another for a regular afternoon stroll in the garden or to the local shop. 

A rewarding role that makes a real difference

As an ALF at Borough Care, you can have such a significant and positive impact on someone’s life. On her experience as an ALF at Lisburne Court the amazing Laura said: 

“It’s very rewarding. I like to make a difference for our residents and make them smile. I like to be able to provide a range of activities and see what they can do, and the outcome.”

There’s always a story to be told

Finding out about a resident’s character, interests and life story is the basis of good communication. Being an ALF is a very special role, and can provide amazing opportunities for both staff and our residents. When asked about why he loves his job, Edward, the fantastic ALF in our Wellcroft home, said:

“I got to watch a man, a lifelong musician, standing in Manchester Cathedral in front of an orchestra and choir as they performed a Waltz written for him, about him.”

Build connections with our care home residents

In early 2017 we appointed an ALF in every home to help enrich the social life of the residents. Leigh, our fabulous Cawood House ALF, loves working in the care sector and says: 

“It makes me feel closer to my nana, who is no longer here. She had dementia and she is the reason I decided to start working in a care home. Also, the smiles and the laughter. There’s no feeling like it – we get to have all the fun. Who gets to go work to sing, dance, dress as an elf, paint, have a good natter, play tennis and bowling, make little wishes come true and get to be a part of so many families and have unlimited hugs? I walk out of work every shift with a smile on my face because I’ve made someone smile.”

Help to maintain family relationships

Getting everyone involved, including family and friends, in projects, events and day-to-day activities, is also important. Visitors sometimes tell us it’s hard to find something to talk about or do with their relatives. Prompting long term memories with tools such as memory boxes or nostalgia can often bring about stories to share and ALFs can help visitors enjoy spending time with their loved ones. 

There’s something new every day

When you work in care, something different happens every single day. As an ALF at Borough Care, you could be spending time with a resident one moment and organising an event at the home the next – there’s always something new! Lindsay, our brilliant ALF at Silverdale, had this to say about the variety of different aspects of a job in the care sector: 

“I have been in this role for six years this year and I love the fact that no two days are ever the same. Working with people living with dementia is my passion and I love the fact that a smile, a hug, a favourite piece of music can completely transform a person’s day. Getting to know the person and their likes and interests is such an important part of the role – as is sitting and spending quality one to one time. At Silverdale, we are big on the party life and have many themed days chosen by staff and residents in their monthly meetings.”

Find your perfect job in care

Borough Care, a Real Living Wage Employer, is currently recruiting several ALFs across our Stockport homes. Are you passionate, proactive, motivated, energetic and enthusiastic about helping older people live life in colour? Contact us at recruitment@boroughcare.org.uk to find out more.