As anyone who has taken care of seniors will tell you, they can be extremely challenging to entertain. This is true whether they are still living at home or in a large facility with many other residents. While they're all unique, they share a common need to exercise their bodies and stimulate their minds.
Caregivers are constantly struggling to occupy their patients and loved ones simply because they don't know what to do with them. Telling them to just lay in bed all day or sit in a recliner and watch television doesn't work for everyone and that isn't a healthy choice for the ones it does work for. There has to be a better way.
To fix this, you may have done some browsing online only to find out that creating everyday activities to care for your resident's mental and social engagement takes a lot of time and research. I'm not saying that there aren't many ways for you as the caregiver to provide short bursts of entertainment with relative ease. The internet is full of many websites that are easily searched for and recommended that provide daily activities.
The problems arise when you have already utilized that resource to its full potential since most of them only offer a small portion of content for you to use. Even after thinking you finally struck gold, you quickly realize that what you found is not very sufficient or well rounded but rather just a specific idea that you thought of and searched for. Let's be honest, thinking of clever ideas takes a lot of brainstorming and time you simply don't have.
I have found that a much easier way is to join an online subscription service. While there are plenty of them out there, not all of them are worth their required monthly fee. However, I have found one in particular that is well worth the investment.
The website is called "Activity Connection." It has been around since 1999 and has been gaining popularity over the past few years and is considered by many, including me, to be the best site that can be used to enhance the lives of seniors. It is actively being used by a large number of residential homes to provide additional strategies and insights to keep residents engaged and busy within the center.
One of the many resources is providing the user with a monthly updated calendar. Every day of the month, yes even weekends, it covers an idea of a specific subject in history or various popular culture. Links are included to print out readily made documents to create new activities. The documents are free from advertising and often large print.
These daily themes are so profoundly useful to make patient's days more exciting rather than sticking with a boring everyday routine. If you like to plan way ahead, the calendars are already fully planned out two to three months in advance. This gives you plenty of time to adjust and place your own unique spin on the content to cater to your resident's liking.
Another one of its best features is the wealth of programs created and updated on a monthly basis. This includes games, music, sensory, short stories, and discussions on an array of people and subjects that would entice further engagement of the person or group of people you care for. Some of their ready made activities also include a slideshow or video presentation that can be viewed on a big screen monitor or television for easy viewing.
Other parts of the site also features the Monthly Gazette and Daily Chronicles. These are enjoyed by residents who are very much into interesting facts and socializing with others. The topics contained are meant to jog their memory of times passed so they can reminisce and have nostalgic group discussions.
The site also provides monthly themes with clip art and printables for flyers, cards, and even parties. Many of the fun activities include the resident's favorite foods or simple crafts they can build. No stone has been left unturned when it comes to the vast number of categories of programs including humorous topics for a good and healthy dose of laughter, or activities made specifically for those with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The insane number of useful articles included can be downloaded with relative ease even for those with little computer expertise. For the few things that aren't already included on the site, there are plenty of links that lead to more details of anything you could ever want or need.
I highly respect this website since it has been built and maintained very professionally while still being easily accessible to anyone. You don't have to be an expert internet user in order to navigate and find exactly what you need. In fact, if you found this article on your own, you could easily master navigating the Activity Connection menu.
Also, everything updates automatically on a daily basis with no user input so you know you will be getting the latest and greatest the internet has to offer. This makes the content not only fresh and exciting for the elderly and disabled market that it's catered to, but also the one directing and supervising the activities.
You would be hard pressed to find another website that accommodates healthcare, assisted living, and those with Alzheimer's better than this one. Caregivers of all kinds should consider it as an everyday tool. Even if you aren't a caregiver, those who are in the marketing or even the dietary department in an assisted living facility will find vast amounts of useful and engaging information.
Have you used the Activity Connection website? What has been your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Let me know in the comments down below.