We want every resident to live their life in colour at Borough Care. One of the ways we make this possible is through the hard work of our Activity and Lifestyle Facilitators, lovingly known as ALFs.
Our ALFs are responsible for fun! It’s a pretty great job description. And there’s one of them in every Borough Care home.
They make it their mission to get to know each of the residents; finding out their likes and dislikes; their hobbies; their aspirations; and even any ‘pet peeves’. It is all part of their role to develop meaningful relationships and warm, friendly environments around a home. This in turn helps residents to connect with each other and stay independent. It’s also invaluable for our residents living with dementia, with activities designed specifically to create calm and reduce agitation, as well as provoking memories and encouraging communication. Pre-Covid 19, our ALFs would help our residents stay involved in local communities, both by bringing community groups into the home and by organising trips further afield.
ALFs have become even more important to our residents during lockdown. They have had to think on their feet, coming up with innovative and interesting ways to ensure our residents keep on having fun while also staying safe.
We’ve seen events such as the incredible birthday party that Bruce Lodge ALF, Natasha Barton, threw for resident Mary Hicks. We’ve seen heartfelt craft projects, where our ALF from Reinbek, Michelle Spencer, has helped residents create beautiful cards, with keepsake hearts that have been sent to their families. Our ALFs even have the ability to make dreams come true… When one resident said it had been her dream to go to America and meet Elvis, our ALF from Bamford Close, Joanne Morris, did what she could to make this happen… with an American-themed food day; American decorations; Elvis pumping out of the stereo; and an Elvis-themed scrapbook that had lots of our residents reminiscing and sharing stories.
Lindsay Hadfield has been an ALF at Silverdale for the last 10 years. She says, “Nothing gives us ALFs greater pleasure than seeing a resident enjoying themselves because of an activity we have created. Many new residents are concerned that life at a care home is grey and dull, but that couldn’t be further from the truth at Borough Care. Life is bursting with colour here, with lots of opportunity to have fun, through the wide range of activities we organise.”
“The work is so rewarding. It goes way beyond organising a game of bingo, or a singalong in the garden. It is about a holistic approach to our residents’ wellbeing, ensuring they are mentally stimulated, as well as physically stimulated, so that they can get the most out of life every day.”
The work our ALFs do is also massively appreciated by the families of the people living with us. Before the most recent lockdown, we introduced socially-distanced garden visits to reunite loved ones after the long months of lockdown. The first visit at Silverdale involved reuniting a resident with his wife on their 64th anniversary, which you can read more about here. Our ALF, Lindsay, made sure everything was perfect on the day, as James’ daughter Jackie says, “We were apprehensive initially… but it went very well – thanks to the sensitivity and warmth of Lindsay Hadfield, ALF at Silverdale. I nearly broke down when I saw Dad’s carnation buttonhole and top pocket handkerchief neatly folded – he was always immaculately dressed at home and work and it was so lovely to see. The flowers and wine for my Mum were a lovely gesture too. Thank you so much.” Our ALFs think of everything!
If you’d like to find out more about the fantastic work our ALFs do, take a look at our website.