Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to establish the value placed on the facets that contribute to a meaningful leisure occupation for the residents of a residential care facility by the staff that care for them. Design/methodology/approach – This was a service evaluation using a self-reported questionnaire, completed by six Activity Co-ordinators from the home of 158 individuals with a wide range of neuropalliative conditions. Findings – The cultural/historical components, the built and social environment, learning, life satisfaction and goal orientation were reported as the least valued facets, which make up a leisure occupation. The staff did, however; value the sense of health and capability, purpose, the feeling of being fully human and the sense of belonging that comes about through leisure. They also valued preventing boredom, opportunities for self-expression, creativity, achievement, and control. Additionally they valued opportunities to gain a clear sense of the rhythm of life, of self-identity, choice of occupation, and engagement in the occupation. Research limitations/implications – The findings highlight a variance between the perceptions of staff members who deal with the day-to-day leisure opportunities and decisions of the residents, and the literature of occupational science about what makes an occupation meaningful, and therefore is worthy of consideration when planning a leisure occupation. Practical implications – Personalised care requires consideration of the individual's cultural and historical background, the environment surrounding the occupation, opportunities for social interaction, individual learning, life satisfaction, and goal orientation when organising leisure opportunities. These facets are stressed because the participants undervalued them. Originality/value – The context of this paper is a subset of individuals with neurological disabilities who experience profound disabilities, and the attitudes of staff to their leisure lifestyle.
Social Care and Neurodisability – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 4, 2014