Have you thought about starting a walking club with your residents?
It’s a great thing to be thinking about as winter turns to spring. A completely free activity, with the added benefits of being a healthy and active diversion.
You could walk after breakfast or before morning tea/coffee. Residents will benefit from plenty of fresh air, gentle exercise, sensory stimulation and the chance to chat and make friends in a new environment. If you have a large care home, have two walking groups to reduce the staff numbers needed to attend.
Organise either a loop or circular walk, or perhaps you have a nearby park with a pond or a cafe where you can stop to feed the ducks or have a cup of tea and a chat. Walking through a park also gives your residents an opportunity to see children playing, dogs walking and people exercising – all good topics for a bit of reminiscence when you’re back at home.
If parks are harder to come by, what about picking a few easy to get to local landmarks or points of interest – the town hall, war memorial – and walk to a different place each day. If you’re in a more rural setting, have a checklist of flowers, insects or birds to look out for.
You could ask family or friends to volunteer on these weekly walking activities, which would give them a simple, easy way to be a part of their loved one’s lives. Bring along residents in wheelchairs too, and you may find some of the fitter residents are happy to push their friends.