Last week, Life Care shared some of the innovative ways our facilities are finding to keep residents active and engaged even while they cannot have visitors or gather in groups.
We received so many good ideas before and after our blog post that we wanted to share even more. Thanks to all our activity teams, and to associated in all departments who are going beyond their daily duties to bring smiles to our residents’ faces!
One of the frequent performers at Life Care Center of Skagit Valley, Washington, Marcia Kester, came to the facility and played her guitar and sang outside in the gazebo. “Staff opened the windows slightly so residents could hear her and see her from their rooms,” shared Marlee Raasch, activity director. “We were also able to have a few residents able to go outside. It was a huge hit, and we will try to do that regularly, hopefully weekly, as weather permits.”
Mitchell Manor in Mitchell, Indiana, has a traveling hot chocolate and coffee cart.
Kevin O’Neil, maintenance director at Villa Manor Care Center in Lakewood, Colorado, has a degree in concert piano and has taken it upon himself to play in the residents’ halls daily.
“Our neighbors close to Life Care Center of Red Bank [in Chattanooga, Tennessee,] are sending pictures their children have colored to brighten up our residents’ days,” shared Tillie Grant, activity director. The facility also had a popcorn and Coke party.
Associates at Mayfair Village Nursing Care Center have been making homemade milkshakes and smoothies for the residents.
Life Care Center of Bridgeton, Missouri, is having a Quarantine Spirit Week this week for residents and associates. On Monday, they wore their favorite hats. Today (Tuesday), they are wearing their tackiest ensembles. Wednesday will be the day to wear camo, and on Thursday, they will wear their craziest sock combos. Friday will close the week off with everyone wearing their favorite sports team gear, and the team will enjoy a Quarantine Block Party with music and games with appropriate social distancing.
Family members aren’t the only people who have been connecting with residents via FaceTime. Terry Sanders, a volunteer pastor at Life Care Center of Jefferson City, Tennessee, has been spending one-on-one time with residents by the app and has been praying with them.
“As an activity director, I worry about my residents and family, among everything else that is going on in the world,” shared Robin Manning at Life Care Center of Bountiful, Utah. “It hit me that our cognitive residents have got to be thinking and feeling some of the same things, and I thought they really needed a way to express this, so we tried poetry. I started with a poem called “I Am,” which asks questions about themselves, including how and what they are feeling. I wasn’t quite ready for their reactions. While they expressed they were mostly happy, they also expressed how worried they are, that they want what is happening in the world to be over and for their families to be safe but also how helpless they felt. But then something great happened, which is what I really needed. That was this: they feel that someday this will all be over and things will be back to normal and they will be able to see their families again. Some of us ended up crying while sharing. It was really touching. Can’t wait to try some more poems. Our goal is to keep the poems together and when life is back to normal, read through these and remind us of what we have overcome, to help us remember how strong we can be and to never take things for granted.”
Life Care Center of Scottsdale, Arizona, has caroling through the halls, where associates stop by residents’ doors to sing to them.
At Life Care Center of Cleveland, Tennessee, they have been painting the activity room windows like stained glass.
Life Care Center of Westlake, Ohio, hosted a cookout in the courtyard on March 26. Residents stayed at a safe distance from each other but still enjoyed the meal along with baseball tunes. “That really lifted their spirits,” said Bev Spielberger, activity director. The next day, they raced remote control cars in the hallways.
With letters coming in from the community to Hallmark Nursing Center in Denver, associates created a binder with sheet protectors that they can wipe down with disinfectant that residents can browse to see these uplifting messages.
Keep an eye out for our next update after Easter to see what our facilities do to celebrate the holiday!