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Resource Type Care Inspectorate Programmes & Publications

Growing a good life

This project, which builds on the learnings from the CAPA report, aims to increase positive outcomes for people receiving care in care homes, or at home, to improve their wellbeing, and add purpose to their lives.   


We aim to collaborate with, and involve, the expertise of care staff and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), who are an established part of the multidisciplinary support given to people in need of care.


With our involvement, people receiving care, their families and staff will know more about how to access the right level of AHP support and intervention.    


Here you will find access to information and resources to support you with Growing A Good Life in your part of Scotland.  

For more information, you can get in touch at Improvementsupport@careinspectorate.gov.scot 

Stories from the sector

These stories illustrate examples of good practice that go on every day across Scotland to help older people grow a good life.

Betty Uses Technology

Betty, who is 103, started using more technology during the COVID-19 lockdown. Betty is keen to encourage others to learn something new that can open up new worlds, whatever their age. Here is Betty talking to BBC North East about how she uses technology in a way that makes a difference. 

Keeping connected with the community 

Louise Kelly, Senior Improvement Adviser, shares a story from Kirriemuir in Angus:

"We all want to be valued members of our community, no matter where we live.  At Storyville Care Home in Kirriemuir, Angus, the staff work to make sure that each resident has opportunities to come up with ideas and then take the time to follow these ideas through. 

"When the normal ins and outs of the busy home had to cease, residents puzzled about different ways to connect with their neighbours. Here are some examples of how they stayed in touch. 

"Last year the residents challenged neighbours and friends to paint and swap stones. The staff helped figure out how this could be done safely.   

Watch their video here 

"We know that having different experiences can add to our lives, which was certainly difficult during lockdown.  By listening and following through with resident Nettie Cameron’s idea, many of the older people ended up in the paper and on TV.  Folk were buzzing with the excitement and the new experiences. 

"At Christmas, they invited the local community to contribute to decorating the garden. 

"It is not just asking for something but achieving something together that makes all the difference to building community. The local community rallied around to decorate outdoors, with a ceilidh band offering to serenade the residents and locals invited to drop by to be part of the ceremony when the lights were switched on. 

"And this year Storyville is still working on building community, by focusing on connections with children.  The nursery children used to benefit from visiting the home and meeting their older neighbours. Now the residents send cards and swap paintings. It gives both older and younger people a lift to receive something personal."

New flat, new opportunities 

Hazel Maitland at Key explains how the support they gave helped Diana West become more independent in her new home:  

"Diana, in her 60’s, recently moved to a new flat in Falkirk. She now lives with a flatmate in a shared tenancy and is enjoying the opportunities and challenges of her new life. Key supports Diana and other adults and young people with disabilities and long-term conditions throughout Scotland. 

"Key staff encourage the people they support to move more often in little ways every day. They know that this adds to people’s physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. When Diana moved into her flat, she hadn’t had the experience of getting herself ready for bed and needed help from staff every step of the way.  Diana’s support team started to suggest small actions for Diana to take so that she could move more and to be more independent when going to bed. This started with Diana being encouraged to head through to close her own blinds.  By building on such small steps, Diana is now in charge of everything, from preparing her room and undressing to getting her clothes out for the next day. 

"Diana feels more independent as she now chooses clothes to suit her mood and decides when she wants to go to bed in the evening without having to wait for staff.  

"The approach Diana's team took was to always encourage her to try things for herself and build her confidence around tasks that she felt less sure of.  

"A knock-on effect is that Diana has started to do other things for herself such as make her own cup of tea.  Congratulations Diana, as you live your new life in your flat."

High Tea boxes

Rosie the activity coordinator at Park Springs Care Home, Motherwell talks about an idea the residents had to boost morale during the lockdown:

“At a meeting the residents said that they wanted to give an afternoon tea box to the NHS local Emergency units in the hospitals, local police, Firefighters and the doctors in the local surgeries to say thank you. Residents watched them on TV and saw what an amazing job everyone was trying to do in these strange and frightening circumstances.  

"Frances our resident said ‘’They are amazing the jobs they do and it's nice to be nice’’. 

"We had so many questions - so many things we were unsure of and had to figure out. 

  • what could we use? 
  • what would be allowed?  
  • would they be able to accept the items? 
  • would we get in to deliver the boxes? 
  • what could we put in the boxes? 
  • how could we make them look nice? 

"Rainbows had been used to decorate the home, so we all decided to use rainbows to cover the boxes. The residents and the staff started colouring lots and lots of rainbows. Again, it was a project to focus on good things, it was a great talking point - kept everyone busy and changed the atmosphere at a time when it was hard not seeing families, not being able to go out.  Not being able to do the little things which mattered so much.”  

“The tea boxes were giving everyone a purpose and making people feel useful and positive.  Donations from the community helped fill part of the boxes with items that were considered safe. We had to order paper, boxes and ribbon as we didn't have any shops to use but it all came together with lots of fun and excitement about giving back to our community.” 

“We contacted the three local hospitals Wishaw, Monkman's, Hairmyres and the local Police station, Fire station and surgeries to see if they would accept our tea boxes and we got special permission and delivery times.”    

“We took photos of everyone accepting the gifts and it was even more special as the staff in all the areas loved it coming from the residents. It was just such a shame they the residents were unable to deliver the items themselves and see the reaction from the staff - the Police Chief said it's the nicest thing ever and could feel tears when he accepted our gifts.”  

“The residents and staff were all so pleased and happy and proud of the High Tea Boxes. We all felt we had helped a little by sharing with some amazing people.” 

Superhero pictures

Lynn Rell, RGN at Parksprings Care Home started creating Staff Hero Pictures during the lockdown.

“Lynn has painted pictures of her colleagues at work in superhero style.   She has since created an army of superhero pictures - nurses, carers, domestic, maintenance, admin staff and management.  

“Each picture is full of fun and has been a huge boost to staff around the home and a great talking point for the residents.  They all love the pictures as they are so real and yet so funny.  Lynn has an amazing talent, and her dedication and kindness has made her our hero.” 

To show Lynn their appreciation, staff and residents created a gallery of Lynn’s work which is displayed in the centre of the home.  It brings smiles and is just what the doctor ordered - a wee tonic to boost spirits and help everyone's morale. Here are Rosie, Michelle and Linda with artist Lynn - superheroes all of them. 

Mary Tait & Robert Edenholme

By Carolyn Shaw, Assistant Care Home Manager, Edenholme Care Home:   

‘’Mary says that watching old films of your hometown can be very interesting.  You can see Mary catching up with some Glasgow memories as she is supported by Robert to use an iPad in Edenholme Care Home, Aberdeenshire. It is amazing what you remember when something catches your eye”. 

“Apps that have meaning and make a difference to people have been put onto the iPads to allow the residents to enjoy their interests. This is having such a positive effect.  We also set up digital surveys, and with the help from staff, all residents share their views in the knowledge that they will be listened to.  For example, the residents individually voted from around the care home to decide what to do with some extra money. The majority choose to build a summer house. It was good to see democracy in action.’’ 

Reminiscence means sharing life experiences, memories and stories from the past.  Where a person with dementia is more able to recall things from many years ago than recent memories, reminiscence draws on this strength.  Objects, video clips, photos as well as sounds and smells can be helpful in reminiscence, invoking memories and stories that give both comfort and stimulation (Alzheimer Scotland).  

Here is a short film which shows how reminiscence is used by Alzheimer Scotland to support older people on an experience outdoors.  

Sharing hearts

Rosie Brennan, Lead Activities Co-ordinator,  picks up the story. 

"The residents and families missed each other so much we were always looking at ways to keep everyone connected.   

“The local community sent us in some lovely hand knitted hearts. We came up with the idea that residents could share a knitted heart with their relative and keep a similar one for themselves, like two pieces of a puzzle. It was a way for families and residents to have something from each other that they could each carry around and squeeze when they were feeling low or lonely.  Just a little something to help with happy thoughts during a difficult time.

“We took wee photos of the resident holding their knitted heart and then packaged the other one up and sent it with this photo to their relative. Some of the families shared that they still keep their wee heart in their wallet close to them. It kind of helped everyone as no-one had experienced a pandemic before and missing each other was devastating on everyone, both inside and outside the care home.

“It brought smiles to everyone's faces and one of the residents, Frances, still carries her heart with her." 

Key resources

Here we share key information which could benefit you in your day-to-day work; if you have any feedback or want to add resources, get in touch via improvementsupport@careinspectorate.gov.scot

Framework for Supporting People through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Your Posture Matters

Elaine Hunter,  the national AHP for Dementia based at Alzheimer Scotland, shares this resource. It describes the digital platforms that staff can go to for information about different AHP services that can support people living with dementia.

A key web resource is dementia together – a site which aims to give people supporting those living with dementia some practical ideas for living life as fully as possible. This resource has emerged from the connecting people, connecting support report.  

Project updates

The first progress report from July 2021 contains links to our recent webinars - you can find it here.

We would like to invite people working in care homes for older people/adults to register for our next webinar - Care Homes & Rehabilitation.

Here you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences about connecting with Allied Health Professionals while supporting residents with rehabilitation - approaches and activities that support people to participate as actively as possible and enjoy the life they choose.

Your views about what works for care homes at the moment and suggestions for the future will contribute to a report to the National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation.

We hope that you can join us. Please register for whichever session suits you best, and we will send a link for the webinar approximately one week before the event.

Wednesday 11 August           Time: 10.30-11.30am   or

Thursday 19 August           Time: 10.30-11.30am

Meet the team

Our new Health & Social Care Improvement team will collaborate with people experiencing care, families, and staff across social care and health to support health related and wellbeing needs.

The team, which is currently being brought together, is made up of improvement advisers from a range of backgrounds including nursing, allied health professions, pharmacy and social work.  It will also draw on the expertise of our Senior Improvement Adviser for infection prevention and control (IPC) who is leading our Covid Flexible Response Team, supporting services from across adult social care, ELC and children and young people’s services, to follow national IPC guidance.  

We are also working closely with Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), who make a valuable contribution to the lives of people experiencing care across the lifespan for both people experiencing care, their families and the staff supporting them.

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An introduction to improvement theory and how to achieve positive change

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