Vrable Healthcare, Author at THE GRAND

Engaging and Entertaining Residents in Long Term Care

Engaging and Entertaining Residents in Long Term Care

Amanda Lilly, Director of Activities
The GRAND of Dublin

Activities in a Nursing home are an important part of a Residents day. We provide entertainment, companionship and kindness. With activities ranging from Bingo to Zumba, we design a day to help enhance the Residents life. Mentally and physically.

Seniors in a nursing facility are at risk for depression. As people age, their health declines. This may add pain or mobility issues for the Resident contributing to depression.  According to parentliving.com, a study found that Residents in a Nursing Home felt healthier, happier and more satisfied with their lives after being empowered to influence their surroundings. This is one of the reasons we hold a monthly Resident Council. This is a formal meeting. The Residents elect a President, we hold minutes and document all wants and needs of the Council. During the meeting Residents discuss what each department does well, and what each department can do to improve. This empowers the Resident to influence their home.

Another way to empower the Resident is to simply ask what we can do to keep them happy and feel fulfilled. We then do all we can to accommodate the request of the Resident. Often times, the request is simple. Pizza for dinner, a specific book, a certain movie played during the matinee in The GRAND of Dublin Theater. We do what we can for them. This is their home and they have a right to feel as such.

All Residents are Different

Each Resident has different likes and dislikes. Some Residents prefer group activities and some prefer 1:1 activities. At The GRAND of Dublin we offer these and more. As each Resident joins our community they are greeted and welcomed and we begin getting to know them. This helps us determine what they may like and what we may need to add to our calendar to help them feel included and encouraged to participate.

Activities engages with the Resident and gets to know them. We get to know them on a personal level and form friendships with them. The Residents know we will listen to them and that we care. Residents often just want to chat. Most have lived a full and long life by the time they choose to retire at The GRAND. They have stories and jokes and memories of the most fascinating of times. We must remember that most of our Residents have lived through The Great Depression, World Wars and The Civil Rights Movement. We have been blessed to hear stories of people who marched with Dr. King, served proudly their country and know how to make a stew using only leftovers.

The Importance of Activities

Activities also develops relationships with the family members of our Residents. This offers familiarity and comfort to our Residents loved ones. Having a relationship with the families of our Residents means the loved ones will often keep us informed of our Residents likes and dislikes. They let us know what games they like, what music they prefer. All things that help us meet the needs of the Resident. This also provides us with a gateway for bonding with the Residents.

Activities also engage and invite the Skilled Nursing Residents. Even though they are here for a short time and tend to be more independent and at times younger, we encourage everyone to participate and have fun while they are with us. We introduce ourselves to each person and get to know them also. We develop a care plan for them that helps them feel less isolated and included.

To sum it up: The Activity Department at The GRAND is honored that we get to engage and entertain the Residents every single day. It is a real privilege to be a part of their lives.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery: Breathing Exercises

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery: Breathing Exercises

Jeanne R. Seliskar, MA, CCC/SLP
Corporate Director of Rehabilitation
Vrable Healthcare

Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing)

Diaphragmatic vs. High Chest Breathing: High chest breathing is when the chest rises and falls with inhale/exhale, this does not allow for expansion of the lungs in their entirety and therefore shallow breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is when the stomach rises and falls with inhale/exhale. The diaphragm contracts which then expands the rib cage and allows for more room for the lung to expand.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) RecoveryPhases of Diaphragmatic Breathing:

Phase I: Deep breathing while laying on your back.

Phase II: Deep breathing while laying on your stomach.

Phase III: Deep breathing while sitting in a chair.

Phase IV: Deep breathing while standing.


Pursed Lip Breathing: Inhale through nose and exhale through mouth with lips pursed as if trying to blow a kiss.

 Alternate nostrils breathing:

  1. After exhale, use thumb to gently close right nostril.
  2. Inhale through left nostril.
  3. Switch position of hand and close left nostril in order to exhale through right nostril.
  4. Continue alternative breath pattern for up to 5 minutes.

Lions Breath:

  1. Inhale deeply through nose and open eyes wide.
  2. At the same time, open mouth wide and stick out your tongue, bringing the tip down toward your chin
  3. Contract muscles at front of throat as you exhale out through your mouth by making a long “ha” sound

Humming Bee Breath:

Inhale through nose while putting pressure on tragus cartilage that partially covers ear canal. Keep mouth closed and make loud humming during exhale.

4-7-8 Breathing Technique: Inhale through nose for a count of 4 seconds. Hold breath for a count of 7 seconds. Exhale for a full 8 seconds through nose. Complete 5-8 cycles of this pattern.

Sitali breath:

Stick out your tongue and curl tongue to bring the outer edges together. If your tongue is unable to do this then just purse your lips. Inhale through mouth.

Kapalbhati breathing exercise: Sit with your hands on your knees and palms facing the sky. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, contract your belly and force the breath out in a short burst. Put on a hand on your stomach to feel abdominal muscle contract if needed. As you quickly release your abdomen, your breath should flow into your lungs automatically. Complete 20 breaths.

Despite COVID 19 being on the decline, vulnerable individuals are still contracting the disease and with many residual effects lingering or only partially resolving.  One of the most common areas for impairment is breathing.  As a critical and integral element of functioning and being mobile, it has become a foundational factor in Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy.  It has been a component consisting of several exercises to improve controlled inspiration and controlled expiration in addition to proper diaphragmatic pattern of breathing which targets increased respiratory volume.  All of these targeted exercises (a few shown above) are aimed improving activity tolerance during functional activities/mobility.  With the patient learning and independently practicing these breathing exercises, significant improvement in various facets of treatment are noted.

Posture also becomes an essential part of this process.  Using the “Y”, “T” and “W” positions with the arms in lying, sitting or standing, allow the chest cavity to open up and increase the respiratory volume.  It also helps the patient to move from shallow high chest breathing to expanding the lungs and moving the abdomen forward as in diaphragmatic breathing.  Although, patients may not achieve perfect postures, approximations ultimately result in better breathing patterns and improved recovery.

According to Physical Therapist Peiting Lien at Johns Hopkins: “Deep breathing can help restore diaphragm function and increase lung capacity. The goal is to build up the ability to breathe deeply during any activity, not just when at rest.”

What is an Activity Director and why are activities important in a Nursing Community?

What is an Activity Director and why are activities important in a Nursing Community?

Amanda Lilly
Director of Activities
The GRAND of Dublin

An Activity Director in a Nursing Community plans and oversees the recreational events and programs for the seniors residing in the care community. I create an activity schedule that helps to develop and enhance social skills, promote active lifestyles and encourages a healthier Resident. For example, The GRAND of Dublin has Happy Hour every Friday in our own Digger & Finch Pub. We have a live performer, snack foods and refreshments. The Residents come together and are able to chat with each other while listening to music and snacking. This fun activity focuses on getting the Residents out in the Community and socializing with their neighbors. Another example would be the weekly Chair Zumba classes we have. This again, gets the Resident out in the community with their neighbors and promotes an active and healthier lifestyle for them.

activities GRAND of DublinAccording to www.actretirement.org, consistently socializing residents help reduce the risk of depression. Depression can be caused by isolation and loneliness. Socialization also reduces the levels of anxiety in seniors. Socialization helps maintain self- esteem and self -worth. I plan a schedule of activities and events designed solely to make our Residents happier and healthier. Physically and mentally. The activities are also designed to allow the Residents to spend time with people similar to them, this gives them companionship and comradery.

At The GRAND of Dublin we like to stay busy. The Resident favorite is Bingo. For every game won, the winner receives one BINGO BUCK. They can save the BINGO BUCK or spend it in our BINGO STORE. Playing Bingo takes concentration. Concentration promotes listening and helps maintain short term memory.

A favorite for our Memory Care Friends is noodle ball. This is simply short pool noodles and balloons. The Residents pass the balloon using the pool noodle. This fun game keeps the Residents active and helps with balance and coordination.

Arts and Crafts is always a winner for us. Varying from canvas painting to paper machete projects. We have built birdhouses and painted pumpkins. Creating art stimulates the brain, gives a sense of competence and greater self -esteem.

Every week our Memory Care unit has Music Therapy. We also have live music two to three times a week. We play games like name that tune or finish the lyric. We have sing-a-longs also. Music makes people think, feel and act a certain way. Music activates the section of the brain responsible for memory retention. Memory retention is vital for seniors.

My department also helps the Residents stay connected with their family members that live away from them. We offer Facetime and Zoom calls. We also develop relationships with the Residents. We know their likes and dislikes. We encourage them to participate. Most importantly, we listen to them.

Activities facilitates voting for the Residents. Voting is such a privilege and no one understands that better than seniors.

The goal of my department is to enrich the lives of the Residents. We aim to entertain them while also improving their well -being. This is an important role in their lives. At The GRAND of Dublin, we developed the entire place to promote a sense of community. While strolling along our Main Street, the Resident can have a coffee or snack at The Cool Beans Café. Catch a movie in The GRAND Theater. Have an ice cream at What’s the Scoop Ice Cream Parlor. Get your hair done at the Queens Gate Salon. Attend Church in The GRAND Chapel. We even have neighborhoods with their own dining rooms.  The GRAND strives to maintain a facility that helps the Residents not just live happily, but THRIVE TOGETHER.

ADL/IADL– What does that stand for and what does it mean?

ADL/IADL– What does that stand for and what does it mean?

Jeanne R. Seliskar, MA, CCC/SLP
Corporate Director of Rehabilitation
The GRAND of Dublin

Activities of Daily Living include Grooming, Dressing, Bathing. Toileting.  Sounds like simple tasks because these are things we do every day and take our abilities for completing these essential functions for granted.  A broken arm or leg, generalized weakness, surgery, paralysis and other temporary or permanent disabilities can make these tasks hard or impossible to complete without help or rehabilitation.  Rehabilitating or compensating for these skills is the primary role of an Occupational Therapist.  Work simplification and energy conservation techniques are components of the process.  Along with adaptive equipment, such as reachers, sock aids, dressing sticks, long handled sponges or shoe horns can make a tremendous difference in a person’s independence.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are more complicated tasks that are performed daily and are essential for truly independent living.  Some examples which can be disrupted for individuals include medication management, using a cell phone, preparing meals, shopping, cleaning, and managing finances just to cover some of the various areas.

Not being able to complete these various tasks may for some be the difference between return to home or having to rely on help in a facility.  It takes the skills of an Occupational Therapist and the motivation/efforts of their patients to bring back valued independence into their lives.

Zoom Meeting Etiquette

Zoom Meeting Etiquette

Sacha Sanborn
Business Office Manager
The GRAND of Dublin

Zoom Meeting EtiquetteJoin the Meeting Early
You should join your meeting early to test your connection and audio.

Greet the Host
Greet your host as soon as you are on, so that they know you are there.

Eliminate Distractions
Turn off email notifications, put your cell phone on silent, put a sign on your door. If working from home put pets in another room.

Mute your Microphone
Make sure your microphone is muted, so that your background noise doesn’t distract others in the meeting. Make sure to unmute prior to speaking.

Look at the Camera when Speaking
Look at the camera when interacting and speaking, just like you would when speaking to someone in a person.

Remember You are Always on Camera
Remember to have a work appropriate background, sound and lighting

Always dress professional and or “dress casual”. If working from home, no pajamas or sweatpants. No eating or drinking, unless there is prior communication between team members stating is it acceptable.

Before the zoom meeting: host tips

  • Prepare agenda prior to the meeting.
  • Only invite those who need to participate.
  • Share any resources and or material.
  • Manage the room and address disruptive participants
  • Keep participants engaged.
  • Schedule breaks and feedback times.

Employee of the Month December 2021

Congrats to our Employee of the Month, Lois.
Lois has been with us for 4 years and is in our housekeeping department. Lois always goes above and beyond and has a great relationship with our Residents! Lois enjoys football and NASCAR. Lois has 2 Sons, 10 Grandchildren and 1 Great Grandchild. Lois recently became a homeowner! Thank you Lois!

As Valentine’s Day Approaches

February 5, 2021

Dear Families, Friends and Staff Members

ValentineFebruary and Valentine’s Day are about love.  As Valentine’s Day approaches, The GRAND would like to make it easy for our community, family, and friends to send our residents and your loved ones a special message to let them know someone is thinking about them on this holiday.

We ask you to take this as an opportunity to make a person’s day feel special. We would like to invite you to send a Valentine’s Day Message to your loved one or to any resident to brighten their day.

Send a message to one of our residents letting them know someone is thinking about them by going to https://www.grandofdublin.com/resident-valentine-messages.

Blu Johnson, Administrator

Resident Valentine Messages

Send a Special Valentine’s Day Message to a Resident at The GRAND of Dublin

February and Valentine’s Day are about love. As Valentine’s Day approaches, The GRAND would like to make it easy for our community, family, and friends to send our residents and your loved ones a special message to let them know someone is thinking about them on this holiday.

We ask you to take this as an opportunity to make a person’s day feel special. We would like to invite you to send a Valentine’s Day Message to your loved one or to any resident to brighten their day.

Send a message to one of our residents letting them know someone is thinking about them by filling out the form below. If you do not a have a specific resident you want to reach, simply leave the Resident Name field blank.

Please select a valid form