A new product from reminiscence resources and training company The Daily Sparkle means activity coordinators and care homes can now deliver truly person-centred activities.
This September, The Daily Sparkle – who currently produce daily reminiscence newspapers for over 3,000 care homes nationwide – has launched a new, personalised newspaper which can be customised to suit every resident’s specific needs and interests.
The ‘Sparkling Times’ is a four-page document – which can be created and ordered online by a care home – featuring stories, topics and key moments from a resident’s own life, as well as treasured photos and memories.
Created in just a matter of minutes using the online template system, each Sparkling Times features the individual’s life history from birth to present day, including what they are most proud of achieving, and their main occupation.
There are then four further articles about the personal interests of the resident, weaving their name naturally into each column. A collage of reminiscence photos appears throughout, including the resident’s own favoured pictures. There is then space to add a personal message at the end.
Simple, yet sophisticated. Designed to boost older people’s self-esteem.
These are, of course, a lovely way to mark someone’s birthday or special occasion, but they function on a number of other levels too.
“Older people in care homes can have difficulty retaining their sense of self and their identity. The new Sparkling Times is an antidote to this threat,” explains Daily Sparkle founder Chris Harding.
“Human beings have a need to feel ‘seen’, to feel noticed and to have some importance. This is the basis of respect and dignity, and it is this very need that the Sparkling Times addresses head-on.”
Part of delivering person-centred care means celebrating all the different things that make someone unique and special. When you’re creating activities, welcoming a new resident to the care home, or considering how best to acknowledge and celebrate your residents’ birthdays, what you really want to know is how to make those people feel really special.
This new resource has been brilliantly received, both by the older people for whom they’ve been made, and by the care home staff who, through the process, have had an excuse to get to know that resident better.
Chris Harding, the founder of social enterprise The Daily Sparkle, has dedicated his life’s work to providing stimulating activities and resources that make a profound difference to the lives of the elderly, every single day. Moved to start his business after witnessing the rapid decline of a dear friend in a care home, he believes passionately that the elderly, and those with dementia, need daily human connections and interaction. He created The Daily Sparkle – a reminiscence newspaper published 365 days a year – to meet this need. Since its launch, and with a readership of over 100,000, The Daily Sparkle has helped hundreds of care homes deliver meaningful activities sessions and develop a whole-home approach. It encourages residents to talk and share memories and stories from their lives, engaging family and friends and offering them easy ways to spark conversations. Chris considers activity coordinators to be absolutely essential to the wellbeing and happiness of every care home resident, and has been responsible for developing the most successful activity coordinator training courses to date, while providing support and additional resources wherever he can, often at no extra cost.
This year, he launched the Sparkling Times, an innovative, totally personalised reminiscence newspaper which can be created online through an interactive template, filled with specific and personal life-history information for any care home resident. The epitome of person-centred care, delivered in a sensitive and imaginative way. These personalised newspapers are a tangible keepsake, promoting conversation and providing a vital reminder for people about what makes them who they are. “Crucially, the Sparkling Times helps people to retain an important sense of self and identity. They respond to that fundamental need in every person to be heard, to be seen and to be understood, and it this that we must not lose sight of as people age or are affected by dementia,” says Chris.