Social distancing is crucial in the response to COVID-19 but can bring up many challenges for activity directors. To keep seniors engaged, social and stimulated, activities need to be creatively adapted to the “new normal.” One popular way to continue the fun of daily activities is to create activity carts and bring them room to room in your senior community.
These 15 cart ideas are tried and true and can give you the inspiration you need in this difficult time.
1. Library Cart
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Hit each room with a variety of books to choose from! You might also include adult coloring books in the mix for those who aren’t as into reading.
2. Technology Carts
A technology cart can have a variety of fun tech to play with. From a tablet to a kindle to headphones to listen to music! Here, Eversound community, Thorne Crest Senior Living uses Eversound in conjunction with a tablet to provide virtual music therapy to residents by going from room to room. Communities can also use this as a way to conduct virtual visits with family members using Eversound’s wireless headphone system for immersive and meaningful visits.
3. Puzzle cart
Load up your cart with puzzles of all kinds… Actual puzzles of animals and landscapes as well as puzzle books full of crosswords and word searches. Seniors will have fun and benefit from the positive effects of seniors doing puzzles.
You can base your cart around any food, so why not dessert? Decorate your cart like an ice cream truck and serve sundaes, or opt for cookies and brownies. Check out these fantastic and fun carts from Rachel Essmyer from The Boulevard Senior Living!
Crafts are a part of activities many seniors enjoy and would love to continue to do even when social distancing. There are endless options for crafts that can be brought to each room. Explain the craft to each resident or write out instructions to leave with the resident.
6. Happy hour
Social Distancing doesn’t have to mean prohibition! A happy hour cart can bring the fun with a speaker playing music as you take each senior’s order. There can be wine carts with wine tasting and a side of cheese, or carts of beer to take their choice. https://www.facebook.com/groups/694940873931517/permalink/2889346147824301/
You can never go wrong with snacks! Drop by each room with a variety of snack choices, or go with a theme like a trail mix. A trail mix theme like the one pictures offers seniors the ability to choose what they want to be included.
There is always a holiday to celebrate. Whether it be a recognized holiday like Halloween or the national day of (insert food or activity) you can find online. You can always find something to celebrate even if it’s silly. Consider holidays like Cinco de Mayo, like Activity Professional, Nolly Brandon of Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, or even national holidays like National Donut Day!
You’ve seen a coffee cart before… Recreate it! With coffee choices, tea, cups, and all the fixings.
Seniors just love their bingo; Don’t let them go without by adapting bingo to social distancing. There are a variety of ways to do bingo and having a cart can allow you to switch it weekly. Bingo can be done day by day with one number called per day or can be done in the hallway, or through eversound technology where seniors can hear numbers called in their rooms through their headphones.
Have some competitive seniors? Help them scratch the itch with room to room games! Through horse races like below, residents can play together while staying distanced.
A simple flower cart can be a nice way to brighten a room. Similarly, a gardening cart can be a therapeutic activity that can be done independently.
There are endless themes to choose from, one being Hawaiian! A Hawaiian theme can include grass skirts, lei’s, and Hawaiian punch for drinking. Check out more carts from Activity Professional, Nolly Brandon of Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center!
Social distancing means putting pampering on hold in most cases. Bring seniors this basic luxury with a cart of hot towels, lotions, and a variety of nail polish options.
15. Photo props
Getting photos of seniors having fun can be beneficial for the resident as well as their family, who can view these photos and see the smile on their faces. Fill your cart with a backdrop, props and a whiteboard to write a message.
Keep Activities Going
You can’t go wrong with an activity cart, and these 15 cart ideas will do the trick. You are providing the socialization and engagement seniors need in these times of social distancing. One way to ensure you are bringing the fun they are hoping for is to ask your seniors directly what they would like! Thank you to Nolly Brandon, Rachel Essmyer and the team of Thorne Crest Senior Living for sharing your ideas!
Want more activity ideas? Learn about Eversound’s Premium Programming, your platform to possibility with 100s of activities that are ready for residents.
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