About our wonderful Activities Team at Salem Circle of Care
Most people do not realize the importance of activities in nursing homes, so we’ve put together this article to give our wonderful activities team a chance to share what they do for Salem Circle of Care.
Our Activities Team’s philosophy is to build an activities calendar that improves our long-term care residents’ lives psychologically, socially, spiritually, and physically. The purpose of our Activities Team is to help improve the quality of life for the residents. These activities in a skilled nursing home facility help build bonds between residents and between residents and staff.
Psychosocial Impact of Nursing Home Activities:
We believe the psychological health of senior living residents impacts their lives in such a big way. Being with a group of people can forge vital friendships and support systems and promote mental and physical health. We encourage group activities with co-residents and activities staff to give our residents the feeling of emotional belonging. We understand that safety is first and have adapted activities as needed. We include staff members and management to participate in games and activities throughout the hallways with residents when necessary for infection control purposes.
When residents cannot attend group activities, we provide one-on-one activities in the resident’s room based on their interests and preferences.
Personal Activity Programming
The facility must provide ongoing programs to support residents in their choice of activities, both facility-sponsored group, individual activities, and independent activities, designed to meet each resident’s interests and support each resident’s physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, encouraging independence and interaction in the community. Activities are an integral part of the culture change movement and central to person-centered care. It is essential for residents’ quality of life. The intent is that the facility identifies each resident’s interests and needs and involves the resident in an ongoing program of activities designed to appeal to their interests and enhance the resident’s highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial level well-being.
The Circle of Care respects all religious and spiritual beliefs of our long-term nursing care residents. We celebrate with our residents based on preferences. Some of our recent religious celebrations include Ash Wednesday, Hanukkah, and Ramadan. The activities department works closely with dietary to adapt meal preferences as needed to support religious traditions.
We encourage our residents to get up and move! Scarf stretching, balloon passing, and foot dancing are a few fun ways to promote the range of motion with our residents.
Residents also have access to therapy equipment such as the bicycle and weights.
Senior Living and Community Involvement
Maintaining contact and interaction with the community is an essential aspect of a person’s well-being and facilitates connectedness and self-esteem. Our residents are transported via our facility bus to local shopping stores, county fairs, and places such as White House Fruit Farms. We just started doing these things again since the pandemic began. Our residents enjoy leaving the facility, even if it is just for a country ride and ice cream from Dairy Queen. Our local library delivers books for our residents to enjoy, and at Christmas time, our local 4H community gives handmade Christmas cards for our residents to enjoy. We have family members that sew and crochet blankets for all of our residents to enjoy. We have helped the Parks Department paint the kid’s playground over the summertime and then had a pizza party afterward.
What else does the Activity Team do?
The activity team is responsible for Holiday decorating, planning/prepping and hosting events for residents/staff/families/community, creating the monthly calendar and newsletter, passing out in-house and mailing to family members, scheduling outings, employee of the month, and much much more!
It is imperative to have a strong relationship with all facility departments; after all, the team is here for the residents’ well-being. The activity team is one of the residents’ most prominent advocates taking care of the resident council and any concerns or grievances.
Jen Jordan; APC
Activity Professional Certified