We believe that Lifestyle is a beacon activity service within the learning disability sector. It is one of the main things makes Dalesview different. Our service-users, families, social workers and CQC have high praise for our achievements in this area.
This service was started in 2003 by a teacher who now has a team of dedicated Lifestyle staff running a huge range of carefully- designed activities. Each person gets an individual timetable which contains at least 3 different activities throughout the day to suit. These activities are recorded and evaluated each month to keep them relevant and fresh. Some Lifestyle activities may be on a one to one basis and others part of a group. We look really carefully at how we create the groups for each activity and try to foster friendships and encourage socialising whenever possible.
A package is designed around every individual. The Lifestyle manager speaks to the service user (if able) their family, school/college (if applicable) about what they enjoy or would like to try. We also look at how we can help with managing people’s physical needs by incorporating physiotherapy programmes, yoga, adapted cycling, horse-riding, aqua-aerobics, trampolining (re-bound therapy), hydrotherapy /swimming into the package. These physical activities also have a very positive impact on mind as well as body. Our newest addition to this area is a ‘walking – system’. This allows some people who use a wheelchair to move in an upright position and sometimes even dance or kick a ball! We are currently developing a dance/drama around this.
Good communication is integral to Lifestyle and Dalesview. We employ a private speech and language therapist who carries out initial assessments and helps with swallowing problems. We use a ‘total-communication’ approach which includes intensive interaction, signing and objects of reference. We also employ a communication coordinator who assists with person-centred planning, communication guides, runs a signing group and carries out training around any individual needs required. We run communication weeks which enable staff to improve their skills in an enjoyable way.
Every month, individual homes within Dalesview plan and host a theme day, inviting others to join in the fun. These are best described as a treat for the senses. They are always full of laughter, music, fun, colour and new experiences. Our most recent one was centred on theme parks and featured a ‘ghost-train corridor’ complete with a popping floor made from bubble-wrap!
We have a fleet of adapted vehicles for easy community access but also like to encourage walking and use of public transport if enjoyed.
Activities include: hydrotherapy, swimming, trampolining, massage, various music therapy sessions, beauty therapy, sensory drama, sensory cooking, using adapted bicycles, gardening projects, sensory/relaxation sessions, sensory bathing (with jacuzzi baths), walking harness, art/craft, visits to local area, cinema, shows/concerts/theatre, art galleries, museums, restaurants, pubs, parks, libraries, football matches, college courses, discos, social clubs, parks, horse/carriage riding.