As the pandemic continues, Welbi has compiled more activities you can try out during these challenging times. We’ve also included some ideas for showing appreciation to activity and recreation teams. Everyone is working so hard. Showing some gratitude will likely go a long way.
Animals tend to lift most people's spirits. Finding a horse for window visits, like this residence in Montana, will likely be a challenge for most communities. But even a visit from dogs or cats can put smiles on the faces of most residents.
At this point, many residents are strongly feeling the impact of little connection with family and friends. In addition to pictures and video chats, making a personalized gift for residents that reminds them of a loved one could successfully lift their spirits. A senior community in the United Kingdom thought it would be a nice gesture to make a pillow for one resident that incorporated a photo of his late wife. The resident was touched by their meaningful gift and slept with his wife’s photo each night.
It’s a difficult time right now for residents and staff alike. Your activity teams are working especially hard, so it’s important to take time to recognize all their efforts. Denise Thorud, Director of Compass Programming at Forestdale Park Senior Living, shared this note she received as a reminder that everyone is doing their best right now.
Masks are starting to become mandatory, so why not have some fun with them? If you are using basic masks to protect residents and staff, break out the markers and crafts to add some imaginative flair!
Some residents are still able to get outside for some fresh air — while practicing safe social distancing of course. Tina Harrell Knowles, Life Enrichment Director at St. Martin's in the Pines, shared this video of people shaking a leg in the sun.
At Welbi, we believe that activity and recreation teams are the unsung heroes of senior communities. National Superhero day is April 28th. We think it’s an opportune time to celebrate all the people who make a difference each day for older adults.
Here is a template that Alyssa McBrien, Activities Assistant at Genesis Healthcare, shared with other teams. You can print it off for your residents, allowing them to show gratitude for their personal “superheroes.”
If loved ones can’t make a window or drive-by visit to your communities, take the social distancing party to them. Families like this one can hold up signs, balloons, cheer, or sing songs. It gives your seniors a chance to get out and connect with friends and family at a safe distance from your community's vehicle.
It’s a staple for any party entertainer: the ability to turn balloons into all sorts of shapes and animals. And it’s pretty easy to get the hang of (after a bit of practice), especially for simple shapes. Here is a balloon heart Lisa White of North Rehabilitation Centre shared on social media.
There are hundreds of video tutorials on YouTube with instructions on how to make all kinds of shapes and sizes. Here is one we really like, which is a beginner’s guide on how to make a dog.
Nakia Beverly-Brown, an Activities Assistant at Atria Shaker, took karaoke to the next level when she rewrote the lyrics to “I Will Survive.” This remix is an inspiring anthem about dealing with COVID-19. You can watch the video here or just read some of her amazing lyrics below!
See what you can do with residents. Maybe pick a song, have them submit some new lyrics, and pick the best ones!
If you are looking to change up video chats, here are two apps that let residents and families interact in unique ways. House Party lets groups play all sorts of games while they chat online. You can play trivia, draw images that people need to guess, or play charades!
The app Caribu allows seniors to read books to their grandkids as they follow along on a device. You can also colour and draw together. It’s basically a virtual playdate. And right now they are giving free access to many people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope you found some inspiring ideas to try out with residents in your senior living communities. It is everyone’s mission to ensure the safety of all our loved ones while making sure everyone maintains a good mood, staff and residents alike. Hopefully, taking these activities to your residents will improve everyone’s day! Every resident’s well-being is at the heart of what we do.
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Wendy studies English Language and Literature at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.
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