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Jacqulyn 23rd Jul 2020 Activity Program Coordinator
HISTORICAL LONERS in a SNF...
We have a group of Residents that are "historical loners". They do not like to socialize with others. If they do, it might be for 5-10 minute or less(only when smoking). They only come out of their rooms for smoking, at various times, then go back into their rooms and watch TV or sleep. Trying to engage them into participate with the activities, that they themselves stated they like to do (upon admission and besides smoking) is very difficult. Please, if anyone has any suggestions as to what I can offer, please toss them to me, I think I'm a pretty good catcher(ha, ha)!
Veronica 24th Jul 2020 Companion Care
You can always try one on one activities with them. Or when they are eating in a diningroom, try a game of trivia with everyone while they eat. Or bring in a few different options for activities they can do on their own. You can't really make them socialize if they don't want to.
Sara 24th Jul 2020 Activities
Hi! Does your facility allow pets? We have had employees (my Activities Coordinator) bring her dog in and do room visits with her to those residents who don't really come out for any of the programs. The residents really seemed to enjoy the pet visit. Pre COVID we had Pets on Wheels come in and do visits, but they didn't go to individual room.

Would any of the loners be interested in a pen pal program? We did one before that went really well. Or would any of them be interested in a service type project? Putting together care packages/writing notes for service workers?

Good luck! :)
Susan 24th Jul 2020 Activity Director
Hi Jacqulyn
This can be a difficult problem
The one thing you want to do is to write thorough progress notes telling what the resident told you that he liked how often you offered it to him and how often he refused
You want to do this to protect yourself if someone questions you
This can be your proof
Have you read these articles??
https://www.goldencarers.com/15-activities-for-loners-and-introverted-seniors/4274/

https://www.goldencarers.com/one-on-one/
https://www.goldencarers.com/how-to-motivate-residents-in-long-term-care/3742/
https://www.goldencarers.com/portable-activity-ideas-to-reach-every-resident-everyday-/5745/
Of course you want to find out why the person likes to be alone
You can ask them for their help in some projects that you are doing
I like to make cards on the computer that need to be folded and copy them
Then give the resident some of the skirts to fold
If they complete the task offer them some reward
Food and drink are good motivators
The cart can celebrate special days and I would include some simple questions on them
Collect all the cards that have answers on them from the residents
All residents can participate but strongly encourage those loners to answer the questions
Them pick a winner at an activity
Even if the loner only comes when you pick the winner at least that is a start
Invite their family or friends to come to an activity and they can go together
Here is another article that might help

https://www.goldencarers.com/how-to-get-reluctant-residents-to-attend-activities/5980/
Let me know if you need more help

Susan 24th Jul 2020 Activity Director
Thank you Veronica and Sara for sharing your ideas I think they will be a help to Jacqulyn
Stephanie 27th Jul 2020 Activities Assistant
Great question and I find with Covid we are facing new challenges! What we do for our "loners" is we put together an activity packet that consists of a daily chronicle, coloring pages, crossword puzzles, etc. and we provided them each with a pencil case of colored pencils and pens to do said activities as well as a sharpener. Since all of our residents are confined to their rooms for infection control policies we put together a cart with a theme each day and provide snacks, happy hour, or an activity that is manageable. I am finding that our isolators enjoy these carts especially as we are coming to them and they don't have to leave their room or socialize with anyone else. We also offer one on one and ask if they want to be read to, sit outside on the patio for awhile, play a card game, etc. However, there are always going to be those residents who prefer to be left alone and they don't mind the isolation and we respect their wishes to do so. We just make sure to care plan and document in progress notes so that we are covered and it's known we try and they aren't neglected but that they just refuse. You can only do so much! Hope this helps!
Susan 27th Jul 2020 Activity Director
Hi Stephanie
Thank you for your input
You have some great ideas and suggestions
Always appreciated
Heather 2nd Aug 2020 Life Enrichment Aide
Last year I had this problem on a unit I was covering over the summer time. And it really got to me as they were always asking what are the other residents were up to and what programs were happening on a daily bases. But they would never come to the group programs. All they wanted to do was chat which was ok as I got to know them better. Then I thought what about Special take out lunch. and I did it just for these residents. first one swiss chalet, then kfc, then pizza.
I invited them personally, the room was set up formally and they got to know each other.
After doing this I started to notice that they would be going to each others rooms and checking in on each other.

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