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Nursing Homes Activities

May 20, 2020

COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways. It’s also affected the activities nursing homes, or skilled care facilities, provide for residents.

“We’re a very social center. Our residents are big on crafts and there’s a group that loves to bake. They make cookies and brownies—it reminds them of what they did for their families,” said Kim Rocheleau, administrator at Lebanon ManorCare. The facility in Lebanon has 159 beds, but Rocheleau said there’s an average of 150 to 156 residents.

While those activities as well as others such as bingo and visits with therapy animals and have been discontinued due to COVID-19, Rocheleau said the facility’s staff has found creative ways to adapt some activities and continue to engage residents. Instead of bingo with residents gathered in one room, there’s hallway bingo to allow residents to participate from their own room. Daily visits from a therapy dog have morphed into “pony window visits.” She explained that a therapy pony visited the window to each resident’s room.

Families and friends can’t visit in-person, but they can do video chats. The recent Mother’s Day holiday was a busy one for video chats between families and residents.

“Families can also drop items off for their loved one in our lobby,” Rocheleau said, “We had a number of flowers delivered by families for Mother’s Day. Local florists have also provided flowers for staff and residents for both Mother’s Day and Easter.”

And while residents can’t gather to bake their own treats, community members and businesses have provided treats to both residents and staff. She said the community has been generous in its outreach and support of staff that are caring for residents.

“As caregivers, they’re at risk, too,” Rocheleau said.

She added that residents are doing well and have adapted to the changes. “They understand why we’ve had to make the changes,” she said.

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