Keeping residents at senior living communities intellectually engaged and socially connected is critical during this time. Each week, we’ll update this page with creative new ways communities can help to keep their residents happy and engaged while also enforcing social distancing.
More fun ways to stay connected:
Sign up residents for FaceTime calls
Volunteer to teach residents with iPhones how to set up FaceTime video phone calls with their families. Visually seeing friends and family while speaking to them can lend a whole new level of connectivity to the interaction, not to mention a Jetsons-like thrill.
Have an online gaming competition
To stay connected with family, friends and peers, residents can find multiplayer games like Battleship and Bridge on interactive game websites, or by downloading gaming mobile apps like Words with Friends. A round of friendly competition can be very intellectually stimulating for residents.
Initiate a gratitude conversation
To help residents put this difficult time into perspective, facilitate a Zoom conversation where residents are invited to talk about what they are grateful for. Encourage residents to share their own thoughts following the discussion.
Recruit subject matter experts
Seek out local experts to lead remote educational presentations on subjects like history, literature or science, or find local fitness teachers to lead remote exercise classes like yoga, breathing and stretching. Stream the “classes” on Facebook Live, or show them on your community’s TV channel.
Develop and share music playlists
Use the universal language of music as a tool to bring people together and ask staff and residents to develop and share Spotify playlists within the community. Sharing songs can be very powerful in strengthening community bonds.
To get us started, here are some fun ways to stay connected:
Schedule virtual meals with family
Are any of your residents tech-savvy enough to use Skype or FaceTime? Encourage them to schedule a mealtime with a friend or family member! Even better when you deliver their meal and then help them set up with a video call before you leave.
Find a pen pal or be one
Receiving mail is such a simple joy. Reach out to residents’ family members (who may also have children out of school) or local community groups and encourage them to send a handwritten note to their loved ones.
Stream live music
There are so many ways to listen to music these days, but most people can agree: nothing beats a live concert. Have local music groups perform live and stream it on internal networks, like LifeLoop, for your residents, or make the performance available in real time on Facebook Live. Or help residents tap into music around the world such as: The Quarantine Soirees (Budapest Orchestra), The Metropolitan Opera and Broadway shows.
Volunteer by phone
Giving back can be so fulfilling. Help residents connect with a nonprofit, school, church or political party to make phone calls or write letters on behalf of the organization.
Mobilize your staff
Create exciting new routines for residents to look forward to. Have staff stop by residents’ rooms each day with an art project or activity for them to work on or create snack and beverage carts that circle the community each day. You can treat residents to their morning coffee, afternoon tea or happy hour.
Check back every Friday for new ideas on how to keep your residents engaged!