We spoke to activities team member Chris Jackson who works at Admiral’s Reach, a HC-One care home based in Chelmsford. We wanted to know the impact the Happiness Programme was having on residents and how the activities team had got on introducing the technology into their activities schedule.
Q. Chris, can you tell us a bit about Admiral’s Reach and your residents?
“Yes – we’re a large care home with 158 beds, specialising in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. I’m part of a team of 4 that run the activities provision. We were very fortunate to start the Happiness Programme back in October 2021 with the help of Mid-Essex CCG.
Having it over the winter was brilliant and proved so popular, we actually had a second magic table 360 arrive in February 2022″.
Q. Can you tell us about how you’re using the Happiness Programme?
“We use it in a huge variety of ways and it’s used, as a minimum, every other day for several hours at a time.
Our group sessions are incredibly popular. The activities and care staff regularly see its ability to engage residents and it really does encourage them to come out of their shells. We have one resident in particular who often walks with a purpose; a common symptom of someone living with dementia. This can lead to extreme tiredness and increase the likelihood of falls. Once we introduced the magic table 360, we had the resident sat down comfortably and playing games. It was a huge success for that resident.
We have a lot of residents who feel calmer from playing the games – especially the sensory, music and memory-based games. The staff all agree it’s helping to reduce distress and make our residents feel happier.
We’ve also seen how it can jog memories and spark conversation – the word games are great for this, so too the painting games. Word and place association often sparks all sorts of memories that we can then talk about with the residents.”
Q. And lastly, how have you adopted the Happiness Programme into your activities programme?
“It’s flexible. We find it really useful for people being offered palliative care; it’s so easy to move around that it’s great for moving between people’s individual rooms and the ability to project on to walls and ceilings is fantastic for those with limited mobility.
That said, we could dedicate a projector to this alone and hence having a second projector is great; allowing us to structure group sessions and be reactive to resident needs at any given time.
We’ve found there’s a game to suit every resident in almost every situation so it’s really easy to use.”
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 dementia, learning 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.