Virtual Activities for Life Enrichment

Social Distancing in 55+ communities is going to be around for a long time. New ways to engage residents in meaningful and creative ways is more important than ever.

Our goal is to work with Activity Directors and other Life Enrichment professionals to find ways to not just keep residents engaged and the commnity morale elevated but to do so in a way that leverages the activities towards the residents continuing on their own wihout the need for activities.

The proposed acivities below offer an example framework that can be customized for your unique situation while residents are sheltered in place, whether they have access to computers or not.

1. Virtual Interviews

Residents learning more about each other starts with asking questions about their lives, and sharing the answers with each other.  Nuggets learned from this narrowly focused interview step (image to left: career questions) will be used in creaing custom game-like activities (see #3 below). The interview questions can be printed or sent virtually and can be completed by hand, or filled out online.

View questions from many different category templates and select questions that relate to specific life experiences.

Select a set of questions from the template that are general enough to relate to all residents. You can edit our questions and can add your own.

At the click of a button you can create a form with your questions, drag and drop them in the order you want them answered.

The form you created can be printed or posted online. Hand the printed form to the resident or send the resident a link to the form and he/she can complete it online.

2: Family Trees

This activity facilitates engagement with family members (while practicing social distancing) and allows resident to reflect on family.  It also provides residents a framework for a life review in context of a family narrative (future activity).

In this activity residents provide family names with family unit information in either written format or online. When online, the family tree is created automatically. When written by hand, we or the activity director build the tree for them. 

Provide the names of parents, siblings, spouse and kids

Create family units by indicating which names represent parents and which name represent children of those parents. We will take this information and create the family tree if done in written format.

For each family member, find a photo with that person and we can scan the photo if needed or it can be emailed to us. We, or the activity director can upload and crop the photos for the family tree image.

Write a quick paragraph about each family member conveying anything you like. We suggest trying to summarize what kind of person he/she is/was plus career etc. This will be used as a quick bio. Stories of each person can be added later.

Your tree will display when all the above steps are complete just by clicking a button. A link to your tree can be sent to your family members. 

3: Who’s Who?

This activity is based on information from the first two activities.

The game promotes residents thinking about each other while sheltered in their apartment. As social isolation procedures open up the  activity can be resurrected as a group activity where each resident can further engage expounding in more detail on those experiences revealed and residents bonding with a deeper knowledge of each other.

OurStoriesAreUs can create the game sheet for you which can be slipped under their doors and filled out by hand. I

Activity Director gets photo (or takes photo) of each resident participating for this worksheet in the case the photo was not available from the family tree activity. OurStoriesAreUs will scan photos if necessary.

From the Interview Activity responses, OurStoriesAreUs and/or Activity Director will create this Matching Game worksheet.

Resident draws lines guessing which resident descriptor belongs to which resident.

Activity Director scores worksheets and distributes the correct answers to every one and awards some kind of incentive to winner just to make it more fun. (See Additional Activities below for example of a reward incentive.

When social isolation relaxes, residents can gather as a group and use this worksheet as a guideline to engage in Q & A and learn more about each other in more detail.

4. More Activities:

Additional activities add to past activities and together open up new possibilities. 

Photo scanning days can be scheduled where we work with resident directly, or with the acivity director (in support role) and/or family members, for the purpose of scanning the resident’s photo collection.  This service is of great value to the family members as they benefit from this preservation of photos.

With photos scanned and uploaded albumss can be created to further organize the resident’s photos. Residents can then (with Internet access) add their memories to photos.   Slideshow with photos and residents captions are easily generated, shared and preserved for future generations. For example: photos relating to the courtship years or military or career can each be their own activity and shared with other residents or with family members. Every story shared enhances a relationship.

Capturing the voice of the resident while he/she is relating a story about select photos is an efficient automated process and bring the story to life.  These oral histories (stories) represent a resident’s legacy and are priceless to the family. See story ideas.

Playing cards customized with resident’s photos (or any theme for tha matter) can be created adding another dimension to card games or servie as great giveaways for game winners, such as the Who’s Who above. 

GET MORE DETAILED INFO ABOUT THESE ACTIVITIES

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