Activities with older people

Alison Cochrane remembers doing activities with older people when her mum worked in a nursing home when she was little, and now it’s become a full-time career for her.

Alison became Middlesbrough Grange’s first dedicated Activities Coordinator when she joined Constantia Healthcare in June.

She is quickly making her mark on the role, with lots of interesting activities having already take place and many more planned.

Alison first got her taste for care at a very early age thanks to her mum, who worked as a live-in Matron at a residential care home.

“We lived on the top floor of the home, and I remember as a child playing games with the residents and them teaching me how to play chess, sew and knit,” she recalls.

This prompted Alison to pursue a career in care when she was older, and she worked in residential and homecare for 30 years until the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alison adds: “I got Covid and as a result got double pneumonia, but I never fully recovered and found being a Care Assistant too difficult because of the nature of the work.”

Alison’s employer at the time, keen to retain her, offered her the role of Activities Coordinator and she hasn’t looked back since.

At Middlesbrough Grange she has been tasked with introducing a regular programme of activities which will promote physical and mental wellbeing for our residents.

Examples of activities she has already introduced include making leaves out of clay, circular knitting and lantern making.

“Lots of our residents enjoyed knitting during their lives so the circular knitting is great because you do it by turning a handle on a machine, which is much easier than having to do it the traditional way which can be difficult because of age-related issues like arthritis,” explains Alison.

Alison is also planning various fundraising events to raise money to enable even more activities to take place. This will include a car wash outside Middlesbrough Grange with local firefighters in attendance.

“It’s great being able to come into an entirely new role like this because it means I can put my own stamp on it,” she says.

When she’s not working, Alison enjoys spending time with her husband (they have two sons) and is currently learning to play the piano.

Why Choose Constantia Healthcare?

Residential & Nursing Care

Providing a homely, safe and secure environment for your loved ones

Respite & Day Care

Looking after your loved ones while you have a well-earned rest and break

Alzheimers & Dementia Care

Specialist care for people with complex needs at Roseleigh in Middlesbrough

Varied Activity Programme

Stimulating body and mind with an ever-changing schedule