Activities

26 Jan Top 10 Quarantine Activity Ideas for Senior Communities in 2021

Top 10 Quarantine Activity Ideas
for Senior Communities in 2021

The new year promises a fresh start, some hope, and likely the continuation of quarantine and stay-six-feet-apart signs. By now, it might seem like you’ve done every activity idea in the book – but worry not, we’ve compiled a list of ten unique and safe activity ideas for your senior residents to engage in.

 

1.Take Out Tuesday

We’ve all heard of Taco Tuesday, but why not try “Take Out Tuesday”? If there’s one thing that everyone loves, it’s food. Choose a local restaurant, curate a limited menu that doesn’t break the budget, and order in! 

Bonus Tip: Make the activity a travel experience. Ordering from a French restaurant? Don your cart with red, white and blue and wear your favorite beret. Perhaps you can try your hand at a few French words when you greet your resident. The possibilities here are endless.

2. Jeopardy!

Spice up the daily trivia with a classic game of Jeopardy! This site offers millions of ready-made Jeopardy games as well as blank templates to make your own, and all for free. Play it 1 on 1 with your resident, or in a socially distanced group setting using your community channel. 

Bonus Tip: Play Jeopardy! on any Amazon Alexa-enabled devices! With the Emmy®-nominated Jeopardy! skill, play the “extra” clue of the six Round 1 categories from the day’s broadcast FOR FREE. Using only their voice, residents can respond just like the contestants on the show!

3. Wine & Bingo

Bingo is a common activity in many communities, and residents may find comfort in the routine during this time. To make it a little more fun, add another loved staple amongst seniors to the mix: wine. 

If your residents can’t have alcohol, use alcohol-free wine – brands such as these: Best Reasonably Priced California Wines offer a great variety at a reasonable price for your community. So set bingo up in the hallway, and serve the beverage door-to-door – you can’t go wrong!

 4. Hungry Hungry Hippos

Communities including Bryn Celyn Care Home have innovated the popular Hungry Hungry Hippos board game as a real-life activity. All you need are some colored objects (ex. balls, beanies, etc.) and some boxes which you can attach to the end of a broom. Residents will then compete to catch the most colored objects while being pushed in a wheelchair by staff members. 

5. Bike Around The World

Maintaining fitness for older adults is not only important to strengthen muscles and stamina, but also to boost mood and mental health. If your community has bicycles or pedal machines, a creative way to put them in use is to simulate a real-life biking adventure indoors. Imagine: wind in their face (provided by fans), the smell of lavender (thanks to essential oils) and a first-person view of waterfalls in Thailand (playing on the resident’s In-Room Channel from YouTube). Your residents will be transported to another country from their room, all while moving their joints!

6. Succulent in a Mug

How to Make Coffee Mug Planters - The Crafty Chica! Crafts, Latinx art, creative motivation

Photo from Crafty Chica

Several studies have demonstrated that nurturing houseplants are great for sensory therapy amongst the elderly, and can also help to provide a sense of purpose and satisfaction. An easy craft you can organize is a ‘Succulent-In-A-Mug’. Place some pebbles, potting soil and your succulent in a spare mug, and then get out your craft supplies so that your residents can personalize their mugs – and voila, you have a succulent-in-a-mug!

7. Laughter Therapy

Laughter is known for its physiological health benefits that release endorphins to the brain, making residents feel less anxious and more relaxed. This can be put into practice in ways as simple as scheduling time to make seniors laugh through jokes, funny YouTube videos and live skits performed by employees. Another way is to combine laughter therapy with yoga – and you pretty much got the recipe for a positive attitude! YouTube channels such as LaughActive have guided videos for laughter therapy that can be streamed on your community channel.

8. Wheel of Treats

Senior Activity – Playing Wheel of Fortune | Somerset Assisted Living Longview WA

Photo from Somerset Assisted Living

Who doesn’t love the anticipation of spinning a wheel? Make a wheel of treats ranging from “Riddle of the Day” to a candy or a nice room décor. This can be an ongoing activity that the resident can look forward to, and whatever they get will be sure to brighten up their day!

Bonus Tip: If you want to stream a wheel digitally, try Random Picker Wheel. It’s free and you can easily share it remotely.

9. Have a Photoshoot

4 DIY Costume Ideas for Seniors | Euro-American Homecare

Photo from Euro-American Homecare

Plan a photoshoot with a lively theme, such as a Roaring 20s photoshoot or characters from their favorite movie! Layout props and costumes, and have the residents do fun poses while you take photos. Get their family members involved by posting the pictures on your community’s Facebook or by sharing them on your web channel to have them vote for their favorite photo!

10. I Spy Colouring Sheets

I Spy has been shown to help with cognitive health and memory in elderly residents. Take out those colouring crayons and pencils from the cabinets and print out these sheets for your residents to tackle. It’s a quick and easy activity that can be used again and again! You can access I Spy sheets here and here.

Coming up with engaging and different activity ideas for your residents can be difficult, so we hope that this list made it a tiny bit easier! To make sure that your seniors are participating in these activities, be sure to check out our activity tracker. If you need more activity ideas to fuel your brain, sign up for our Newsletter here.

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01 May How Activity Directors Are Engaging Residents During Social Distancing with In-Room TV Channels

How Activity Directors Are Engaging Residents During Social Distancing with In-Room TV Channels

May 4, 2020

In the age of social distancing, activity directors are finding new ways to keep residents engaged, informed and entertained from the safety of their rooms. With a healthy mix of creative concepts and easy to use solutions, feeling “connected” is definitely possible from a safe distance.

Activity Calendars and Menus

Imagine staying in a fancy hotel and seeing what services are available to you as the guest. Broadcasting activity schedules and dining menus will keep residents in the loop and well aware of what opportunities for entertainment and deliciousness await them.

Tip: Activity calendars should be easy to manage and tweak on the fly. Add some food item pictures to your menus to really encourage your residents’ appetites.

Religious Services/Guided Meditation

Residents may often thrive on consistency and broadcasting religious or meditative services will help them feel like things are normal in an otherwise unusual time. They will thank you for it.

Tip: Broadcast your own service or stream from larger online congregations right on the channel.

Concerts & Performances

Whether a classically composed symphony played by the New York Philharmonic or a 3 piece band you sourced yourself, music is and will always be a way to lift spirits and share a collective emotion. Broadcast it live in-room to your community and to any other sister communities across the country (more bang for your buck!)

Tip: After a performance, use the community channel to promote a rebroadcast and share the tunes with any residents that missed it the first time.

Live Community State of the Union addresses

When trying to maintain distancing, the lack of physical closeness to staff members can take a toll on a resident’s comfort level and feeling of connectedness with the community. Whether executive director, head of culinary, or activity director, using a live in-suite broadcast, any staff member can use the community channel to say “Hello!” to all residents, share important information including updates, and share new opportunities for engagement. It’s a great way to be close but not “too close”.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to maintain physical abilities but is also important for mental health. Staying fit is important at every age! Many communities are offering virtual fitness classes as a way for their residents to stay active while learning a new discipline and all from the comfort and safety of their rooms. With a boost of serotonin after their class, residents will have a refreshed outlook and be ready for the next in-room activity.

Tip: Host your own exercise class, partner with a professional (on or off-site) or find some for free on YouTube and preschedule them to play on your in-suite channel.

Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries

For residents that opted in, pre-populate pictures and celebrations of their birthdays & anniversaries to show up on the channel. Let your residents know you remembered and want to celebrate them!

Guess Who? Resident + Staff Edition

Getting to know each other has often felt like a face-to-face affair. With your community’s in-room TV channel, you can play your own version of a family favorite game. A family that knows each other, feels together!

Tip: Get as many residents and staff members to provide interesting facts about themselves and provide them to you. Use your channel to show the details, then depict a photo of the person 15 – 45 seconds later. Another fun variant is a version of In-Suite Jeopardy™ or just plain Bar Trivia.

Funny & Uplifting Videos

A silly cat video, silly babies or an inspirational Ted Talk is easy to find, and pre-program to show up at just the right time to put a smile on your residents’ faces.

Tip: Use the community channel to set a schedule of various videos in advance. Hours of resident entertainment with less work and resources. Nice!

Bingo

A community staple is now playable in-room! Have the numbers come up, have residents use phones to yell it out! Easy, easy, easy!

Tip: Pre-program number calls or live stream based on your bandwidth.

Instructor-Led Crafts

Crafts have historically been a one-on-one affair but it can still be just as easy and fun in-suite. Pass out the materials to each resident and walk them through how to make something new to accompany them in their rooms.

Tip: Activity coordinators can live stream the crafting session, save it for later,  and rebroadcast it at a later date.

Virtual Vacation

Travel may not be an option at the moment but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your community on a virtual wine tour in the south of France or explore the Great Pyramids. Take them anywhere and everywhere from the comfort of their armchair.

Tip: Ask residents where they’d like to travel to and take them there through the magic of the community channel.

If you’re interested in getting your community going with in-room engagement, learn more here

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