Adjusting activities to meet safety standards has kept Pleasant Meadow residents engaged

From spiritual programs to bingo, residents have enjoyed many of their favourite activities during the pandemic, with staff working within the protocols to ensure safety

By making small changes to ensure safety and adhering to all ministry protocols, the Pleasant Meadow Manor team has been able to keep many programs the way residents enjoyed them before the COVID-19 pandemic began – even if there are some small differences.

With large-group programming on hold during the pandemic, the life enrichment team has been working hard to deliver the activities residents most enjoy, says Kim Williams, the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

For indoor activities, groups must be kept to five residents or less, with social distancing measures in place.

Walking and exercise programs have remained in place and have been suited for one-to-one programming, Kim says.

Meeting residents’ spiritual needs has also been top of mind for staff, Kim says. Before the pandemic began, there were volunteers from several denominations who would visit Pleasant Meadow Manor.

Since pastoral volunteers cannot be at the home during this time, life enrichment aide Sheila Fleury has stepped into this role.

On Mondays, Sheila will meet with residents for spiritual readings with small groups or individually.

On Sundays, the home sets up the smart TV and streams sermons from YouTube for residents who wish to attend religious services.

There are residents of many faiths at the home and Kim says team members work to meet all of their spiritual needs.

“We are still trying to keep that spiritual connection for them,” she says.

One of the most popular programs, bingo, has also continued with a different approach.

Rather than giving residents poker chips to place on their cards, which was how the game was played before the pandemic, they use bingo dabbers which are sanitized after every use.

Board games are also offered for small groups of socially distanced residents, with one staff member moving the game pieces around the boards to prevent touching.

“We continue with as many of the activities as we can as long as we can wipe items down,” Kim says.

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