Family support groups are one of the best ways to stay connected with a resident’s family and ensure that they too feel supported. The more a family feels that a care home is an open, welcoming place, the more they are likely to be able to support and help out, and they can be a vital source of volunteering, resources and fundraising help.
- Pick a set day and time each month. If the first one doesn’t work, change the day or time until you settle on something that suits the most people.
- Advertise and mention it to everyone in plenty of advance, and if you have a care home newsletter, add it to that
- Have a set agenda – news about the care home, develops and changes, activity plans for the coming month so they know what their loved ones are up to, opportunities to help out or assist and so on
- Invite a speaker or charity representative in each time – someone from Alzheimer’s Society, Citizens Advice Bureau, Dementia UK, The Daily Sparkle – anyone who might be able to share a little expertise, talk on a specific topic or answer questions
- Have a time for feedback and questions, and a box for anonymous comments or suggestions if they want to add those
- Encourage the care home manager to be there – just to chat and mingle with families and thank them for their support
- Offer refreshments, tea and coffee, cakes and biscuits
- Announce the date for the next meeting at the end of the current one, so everyone is reminded to come again
All this information and so much more vital and essential content is in our soon-to-be-published Activity Coordinator’s Companion, which will be available to purchase in our Shop.