ENRICH Cymru 2019 Conference Report
The first national ENRICH Cymru Conference was held in Bangor on 23 October 2019. The Conference was aimed at people working in or with care homes, researchers wanting to work with care homes and care home residents and their loved ones. It provided an opportunity to connect with care homes and researchers; join the ENRICH network; find out about the latest research in local care homes and to participate in interactive workshops. The Conference was well attended, with 49 delegates drawn from care home staff, social care, members of the public, the NHS and the academic world. Informal feedback from delegates on the day and from the formal evaluation confirmes that the conference was very well received.
Presentations on the day focused around the following topics:
- Oral health research in care homes using a co-design approach (Professor Paul Brocklehurst)
- Developing a non-invasive way of monitoring blood glucose levels in care home residents (Dorte Pamperin, RSP Systems)
- Adding value to life in a care setting through intergenerational practice (Dr Catrin Hedd Jones)
- Identifying support needs of care homes for people with dementia: promoting social interaction among residents through the physical environment (Choo Ying Lau)
- Digitising care plans for the elderly using new hand-held technologies (Evonne Robinson and Anne-Lotte Ricotta, Amber Care Ltd)
There were also three interactive workshops:
- cARTrefu: This workshop provided an introduction to cARTrefu, whcih is the largest participative arts project working in care homes in Europe. There was also a practical exploration of how artists in Wales are using their professions to improve wellbeing for older people living with dementia.
- Social Care Innovation Lab: This workshop developed care home research questions, informed by participants' policy and practice experience. It provided a platform for sharing and exploring ideas together, drawing on the different perspectives in the room. There is an option for participants to remain involved in developing research questions into project ideas and research funding applications.
- Magic Moments: Human beings are storytelling animals and make sense of the world through narrative. Research suggests that people learn best by talking together and stories make the perfect stimulus for this. In this workshop, the thinking behind a storytelling approach to learning and development was outlined and participants were given a simple exercise they could try out in their own care home
Top Tips for Tricky Times
Here is a link to some Top Tips that have been developed through the NIHR network in England for people working in and with care homes during a pandemic. While they draw on evidence, NIHR are aware these may or may not be helpful in real life so they are looking for feedback and suggestions from care homes. If you prefer you can send these to ENRICH Cymru who will pass any feedback on.
Laughter in Care Homes Project
This project, run by Feel Good Communities Community Interest Company, is creating resources for care home staff, residents and visitors using laughter to improve wellbeing. It focuses on the health benefits of laughter and how it can help raise happiness, lower stress and improve wellbeing for people associated with care homes. The resources will be available online to download and as a printed booklet. For updates and if you wish to be involved, contact Robin Graham: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Balanced Lives Programme in Swansea Bay Health Cluster
A charity called Action for Elders has been awarded funding from the Healthy and Active Fund for a project designed to improve the health and wellbeing of care home residents. The holistic wellbeing program "Balanced Lives" will work within five care home communities in the Swansea Bay Health Cluster over the next three years. Designed to improve residents' physical, social and mental wellbeing, it will cater for the needs of residents and local older people by incorporating gentle Tai Chi exercises with a range of meaningful social activities, facilitated by experienced practitioners.
ENRICH Cymru poster comes Highly Commended at HCRW conference
The ENRICH Cymru promotional poster "Developing ENRICH Cymru in Wales: Research collaborations with the care home community" was recognised by Health Care Research Wales at its 2019 Conference, in its "showcasing partnership and collaboration" category. It did not win the overall prize, but was one of two posters highly commended by the judges from over 70 high quality entries. See the poster here: https://www.healthandresearch.gov.wales/news/health-and-care-research-wales-conference-2019-showcasing-partnership-and-collaboration/
Watch this Space:
The Support and Delivery Centre at Health and Care Research Wales https://www.healthandcareresearch.gov.wales/ are developing a ‘Research Aware’ training package, specifically for care homes. Please get in touch for more details/watch this space for further details and to sign up to a course in your area.