Winter Games helps Forest Hill life enrichment team increase programming participation

Forest Hill residents pose with their medals at the close of the Winter Games on Feb. 26. The Ottawa-area long-term care home hosted events to coincide the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Hosting Olympic-themed activation increased resident participation, says LEC Craig Forrest.

Life enrichment team adds Olympic twist to scheduled events, much to residents’ enjoyment

Embracing the spirit of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games proved to be the perfect way to increase participation in activities at Forest Hill, says the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC).

Craig Forrest says Olympic fever caught on big-time with residents and staff throughout February, and the life enrichment team decided to use the Winter Games as an opportunity to engage participation in activities.

The life enrichment team kept with the usual schedule of bingo, trivia and other activities, but added an Olympic twist to each.

Residents had the chance to compete against each other in friendly contests and gained participation points that were accumulated alongside points received for events where they won gold, silver or bronze medals.

While there were new activities for residents to compete in, such as a ring toss and a beanbag toss, they could also score points by attending regular activation – and they did.

Before the Winter Games kicked off in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Feb. 9, residents and staff members played trivia and had discussions about the history of the Olympics. When the Winter Games were on TV, everyone watched with enthusiasm, especially when Canadians took medals, Craig says.

Even the crafts program had the Olympic spirit, Craig says, noting residents made paper torches resembling the famous Olympic torch.

After the Winter Games ended on Feb. 26, residents who placed first, second and third in events received their medals. They also watched the closing ceremonies of the Winter Games on TV.

As a nod to South Korea, Craig even made a Korean barbecued beef meal that was provided to Forest Hill’s lunch program.

“The residents really enjoyed the two weeks the Olympics were on, and we got a bit more attendance to the programs, which was great,” Craig says.

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