The dreary winter weather can negatively impact your resident’s attitude, morale and health. Having to be indoors for long lengths of time increases risk of depression and unhappiness in individuals. The good news is that spring time has arrived along with the beautiful weather and is a perfect time to get your residents outside. Depending on the types of residents you care for on a daily basis will determine what types of activities you can plan and organize. Here are a few activities that you may be able to provide to your adult residential care home residents:
1. Family Picnics. Springtime weather gives you the perfect opportunity to host an outdoor picnic and invite residents’ families to come and visit. You can prepare a typical picnic menu that meets the dietary needs of your residents and includes some favorites like fresh fruit salad, grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, kabobs, and broccoli salad. A picnic with families gives them the opportunity to visit with family members as well as the other residents and sparks conversation among the residents. All of these are known to increase positive moods and happiness.
2. Go For a Walk. Blooming flowers provide a beautiful scenery and walks are a great way to get residents out of the indoors and offers light exercise. Even residents in wheelchairs will enjoy being taken to local parks or around the neighborhood to see all the changes happening. Remember to always suggest sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to the residents to protect their fair skin from sun damage.
3. Visit the Market. Local farmers markets offer a variety of things to see and provide a great opportunity for your residents to mingle and chat with others. They will enjoy seeing/buying local fruit, veggies, and flowers to take back and make their rooms feel more like home.
4. Decorate Planters. This is the perfect way to give your residents an opportunity to “spruce up” their rooms! You can purchase planters/flower pots from your local shopping center or home improvement store for just a few dollars. Pair them with some paint and art supplies to decorate the planters and then let your residents’ plant flowers and display proudly in their windows.
5. Plant Your Flower Beds. If you have residents that are able to move about easily, you can plan a day to make your flower beds beautiful. Getting the opportunity to have say or be responsible for the flower beds will remind the residents their opinion still matters and will give them a sense of pride in being responsible for an important task.
6. Yard Sale/Spring Cleaning. Do any of your residents have some items that they need to dispose of? Host a spring cleaning yard sale that allows the residents “clean house” and sell their items. You can either let each resident keep the money they earn from the sale or take all of the money and host #7 below.
7. Ice Cream Party. Men and women of all ages love ice cream. Hosting an ice cream party can help the residents feel a little young again. Make sure you offer ice creams that meet all dietary needs (like sugar-free options) and do not forget the fun toppings like syrup, crushed peanuts, fruit, and sprinkles.
8. Water Day. Set up water stations outside for residents to take part in. Stations can include water tables, splash centers, and even sprinklers for those residents that are daring.
After a long winter of being indoors, it is important to make plans to get residents outside and enjoying the warmer weather before the summer humidity hits. What ideas have you used in the past? Share them in the comments section with us.