15 Virtual Activities for Residents in Isolation

15 Virtual Activities for Residents in Isolation

User Profile By Haley Burress   United States

Found In: Activities Articles Coronavirus: Covid-19

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.
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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.

Why Virtual Activities?

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.

Virtual Trips

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.

Streaming Events

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:

  • The Metropolitan Opera is streaming performances every night at 7:30 pm EST and then saving the playback for 24 hours
  • The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting “Home Safari” live streams daily at 3 pm via their Facebook page. You can also check them out on their YouTube channel.
  • Check out a calendar of upcoming live stream music events
  • Be sure to live stream church services as well; simply check the website for your local churches for information as most are live streaming during this time
  • Take a doodling class from the Kennedy Center’s Artist in Residence, Mo Williams. While he is known for being a children’s author, the Lunch Doodles series really can be for anyone.

Programs to Enjoy Together (Separately)

You can also use technology to create a way for residents to stay connected with one another during this time.

  • Start a private resident-only Facebook group. Residents can build their own social media profile, say hello to other residents, and even participate in Facebook Live videos that you host
  • Use Kahoot!, a platform for creating your own trivia. Residents can answer questions by downloading the Kahoot! app on their device
  • Host exercise via Facebook Live or Zoom to engage residents in their rooms
  • Have residents take photos on their device and email them to you so that you can create a digital art show for them to enjoy (post photos in a shared Google Photos folder or on your private Facebook group)

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. 

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Comments   Post a Comment

Cheron Myers 19th Mar 2024
I've not got a budget but love, the ideas.
Jessica 18th May 2021
This is great! I will not be using this for seniors, but for adults with developmental disabilities at a dayprogram. were excited to travel a bit during our zoom sessions. Thank you for the resources!
kathy 23rd Apr 2021
Thank you so much for this resource ! trying to look for resource for seniors as a community coordinator with seniors in the community!
Susan 23rd Apr 2021 Activity Director
Hi Kathy
Would the residents be able to do a zoom call or could you have a Facebook group just for your residents??
Amy 6th Mar 2021 Student
Thanks, for all that you are doing. the site has helped me a lot as a student.
Talita 8th Mar 2021
Thanks so much for your feedback Amy, all the best with your studies x
Susan 8th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Hi Amy
Yes this is a great site
Good luck to you in your future endeavors
Donna 30th Dec 2020 Social Program Director
This is great! Definitely using some of this for our residents!
Talita 4th Jan 2021
Thanks so much for your feedback Donna!
Lesley 20th Jul 2020
Great and useful info. Thanks for posting this.
Laura 20th May 2020 Wellbeing Co-ordinator
This is a great source of information! Keep up the good work!
Solange 21st May 2020 Diversional Therapist
Thank you, Laura, your feedback is really appreciated.
Susan 30th Mar 2020 Activity Director
This sounds like a great idea who knows you may even be able to have your own cooking show
Danine 29th Mar 2020
I am planning to pilot some virtual cookery sessions to the care home where I usually work! I can't wait to do it and will update you with how it goes.
Snjezana 28th Mar 2020 OTA
Thank you so much..this is amazing ❤
Snjezana 28th Mar 2020 OTA
Thank you so much..this is amazing ❤
Adelina 27th Mar 2020 Lifestyle coordinator
Thank you Golden carers!!
Susan 27th Mar 2020 Activity Director
P. Liliana
Thank you for this information it is very helpful
P. Liliana 27th Mar 2020 Activities Coordinator
Firstly, THANK YOU! Golden Carers has been invaluable during this global emergency. I wanted to add a couple YouTube channels that really have been very popular with my program participants:
4K Relaxation Channel → Landscapes, animal habitats, and nature sounds
Stay Home #WithMe videos → Can be found on YouTube home page
Candid Camera Classics
Thanks again for all your help. Stay Safe

Community 27th Mar 2020 Administrator - Community Support Service - Day Centre
This is amazing thank you and the links are really good. Helpful for me and the people I support.
Lerah 26th Mar 2020 Lifestyle Officer
thank you, it's a good help for our residents.
Haley 19th Mar 2020 Recreation Therapist And Writer
Haley has submitted a new article: 15 Virtual Activities For Residents In Isolation
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