A Grand Day Out

Profile: Oaklea, 26th Sep, 2017

Facing a lack of social activities for our customers the Carlisle Homecare Team took on the challenge of providing our own group to support new and existing customer alike!

Everyone needs a change of scenery sometimes, but preparation is the key to a good day out, and never more so when one of your party is elderly. Physical health, for example, can play a part in someone’s ability, and confidence, even to leave their home, and they may need encouragement and reassurance just to consider it.

A day out can be a wonderful way to spend quality time together, and importantly it can be beneficial to their wellbeing –getting out and about can help improve sleep and appetite, and provide valuable exercise, while emotionally it can reduce stress and anxiety and lift spirits.

With this in mind our dedicated team based in Carlisle identified a lack of well-planned social activities available and accessible for our homecare customers.

Karen brought her idea to a team meeting and before they knew it the whole Carlisle team were agreeing they would try and arrange not just one day out for their customers to enjoy; but a lasting group that involved meeting socially with others.

The team put their pitch to ‘Oaklea does Dragons Den’ at the Employee Conference 2016. The panel of Dragons saw the potential to improve the lives of our customers and awarded them £500. Whist a great result £500, although it was the maximum grant from the Dragons, was literally not going to get them far!

So with a little help from the Exec team a much larger grant was successfully applied for and the ‘Golden Moments’ group was created! A huge team effort in getting this idea off the ground now had to convince our customers they would be supported on a well planned trip; to meet new people; enjoy good company and go somewhere new – or at least somewhere they hadn’t been in a while!

So the time came for the first outing to be organised; a trip to Dobbies Garden centre what could be simpler!

Christine didn’t want to go at first and got all worried about going. The community minibus was hired and Christine said “I can’t get on that” but with a little support she managed and was pleased with herself. Robert enjoyed being useful and helped others by pushing Christine in her wheelchair; as she shouted “tally hoe!”

Afternoon tea was enjoyed; one of the customers, Barbara, linked up with John and was encouraging John to eat and they had a great conversation throughout lunch.

David bought a hoe and 2 heathers. He was marching with the hoe like a sergeant major keeping the group in order and everyone was following him!

Michael took himself off for a wander and was found snoozing in one of the furniture displays but his wife loved it too saying

“it was nice to get out and not have to do the food shopping. It was nice for someone to pour me a cup of tea and make me something to eat for a change.”

This first trip was very successful; more regular outings are already planned for the Golden Moments Group and two of our customers have also offered to host afternoon teas in their own gardens!

The ultimate achievement can be summed up by Ann who said

“Put my name down for another one!”

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