9348749-largeOCCUPATIONAL therapist Heather Manktelow has launched a new business to work with care homes, community groups, carers and individuals.

Called Activities for Health, Heather’s specialist area is to promote an ‘activities regime’ into people’s lives to help keep them healthy and happy.

Heather, based in Chudleigh, is offering a specialist bespoke service to provide training, guidance and consultancy in activities for care homes and organisations which are struggling with activities, or who want to improve their activity programmes.

She has worked for the last four years as an occupational therapist in a nursing home in Paignton supporting people with dementia, physical and mental health difficulties and also has experience with learning disability and brain injury clients.

Heather said: “The Care Quality Commission has always been very complimentary of my activities programme, person-centred activity care plans and the evidence I generated, so I feel I have something positive to pass on to others.

“I hope to be commissioned by care homes and organisations to help promote a ‘whole-team approach’ to activity provision and to embed spontaneous meaningful activity into every resident’s day, as a necessity, not a luxury.

“The whole philosophy of occupational therapy is that by getting involved in activities and occupation, it maintains and promotes good physical and mental health.”

The catalyst for Heather setting up the business was a shock diagnosis of breast cancer a year ago, followed by successful treatment at Torbay Hospital.

Heather added: “A cancer diagnosis really makes you think about the future and what you still want to achieve in life.

“I decided to try to pass on my knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to other care homes, which will ultimately benefit more people, than working in just one care home.

“It will not be easy, as training budgets of care homes and community organisations are stretched, but I’m putting myself ‘out there’ and giving it a try.”
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