By Haley Burress United States
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed your activity calendar, and you might be struggling to find new ways to connect with your residents.
If you have technology readily available in your community, you can begin to spice up your programming by using virtual activities. Here is a list of sites, apps, and programs you can begin using any time.
Activity Professionals are searching for ways to connect to residents now that group programs have been limited or eliminated due to the coronavirus pandemic. While activity packets full of word searches and worksheets are excellent ideas in the short-term, communities with the technology available can use virtual activities to add more “oomph” to their programming.
Virtual activities can be done in small groups that practice social distancing, in 1:1 interventions, or even independently. For most activities, you just need some type of smart device (tablet, phone, television) that has internet access. Then, when the activity is done, you can quickly disinfect the device before passing it to another resident.
Resist the urge to give your residents every virtual option at once. Instead, spread it out and use each virtual opportunity as the chance to build a theme. For example, serve Dole Whips during your hallway happy hour after residents have the chance to virtually ride a few rides at Disney (see below). You can create Disney trivia as well to round out the afternoon.
Finally, as the pandemic continues, more businesses and entertainers will likely be incorporating virtual or streaming experiences. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and bookmark the experience so you can find it later when you are creating your next calendar.
Taking virtual tours is a great way to continue your armchair travel groups, but without having residents congregated together. You can use these links to host “trips” through your in-house television system or via devices you pass out to individual residents.
It seems like everyone is streaming right now - concerts, classes, and even karaoke sessions! Here are a few your residents may want to tap into:
You can also use technology to create a way for residents to stay connected with one another during this time.
I’d love to add to our list of virtual programming ideas, so comment with anything you are using now that is successful. We can all learn from one another.