Henrik's blog

In my job for Attendo I get to experience a lot of exciting things. Here I write about our business and our role in society on the basis of my everyday in Attendo.

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Karaoke in Heinola and a dog named Suvi

  • Henrik Borelius
  • 7 Oct 2016

It is a beautiful autumn morning in Raasepori in Southern Finland when I meet Tarja at Attendo Villa Penttby. I like to go out and do practical work in Attendo now and then to get new ideas on how we can develop Attendo. Today Tarja will be my coach.

Sanna, Sanna and Tarja get a report from Nea and the night shift

We start with getting a report from the night shift. It has been a calm night. Then we go in to Solrosen, a unit with 15 clients in the nursing home.

Tarja says she needs to adapt her work continuously. In Blåsippan, another unit that specialises on dementia she needs to help the clients more. Here in Solrosen they are more independent and she needs to step back a bit so the clients maintain their own capabilities. We talk about how this is way to work with our vision Empowering the individual (Vahvistamassa ihmistää in Finninh) in a very concrete way.

The most popular activities at Attendo Villa Penttby are baking, throwing darts and watching old Finnish classic movies. Once a week there is a visit from the library in Karis which offers reading sessions for the clients.

For 30 years, one of the things that has made Attendo stand out is our strong focus on values. This week is Attendo’s values week. Today, the topic is trust and Sanna and Tarja cut a trust tree together with the clients. In the trust tree, you write examples of how you can create trust among clients and employees. The trust tree has autumn colors that go well with the outside forest. Ann-Catrin our local manager explains that she has a job rotation program in the nursing home to get our colleagues to learn more from each other.

Meals are important in our nursing homes and we try to have a menu that picks up classical meals. So today, lunch is cabbage box and chocolate cream.

I continue to Lahti in Päijät Häme North of Helsinki. At Attendo Kaarlaaksokoti in Ahtiala in the North Eastern part of Lahti I meet our local manager Riikka.

The nursing home opened in December 2015 and already it has 60 clients. They used to live in a long term bed ward in Lahti but now they have their own, modern rooms. Some of the clients come from LA’s (local authorities) near Lahti.

Riikka has an unusual background; she is both a social worker and has worked at Biltema and H&M. Which might come in handy as freedom of choice becomes more important and you need to have good communication and sales skills to increase the interest for our nursing homes. Riikka explains how important trust is both in relation to clients and relatives and to the local authority we work with.

Attendo Kaarlaaksokoti has a popular kitchen so in addition to the residents, 10 external guests come and eat here regularly. We also have popular activities such as gymnastics, singing and art.

The trust tree Lahti style

The next day I visit Attendo Wellamo and Attendo Aavatar in Jalkaranta in Lahti. Here we have a total of 120 nursing home beds. Right now, many nursing homes have opened in Lahti which is good for the clients but challenging for us as it takes time to fill the houses.

So, what activities are the most popular?

My colleagues Tiina and Niko describe how we work with the quality. The most popular activities are going outside, games, music and gymnastics and dancing. But it is not just the bigger things, being close to the clients in the many, small daily things are as important. This has given us a high client satisfaction here.

We have to be very active to get clients to move in. There is an increasing interest for palvelusetteli/vouchers where the clients pay a bit more themselves and then get more options to choose from.

Also, as we have strong relationships with other LA’s in Päijät-Häme, we have had clients moving to Lahti from other areas.

Suvi the terapiakoira/therapy dog takes part in the values week (Suvi is the one with the intelligent eyes)

The values week is alive here as well. Today’s topic is care and therefore we have Suvi, a dog, in the home to give new angles to clients and colleagues on caring.

In Attendo Aavataar we have a nice garden which many people like. When the weather is bad, we have an indoors gym.

Then I meet Lahti LA. Mikko Komulainen is Director of Social and Health affairs and Corinne Soini is responsible for purchasing services from private care providers. They both see that the interest for freedom of choice is increasing, both from the citizens and from politicians. The upcoming SOTE reform is a major project right now. Lahti will be part of Päijät Häme SOTE and to be ready for 2019 there is a lot of work to do already now.

Mikko and Corinne work to develop care and healthcare in Lahti

I then go to Attendo Pellavakoti in Hollola. I ask our local manager Piritta what is different with Attendo from her previous employer, a foundation. Piritta says that in Attendo she feels more trusted and gets more freedom to take her own initiatives.

Piritta wants to have an open dialogue with the society around our nursing home. As an example, an MP from the leftist party will come and do a day’s practical work.

Hollola used to have a shortage of nursing homes which meant some older people had to move to other places. But since we opened, some clients have been able to move back to their home town.

When I am there, a baking session takes place. Other popular activities are singing, being outdoors and doing gymnastics in chairs.

Preparing the baking session

The Great Hollola Bake-off

I move on to Attendo Tähtiniemi in Heinola. Our nursing home is situated near one of Finlands many beautiful lakes. You can actually go by boat all the way from here to Jyväskylää.

Marja, Anne and Eija

Our local manager Anne tells me that we have a unique solution here – a whole family lives in the house. Mother, father and a 60 year old son with a disability. They wanted to live together and we asked Valvira for permission, they said this was possible.

Our terrace is perfect for being outdoors even when it is a bit chilly

In Attendo Tähtiniemi we have meeting with the clients every month where they come with ideas on activities. On Fridays, there is baking, not just buns but also pizza baking. Singing is popular, especially when we do karaoke. Now the clients have asked for dancing so Anne is planning that.

Anne likes Attendo’s toolbox, with concepts for both staff planning and the quality index.

My final stop for this time is Attendo Nerola in Kärkölä. Here we combine a nursing home and assisted living for 50 people with daily activites for 10 clients who come in from the outside.

Looking strong in the best gym in Kärkölä

The gym is a popular place. Our manager Johanna tells me that we also get outside guests who come to exercise. Other regular activities are singing, bingo and outdoors activities. Attendo Nerola has a very nice garden in the middle of the house.

Johanna and Saija on the terrace

Time to head to off Vantaa airport after a good trip. I will miss my colleagues Päijät Häme but feel very impressed by their commitment to quality and in both big and small things for the clients we serve.

Attendo values

Competence - for us, competence means for example that we take pride in being at the forefront of quality in our industry and that we are willing to share our results openly.

Commitment - for us, commitment means for example that we have a ”can do attitude” and always try to exceed expectations.

Care - for us, care means for example that we make people feel safe & secure.


Attendo is the largest private provider of care services in the Nordic region. We provide services ranging from elderly and social care to health, medical and dental care. For more information contact us at +46 (8) 586 252 00.