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Nina 21st Jul 2020 Activities Director
Anybody else facing this challenge?
We are in "lock down" in room only - week 3. 42 residents
I lost my office due to being located in the covid unit, I lost my assistant due to the needs of floor staff and I am told to stay as much as possible out of the rooms of the residents.
I have no activities aid on the weekend so activities is only 40 hours a week. The aids on the floor have a combination of "do not care", "don't know" or "no time" to help out with activities.
I am wearing full on PPE- the picture is from last week and I am now in a full body suit - one for each wing. I have to switch between my 3 PPE all the times...
I have mostly dependent , dementia residents.
Anybody else in this situation and how do you keep going?
How do you call bingo or 1 or 2 people at a time in their rooms in bed and without running out of breath and enthusiasm?
How do you create excitement?
Susan 22nd Jul 2020 Activity Director
Hi Nina you are facing quite a challenge
First of all let me say you need to keep a positive upbeat attitude
Leave your problems and negative feelings at the door
With that said are the residents able to answer the phone without help??
If so you could have a teleconference there are many available for free
Second you could pass out a few independent activity ideas or at the very least passed out cards to each resident
You may have to mail them by snail mail if you do not want to spend a lot of time in their rooms
Keep things simple
Are any of these activities appropriate for your facility and your residents??
You may have to make the arts and crafts something simple that could be done in many ways such as using pipe cleaners
As I said before you need to adapt and modify these activities so they keep with your COVID-19 guidelines and keep with the residents likes and abilities
If you need help with any specific activity and you want to know how to modify it for your group let me know
Hang in there hopefully the pandemic will be over soon

Sunya 22nd Jul 2020 Activity Director
Hi Nina. We are not In room only lock down (yet) . But still not able to have any groups. I know how you are feeling about doing the run around and being so exhausted at the end of the day. But I keep going and keep smiling because some are becoming depressed. So This is what I am doing for them in their rooms: Activities for 1 this consist of jigsaw puzzles, word search, reading/audiobook, trivia boards, solitaire, outdoors(patio), planting, writing, and flower arranging. Art for 1 Painting/tape, looking at pictures, adult coloring, mosaic, door hangers, sketching and making cards. Table games for 2 scrabble, checkers, cards, UNO, connect 4, balloon tennis, family feud and dominoes this one is done with me due to they can’t be together at this time. I have this on my calendar and I created a card to hang in there room so they can pick what they would like to do. I do DIY bingo on the same days and time as if we were still doing this as a group. They look forward to this one. Keep doing the great job I know you are and this too shall pass.
Susan 22nd Jul 2020 Activity Director
Hi Suyna
Thank you for sharing all your ideas and your story
It sounds like you are doing your best which is all that can be asked you
Lisa 5th Aug 2020 Activity Director
Hi Nina. I am facing some of the difficulties you are. We have been in total lock down since the end of March. Our residents have not left their rooms for any reason. (We can hold 125 but have 102 currently.) Our facility has been very strict in a lot of areas, but this has helped us stay COVID free. I was wondering, since you are wearing full PPE, do you have COVID positive residents in your building? While our PPE is being saved for the possibility we may one day have a resident get COVID, we do have to wear the KN95 masks from the time we hit the door to do our shifts to the time we walk out the door at the end of our shifts. I know your frustration of having your staff pulled for different reasons. I was really struggling with my activity assistants being pulled to do 1:1's with a certain resident, or pulled into the kitchen. I have a great staff and they faithfully come to work every shift. Because other departments have call ins frequently, they pull from my department. The frustration from this, had gotten me to the point where I thought I needed to move on, after 14 years at this facility. (I work for a large company that has over 55 nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities.) About three months ago, all of the activity directors, and our leader at corporate, created a support group of sorts via emails. We also have had zoom conferences. This has helped me realize that I am not the only one in this situation and all I can do is what I can do. You can't do something with nothing. Once I was able to accept this, I started feeling renewed and ready to tackle each day. I think probably each of us, at some point, have felt just complete frustration with the situation and spent numerous hours trying to figure out how to make things better. We have been doing the activity cart twice weekly, loaded with materials for independent activities. But then came the visits. Like many of you, our department is responsible for coordinating and carrying out Window Visits, FaceTime, Skype, emails, etc. That takes the majority of our time anymore. We average 10-15 visits of one type or another each day. If I am lucky, I have one person helping me with that. All I can do is what I can do.
Hang in there. You are not alone or forgotten.
Susan 5th Aug 2020 Activity Director
Wow Lisa
Thanks for your input

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