How Seniors Can Build Community
It’s no secret senior living communities and skilled nursing facilities have changed because of the pandemic. Some residents wished for more interaction, while others welcomed a break from the patterns of social life. Going back to activities and gatherings brought life to those who couldn’t take isolation any longer, but for those who may be more introverted, this transition hasn’t been easy. We work hard to encourage those who have a more difficult time connecting.
Here at Mitchell Hollingsworth, we offer many different activities to accommodate a wide range of ability levels and interests. From music entertainment to religious services to fitness and craft classes, we have something for everyone. Even still, many residents don’t think these activities would be right for them, and that is okay. Our teams use an attendance tool to help us see who has been coming to activities, which activities are popular (or not), and which residents have been staying in their rooms. This allows us to make adjustments to our event and activity calendar to give residents what they really want.
We also know that sometimes smaller groups are a great way for someone who feels uncomfortable attending large events to create more meaningful connections. This is why we also offer one on one activities and social bonding and station activities that they can do with their Station Representative on their specific hallway. Any resident or their loved ones who are looking for smaller groups not yet offered or have an idea for an event or activity is welcome and encouraged to ask your Station Representative.
Of course, there are people who don’t like being social in any aspect, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want or need a check-in occasionally. Our team uses our attendance tool to prioritize visits for those who haven’t attended any activities or received a visit in a while. We also collaborate with housekeeping, dietary, volunteer services, and nursing teams to notice when a resident might need more attention. We can even bring the crafts to them! We bring crafts, games, books, puzzles, and more to residents’ doors. This helps us ensure residents have tools they need to stay active in their own rooms, even after our visits.
Getting or staying connected in an unfamiliar or new place might feel daunting, but we are here to help. Paying attention to calendars for activities you might enjoy, asking your team about smaller groups, or requesting a visit are all ways you can stay socially involved. And, most importantly, never feel alone in your need for peace and quiet. Chances are, there are many others feeling the same way right down the hall.