This year’s National Assisted living week looks a little different. COVID-19 has thrown senior communities for a loop and each day is a product of more adaptation and creativity. While COVID makes for an unsure time regulated by strict restrictions for safety, now more than ever the celebration of Assisted Living Facilities and their staff is warranted.
Assisted Living Week is a time to get everyone involved and show appreciation for the resilient workers. We’re sharing some safe, doable ideas to keep morale high, involve family in the celebration, and engage residents with activities to show their appreciation.
Keep Staff Morale High
Keeping a safe and comfortable living situation amid a pandemic is difficult, and made possible by the effort and passion of employees day in and day out.
Throw a Party
Since the start of the pandemic, parties haven’t looked the same. Birthday, graduation, and wedding celebrations have been socially distanced, virtual, or rescheduled altogether. If you’re hoping to throw a party in honor of Assisted Living week, you can do it safely with a few tweaks to the norm.
Consider decorating a large room available to throw the party, stock with snacks to be eaten throughout the day, and stagger times for a few people to come at a time.
Create an AL Appreciation Bulletin Board or Wall
Have an open wall or clear bulletin board? Dedicate this space to post photos of employees with something positive or fun about them. Get creative and make a theme, use printed faces on different bodies, or do you something similar to what this community did with superheroes!
Sometimes boosting morale means cutting loose and doing something silly. Parades and fashion shows through the halls of communities get everyone involved and are a break for everyone to laugh and enjoy themselves. Camden Healthcare Community through a “PPE parade” where staff modeled their PPE.
Spirit week is another fun way to cut loose throughout the week. Assign each day a different theme for communities to embody or dress as.
Assisted Living workers are in it for their residents and the connection they have with them. Getting residents involved in the celebration will make for a great activity for seniors and be meaningful for employees.
Assign residents an employee or type of employee (CNA, Nurse, Social Worker, Etc.) and ask them to decorate their door with a kind saying, photos, and whatever else they want to represent the employees.
Sure, it’s simple, but you can’t go wrong with a card full of kind messages. Residents can create cards or use premade cards and write their appreciation for the employees.
Plant a Tree
Many communities have been utilizing outdoors this year more than ever. Planting a tree in honor of the years employees is a nice activity and a beautiful symbol.
Families will want to get in on the celebration and show their love for the community as well. In order to maintain safety, notify them of the different things you’re doing for staff and how they can get involved.
A safe and simple option is to point the families in the direction of your social media. If your community has a Facebook page, post a call for memories and kind messages to be posted!
Go old school with letters. A letter of appreciation is such a nice option that can be kept by employees to refer to for years to come.
Send in Videos
If you have access to a video editing app or software, you can go above and beyond and put out a call for videos of appreciation to be sent in, to be compiled, and put into a video together. Play the video for all or post on social media!
More Than Ever, Thank You Healthcare Workers!
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the elderly communities at an alarming rate, and it takes everyone on the team to practice social distancing and hand hygiene in and out of work. Following these restrictions and keeping residents safe is a huge feat, and this is the perfect opportunity to recognize Assisted Living Communities for all they do.