Entertainment

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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06 Jul Ideas for Activities Your Retirement Community Residents Will Love

Retirement facilities have increasingly acknowledged the importance of keeping seniors socially active. Not only does it remind them that they are part of a supportive community, but it also has benefits for their health. Studies have shown that staying socially active reduces the risk of mental issues related to depression and cognitive function, in addition to cultivating a stable support system in times of need.

By hosting activities in your retirement community, you give your residents the opportunity to socialize and have fun with other community members.

Games Night

Who said only children can enjoy game night? With new residents joining your retirement community every week, games night is a great way to introduce them in a comfortable setting. Because there’s a predetermined activity, there’s little risk for an awkward conversation or encounter. Popular games include bingo, bridge, chess, and scrabble. To get people motivated, consider offering prizes to the winners. If you’re working with a tight budget, one way to get around this is by asking every participant to bring a small gift as their admission. This way there are multiple winners at the end of the game.

Art Activities

Arts and crafts activities are a great way to get retirement community members to express their creativity. With so many diverse backgrounds, it’s also an opportunity for members to share their knowledge. Many communities will offer group quilting classes, paint nights, or water painting lessons. Consider extending these classes to outside of the community as a way for retirees to share their knowledge with the next generation. In doing so, friendships will be formed and all parties will feel a deeper sense of community. You can also invite seniors from the neighborhood to give them a soft introduction to your community and raise your marketing profile and census.

Exercise Classes

Staying fit is important at every age! Many retirement communities are offering fitness classes as a way for their residents to stay active while learning a new discipline. Exercise is a great way to maintain physical abilities, but is also important for mental health. With a boost of serotonin after their class, residents will have a refreshed outlook and be ready for a relaxing game night.

Music Shows

Everyone loves to watch talented musicians show off their best work. Organize a retirement community choir or bring in some music teachers to get residents to try an instrument they’ve never played before. For the less adventurous, many retirement communities have local school choirs come in to perform. This is also a great way for seniors to interact with some young, local talent.

At InTouchLink, we’re committed to providing senior living software that improves communication in your retirement community and increases resident participation in your events and activities. To learn more about our groundbreaking technology or to book a free demonstration, call 1-877-784-6868.