Learning opportunities for older people receiving care


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This presentation was part of the learn and share events held across the country in March, 2014.

The presentation was by Learning for the Fourth Age and looks at the benefits of learning for people in care.

Find out more about the Volunteering in Care Homes project: http://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/volunteering/volunteering-in-care-homes

Find out more about NCVO's work on volunteering: http://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering

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Learning opportunities for older people receiving care

  1. 1. Learning opportunities for older people receiving care
  2. 2. Older people and demographic change • Over the last century, average life expectancy has increased by thirty years • This trend is set to continue • By 2026 the number of people aged 85+ will double and the number aged 100+ will quadruple • Adults aged 80+ are the fastest growing age group • In 20 years time it is expected that over 1.7 million more adults will have a need for some form of care or support.
  3. 3. Older people and care settings • The Campaign to End Loneliness (2012): Loneliness has an equivalent impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. • An R&R report (2010) showed that 20% of older people in care homes receive no visits, letters or phone calls.
  4. 4. “Recreation, social and community activities and personal development are essential to quality of life for people of all ages and the benefits to the health and well being among older people, even in advanced frailty, have been demonstrated. However, studies suggest that almost 50 per cent of care home residents’ time is spent asleep, socially withdrawn or inactive, with only 3 per cent spent on constructive activity.” Help The Aged (2006) My Home Life: quality of life in care homes
  5. 5. Benefits of learning for people in care •Greater levels of engagement/ communication with others •Development of stronger relationships between carers and those being cared for •Development of new skills •Improved levels of motivation to participate in day-to-day activities •Greater enjoyment of life •Improved confidence, self esteem and sense of well-being •Better physical and mental health •Increased mobility/motor skills •Lower levels of depression •Lessening of incontinence •Less dependence on medication •Faster recovery rates •Better ability to manage pain and illness •Increased levels of resilience and ability to cope •Maintenance/improvement of attention, communications and memory skills •Reduced dependency on others •Reduced isolation
  6. 6. Other groups who benefit Care staff Family and friends Organisations “Learning in care settings is one of the most effective quality of life sustaining 'vaccinations' against socio-health deterioration in care settings. It is a means for people to remain in the mainstream of everyday life and its challenges.” Reduction in medication – “we have seen a reduction in PRM medication when they’re engaged with you in the activities” Improved attention spans and recall – “they are remembering more things for longer periods of time” Inclusivity and Increased participation levels - “Those who we wouldn’t think would join in anything have”
  7. 7. L4A Volunteers • We have around 80 volunteers today across Leicester and Leicestershire • 85% are aged under 25 • 65% are from BME communities • Their approach to older people receiving care is on the basis of shared interests, mutual learning and equality, rather than as ‘teachers’ or ‘friends’. • Our volunteers gain as much from their involvement with L4A as our older people. • Some have won national awards for volunteering. “I really enjoy things that involve helping other people but I find it really rewarding anyway... [when I graduate...] anything to do with mental health really or even to do with the elderly and degeneration and research into that; or like just working with them. Anything to do with mental health, illness, well being. It really fascinates me..” - Quote from one of our student volunteers
  8. 8. L4A Volunteers – Case Study • Layla I got lots out of volunteering with L4A! I feel so privileged that I have been able to spend time with such inspiring residents; listening to their stories is heart warming and I have been taught pearls of wisdom that will remain with me forever. Volunteering with L4A has enabled me to develop a wide range of valuable skills - communication, empathy, teamwork, organisation and time management to name a few. I am now in my first year of medicine and already I find myself using my experiences with L4A to guide me in my learning. Volunteering offers so much - the chance to give something back to the community, the opportunity to meet individuals from all walks of life, a great way of developing confidence. Some people find it strange that I still volunteer with L4A despite ‘proving’ myself for medicine. However, I enjoy it so much that it would be crazy to give it up now, at the beginning of my journey to becoming a doctor.
  9. 9. L4A Volunteers – Case Study • Gerald and Pat Pat, aged 87, is a resident of Agnes House and she had never used a computer before moving in. She wanted to find a way of recording her memoirs so Gerald visits Pat every week and is helping her to write her them using the computer. Pat, who had never used a computer before says, “I really enjoy these visits – they are important to me. Is it great to feel like I’m keeping up to date with the world and it is great to meet new people.” Gerald, who has been volunteering since June 2009 says, “It is really great to be involved in this scheme as a volunteer and to give my time to such a worthwhile cause. I look forward to the time that I spend here very much.”
  10. 10. Challenges ahead • Learning through activity • Learning with dementia • Funding and resources • Leadership and management • Role of Activity Co-ordinators • Role of care staff • Role of educators and volunteers • Role of friends and volunteers • Engaging with the wider community • Inspection • Research evidence • Need more sharing and learning
  11. 11. Short film clip Informal Adult Learning in Care Settings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsDCs3t 3HHQ Any questions?