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The RITE Stuff – Engagement Toolkit: September 2022

Senior Living September 13, 2022

Resident Initiated Tools for Engagement Programming

Engagement Toolkit – September 2022

In-room engagement has emerged as a silver lining of the pandemic. Moving on from social distancing and isolation, we know that residents continue to enjoy alone time and solitude in their own space, exactly as they did well before COVID. The only difference, is we have learned how to support and provide personalized, meaningful and interactive content to maintain health and wellbeing. Use these tools to help residents think creatively about new ways to engage themselves and each other.

 

Movement

The most important thing we can do for our bodies and minds is to keep moving. Movement is cumulative and all the seconds of movements add up throughout the day and throughout our lives. It is not about the amount of time spent per day moving, it is about the consistency and making a habit of doing something daily.

September Focus: Just Stand…Complete 10 Sit-to-Stands 

It seems basic and rudimentary, but this one movement may be the single best predictor of functional independence and lower body strength. Why is that important? If we cannot rise from a seated position and get to where we need, or want to go, our quality of life is greatly impacted. When we lose the autonomy to go and do as we please, life becomes more difficult and your schedule and desires are dependent on others.  

August Tools: Sit to Stand Exercises

 

Mindfulness

Mindset is extremely important during increased alone time. Encourage residents to focus on positivity, peace, gratitude, future goals, hopes, and past memories to help them find good in any day.

September Focus: Joy Challenge – Appreciate the Small Things

Joy is a Mindset. How we see the world, ourselves, our environment and encounters sets us up for joy or despair. Find joy in the small, everyday things that often get overlooked because we are searching for big moments.  

The truth is that often the things that matter most are the small ones. What are five small things that can bring you unexpected joy this week? 

 

Creative Opportunities

We all flourish when find creative outlets to express ourselves. Creativity is not limited to the arts. Let your mind wander and ask residents how they engage in creative outlets. Some may say board games, cards, photography, writing, poetry, acting, singing, dancing, gardening, flower arranging, designing, sewing or knitting. Be open minded and let others explain options for additional creative opportunities.

September Focus: Fall Foliage Flowers – DIY Arrangement 

Fall has become the new Summer. With all the craze of pumpkin spice everything, fall decor, a new level of football fanatics and a crisp fall morning, fall is taking the pie!   

If you want to add a bit of fall decor to your space, simply look outside. Take a walk and collect a few sprigs from the natural landscape. If unable to go outside and collect your own, or the landscape does not afford you opportunities, instead of a sweet treat, ask a loved one to bring you in some items (real or fake) and assemble your very own centerpiece or coffee table presentation! 

September Focus: Flowers Generate Happiness

Having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed. 

 

Mental Stimulation

Novelty is the best approach to counteract a monotonous routine. The mind needs to be stimulated: Learning new skills, trying new things and having new conversations with new people are excellent ways to stay mentally stimulated. Mental stimulation is so much more than brain games or daily puzzles.

September Focus: Start an In-person Conversation 

Yes brain games and puzzles are one small thing we can do for cognitive stimulation, but do not forget the power of in-person human connection for our brain!  

“Regular, in person contact is a more powerful predictor of how long we will live than anything else that is in our control.”  – Susan Pinker, Author (The Village Effect.)  Conversations with friends or strangers stimulates the brain and provides social connection that as humans we crave and NEED!  

Need a conversation starter? Try these questions: 

  • What are your hobbies, and how did you get into them? 
  • What was your favorite age growing up? 
  • What was the last thing you read? 
  • Would you say you’re more of an extrovert or an introvert? 
  • What’s your favorite ice cream topping? 

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