On Sunday October 29 at 2am, the clocks will go back one hour, signalling the end of British Summer Time. While this will give many of us a welcome lie-in on Sunday morning, other people will be awake and working shifts at that time. Either way, the annual rewinding of the clock every October raises the intriguing question of how to make the most of being given an ‘extra hour’ to use.
As a busy care home manager or staff member, an extra hour would probably be extremely welcome round about now. Here are some ideas for filling any additional free time you can find once the clocks go back at the end of October.
Catch up on admin
If you have switched to a digital care management software system such as Care Vision, you will already have come to appreciate how streamlined admin can save a lot of time and effort. Despite this, there is always room for improvement. Why not spend your extra hour catching up on any tasks, digital or otherwise, that have lingered on your to-do list for too long? You could also go through your records, task lists and tools on Care Vision to make sure that these are all up to date, accurate and meeting the needs of your residents and staff.
Autumn and winter planning
We all know how much time planning can take up. From coming up with initial suggestions and ideas to working out how to bring them to fruition, planning is not something that can be done in the blink of an eye. Use your extra hour to think up ideas for winter activities and events, or refine your plans for the ones you already have in mind. Christmas is not that far away now, and just one week after that, it will be 2024. Can you use your extra hour to get ahead before the festive season is suddenly upon us?
Colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions mean that there are all kinds of seasonal jobs that need doing, both inside and outside the care home. Could you use your extra hour to do a recce of your premises and make a list of what needs doing? If this is already in hand, how about making a start on some of the smaller jobs now? You could clean and declutter one or two rooms in 60 minutes, or walk around the garden deadheading, planting autumn bulbs and preparing perennial plants for winter. Or arrange the changeover from summer to winter bedding to help keep the cold at bay during the night for your residents.
Training and knowledge
Is your training up to date? How about your staff? The minutiae of daily tasks and general care home admin often means that training and CPD can take a back seat. Yet, it is a vital part of keeping your residents safe and helping staff develop their skills and careers. Take 60 minutes to go through your digital training records, identifying gaps and asking staff if they would like to learn more about certain areas. Make sure, too, that all Care Vision users are confident and able to navigate the varied functions and make full use of the features and tools designed to make admin and healthcare support easier, safer and more efficient.
You can enjoy a huge boost to your self-esteem as well as give back to others by spending an hour volunteering for a good cause. Or devoting the time to helping one or more individuals with activities and tasks that will enhance their quality of life. You could turn this into a wider initiative and invite staff and residents to join you in your chosen voluntary activity. From litter picking locally (for those who are physically able to participate) to welcoming a class of school children to the care home for residents to listen to them read, there is a huge range of voluntary work that can be easy to arrange and rewarding to complete. Use Care Vision to plan the event, order supplies if needed and check when residents and staff are available to take part.
Lastly, but probably most importantly, you could spend the extra hour on some much-needed self-care. Taking time out to look after yourself and spend time doing things you enjoy is vital for your mental health and emotional wellbeing. Going for a walk in a local beauty spot, cooking a tasty meal or simply spending time meditating or soaking in the bath can all do wonders and help restore your energy and drive. Take time to put yourself first!