Senior Community Activity Ideas During COVID-19 Quarantines: Part 4
As the pandemic continues, Welbi has compiled more activities you can try out during these challenging times. There are also some ideas for showing appreciation to activity & recreation teams during these trying times. Everyone is working so hard. Showing some gratitude will likely go a long way.
A Visit From Four Legged Friends
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.
Make It Personal
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, which reminds them of a loved one, could be very successful. A senior community in the United Kingdom had a pillow made for one resident, incorporating a photo of his late wife. He slept with her photo each night and the activity team thought this would be a nice gesture.
Thank You Activity Team!
It’s difficult for everyone right; residents and staff alike. Your activity teams are working especially hard right now, 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.
Mask Making Contest
They are starting to become mandatory, so why not have some fun with it. If you are using basic masks to protect residents and staff, break out the markers and crafts to add some imaginative flair!
Dance in the Sunshine
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.
Recognize Your Team on National Superhero Day
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”.
1:1 Bus rides
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 you seniors a chance to get out, connect with friends and family and do so at a safe distance from your community's transportation 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 more simple objects. 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 beginners guide on how to make a dog.
Write Your Own Song
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 inspired anthem about dealing with COVID-19. You can watch the video here and or just read some of her amazing lyrics below!
See what you can do with residents. Maybe pick a song, have them submit some lyrics and pick the best ones!
Lean on Technology
If you are looking to change up video chats - Here are two apps which 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 which people need to guess or play charades!
And 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.
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