In March during the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and lockdown restrictions meant that Achieve Australia had to close three My Life day program hubs to protect the health and wellbeing of our clients, staff and the community. With other services closing and almost 250 of our clients now spending the majority of time at home, our team came up with a creative way to provide engaging activities at home.
“With our day programs closing, we knew it would be difficult for many of the people we support and their families,” says Regional Manager, Karen Moore-Evans who helped create the program alongside Achieve’s My Life team. “Coming up with the new My Life at Home program meant that people could still be engaged and connected through a wide range of hands on activities.”
The My Life at Home program includes a weekly schedule with three different activities each day. The schedule comes complete with plans, templates and step-by-step instructions for staff and clients to follow. There are eight program areas, including:
- Creative workshops – Art, painting and craft activities
- Achieve active – PE with Joe and gentle exercise
- Home skills – Baking, cooking and general household skills
- Literacy and learning – Reading, learning and improving your skills
- Music – Playing, listening to and discovering different types of music
- Explore your senses – Experience and learn about the world around you
- The great outdoors – Going for a walk outside and gardening activities
- Be connected – Supporting meaningful connections with family, friends and neighbours
“The best way to ensure people are engaged is to provide ‘active support’ where people are not spectators of their lives, and everyone has the chance to learn and interact during the activity,” explains Karen. “We’ve been doing lots of cooking and people are realising how easy it is to cook. It might take a little extra time for everyone to be involved in making dinner, but becoming part of that daily routine in the home is really important.”
Since the program began in March, our teams have provided more than 100 activity plans to our homes. For Mother’s Day, clients’ made handmade cards and then took a walk to the post box to send off their cards to mum or someone special.
A client who usually goes to the gym daily was unable to do her routine. She loves craft activities and was supported by staff to collect items from outdoors to make a colourful wall hanging. At Summer Hill House for the Neighbourhood Window Walk, a large rainbow of hearts was created for everyone to enjoy on their daily walks.
With the success of the new program more activities are currently being scheduled that will include cultural days, Aboriginal art and crafts, additional Neighbourhood Window Walk projects, baking competitions, and more.
We look forward to continuing to support our clients at home during this time and, as restrictions ease, getting back to being involved in more activities within the local community.