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.