Weight gain & resident engagement - Acorn Lodge case study

We spoke to Tatiana Kovaleva at Acorn Lodge, a specialist learning disability care home, to understand the impact the Happiness Programme has had on their residents.

Can you give us a quick introduction to Acorn Lodge?

Yes – we cater for a wide variety of care needs with residents ranging from their early 20s to mid 70s. We have a real range of profiles – some of our residents are capable of more complex physical and cognitive activities, whereas others are more limited in capability.

What have been your experiences since starting the Happiness Programme?

We use it at least 4 times a week with typical sessions lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It’s been hugely successful in offering a meaningful form of activity across the home, but especially for those less capable of participating in other activities.

It’s a physical activity and the range of games and content we have access to means there’s something to suit everyone. For those more physically and cognitively able, the cognitive games are great, such as Quiz, Finish that Phrase, Word Search and Snakes and Ladders. For others, the sensory and music-based games are more appropriate and work well.

At the end of the day, it’s enabled us to totally personalise the activity to the person we’re working with at that moment.

Can you tell us about any resident experiences?

We have one bed-bound lady who’s been with us many years. She’s unable to move and doesn’t really express any emotion.

We started using the magic table 360 on the ceiling and she started re-engaging. This had an incredible effect – for the lady herself and her care staff who were delighted to see an activity that she connected with.

We also have a couple of residents that struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Since using the magic table 360 we’ve seen those residents eating and drinking better at mealtimes. It’s been fantastic to see.

In a nutshell, it’s had a huge positive impact across every area of the home.

Has there been an impact on the staff?

Yes, there’s a satisfaction in seeing the results of these interactive activities. The staff have really benefited. It’s fun to use and it keeps the residents happy. This in turn reduces behaviour that challenges staff and develops a good atmosphere in the home.

It’s nice for the staff to have an activity on hand that everyone wants to participate in.

Not a member of the happiness programme?

The Happiness Programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. We use interactive light technology to provide meaningful activities for residents and patients in care homes and care settings.  For more detail on what the Happiness Programme is and how it’s helping care venues across the UK, visit our getting started page.

Alternatively, jump to our dementialearning disability, rehabilitation and NHS pages for more specific detail on how it’s helping care homes like Barchester and HC-One as well as hospitals and local authorities such as St George’s Hospital, London and Westminster and South Kensington Council.

For anything else, you can contact us here too.

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