Are you a busy carer who now has the added duty of finding activities for bored care home residents during the COVID-19 lockdown? If so, we are here to help. Luckily, this pandemic comes at a time when there are numerous resources to draw upon, both online and offline.
But what if you have never done this type of thing before? There are some excellent guidebooks to help give useful advice and ideas. Many give guidance on health and safety aspects, provide for different abilities – including anyone with dementia. Books such as The Activity Year Book have themed activities that are separated into different ability levels. Some have fun activity sheets that can be photocopied in multiples that provide instant solutions, take a look at the Activity Work Book series for simple word searches, number puzzles and colouring sheets.
Ideally, you will need a balance of activities throughout the day with a few things that need little monitoring or input and will allow busy staff to catch up with other duties. Colouring activities help to create a quiet atmosphere and help residents to relax and concentrate the mind away from any worries or agitation.
Mid-late morning is an ideal time to encourage residents into some form of gentle exercise. This is extremely important for everyone to get their circulation going and loosen up stiff limbs. Again, you can draw upon some excellent exercise DVDs like the Move it or Lose it series. There are three levels and many exercises can be done either seated or standing. If you don’t have access to a DVD player, Sit to Get Fit CD by Julie Robinson is a great way to get everyone moving with no extra equipment needed.
After lunch is the perfect time for art and craft projects. Why not purchase a kit that has everything you need? The Scratch Art Lightcatcher Kit makes 12 unique pictures with no mess involved and is suitable for all abilities. Just use the wooden stick to scratch away the coating and reveal a coloured background – you decide how much to reveal. Easy to set up and clear away and provides staff with precious time to prepare for the evening meal.
After dinner, why not play a group game? You could host your own Pub Quiz? A ready-to-go game that has a wide range of quiz questions covering different topics and for anyone who doesn’t want to join in – maybe ask them to keep score?
For more great activity ideas for any ability – check out Activities to Share’s website and take advantage of our Free Activity Sheets to download and print out – there is no cost involved and they are often themed for celebrations such as Easter and VE day etc.