Practice to make a difference.

Activities for Older People in Care Homes: A Handbook for Successful Activity Planning

When tasked with providing activities for older people in care homes, it can be difficult to know where to begin. What constitutes an activity? How can you make sure activities are as positive and person-centred as possible? What can you actually do? Written by an experienced activity coordinator, this handbook is an indispensable companion for others in this role.

The author provides useful background information on dementia, the importance of activities and how to get to know residents through life story work. She addresses important practical considerations such as how to assess a resident for suitable activities, activity planning, timetabling, budgeting and money-stretching, as well as more subtle issues such as how to enthuse residents and staff to join in and how to deal with resistance from colleagues. An A-Z of inventive ideas and step-by-step instructions for activities as wide-ranging as arts and crafts, cooking, exercise, gardening, meditation, music, reminiscence, themed days and trips out is also included.

Offering peer-to-peer advice and encouragement as well as a wealth of practical ideas and suggestions, this is essential reading for all those involved in activity planning for older people, including those with dementia, in care homes.


  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I: The Importance of Activities and How to Get Started
  • 1. Dementia: The Basics
  • 2. What Are Activities For?
  • 3. Getting to Know Your Audience
  • 4. How to Assess a Resident for Activities
  • 5. Life Stories
  • 6. Care Planning Activity
  • 7. The Value of Timetables
  • 8. Getting People to Join In
  • 9. Recording What You've Done
  • 10. Sensory Activity
  • 11. Environment and Reality Orientation
  • 12. Using Activity to ''Solve Problems
  • 13. Assessing the Risks
  • 14. Budgeting and Money Stretching
  • 15. Trouble
  • Part II: But What Can I Actually Do?
  • Art; Books; Cooking; Crafts; Daily Living; Exercise; Games; Gardening; Knitting; Linking with the Community; Music; Reminiscence; Rummage; Sensory; Spiritual; Theme Days; Trips Out;
  • Afterword; Resources; References; Index.

Author Bio:

Sarah Crockett is a day care officer in a county council day care centre. She was previously a care assistant and activities coordinator at a care home in Gloucestershire. In 2008 she reached the finals of Barchester Health Care's Activity Provider of the Year Award, and in 2010 she won the National Association of Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA) Activity Award. In 2009 she qualified as one of the first dementia link workers (DLW) in the UK. She lives in Gloucestershire, UK.


The realistic and highly practical emphasis of the book and the way it is written in a very user-friendly style, means that everyone working in residential Care Homes would find this book an invaluable tool for their work... This book could comfortably replace endless shelves of notes on activities and is of course much more portable and compact than file pages... this book is a really excellent tool for every Care Home for Older People and is highly recommended to all those who are building a person-centered approach to dementia care.

Activities for Older People in Care Homes: A Handbook for Successful Activity Planning

Author: Sarah Crockett

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