By Karen Cassidy
I shake my head when I see that we are using the words “community” “distance” and “social” in one sentence.
This is our new reality, at least for the time being, and it is important to keep seniors engaged and active. One of the biggest challenges is to make sure that we are doing our best to make sure that this crisis does not affect them emotionally as well.
We all know about FaceTime, Skype and other video visits with family, which are imperative. Maybe you are even doing visits through a glass window. Putting aside the family visits through electronics and glass windows, are you able to get creative with games, fun, laughter and interaction in the other times with so much on your plate?
Are you sharing the fun times and activities that you are having on your social media?
Social Media allows you to connect and share your most authentic community experience with your families and future residents.
We know that marketing right now is hard to do the traditional way. In this ever changing environment, we are forced to learn new ways to effectively engage with our audience.
These caregivers and family members are checking out your social media to see what you are doing now. If you are not sharing, are you shortchanging them?
Sharing on your Social media through images, video, and stories will not only connect your current residents’ family with their loved ones, but it will work to benefit your community in the future. Future residents will look at your social media and how you dealt with this pandemic and the activities that took place in your community as part of their decision.
Make it work for you in the future. Our future families will be asking us about how we handled this time.
Do not forget that while we are in very strange days, marketing your community does not stop. How you market just changes.
We have loved seeing all the different ideas from all over the country shared on Social Media, our Team at SeniorLivingGuide.com has a few ideas of our own that we will be sharing with you. We hope that these are great ideas to help get your creative juices flowing and help provide quality content for your social while making happy, healthy, smiling residents!
Ideas or happy, healthy, and smiling Residents and Staff!
- Joke of the Day – When staff clock in, have a clipboard on the wall with Corny/Cheesy jokes – each member of the staff picks a joke a day and crosses it off the list and as they go through their day they share their corny joke of the day with everyone they meet. (check out https://www.quickfunnyjokes.com/cheesy.html)
- Staff Dress Up Days – fun and whimsical for everyone (Residents can vote for their favorite Staff Member “Dress Up”)
- Hat Day for Residents – everyone can decorate their hat/crown – a member of staff goes around and snaps pictures – if you have a closed channel on TV post the pictures here for everyone to enjoy – post to social media (Amazon – Crowns 40 for $15 or Gangsta hats 24 for $15)
- Mustache Day – staff and/or residents wears a stick on mustache (amazon pkgs of 60 are 8.99) – take more pics and social media them. Print up a collage and share with residents.
- Resident Newsletter – If you do not have a Resident Newsletter now is the time to start one. Let the residents share pictures, recipes, stories and other items of interest in a weekly 2-3 page newsletter.
- Balloons – Anything you do with balloons is always fun until they pop. Plastic Fly Swatters from the Dollar Tree and some Balloons make a nice Mock Tennis game and you can maintain social distance – clear a spot in the dining room for a fun game or two. Do you have a helium tank? Do a four-five balloon bouquet and take to each resident’s room. Just having balloons make everyone happy.
- Storyteller… Do you have residents that are great storytellers? Readers? Put them on the intercom let them read a little story, tell a little tale. Set up a sign in sheet for those that want to participate or they can tell a joke.
- 6pm News Broadcast – Have residents put together the weather report for the next day, highlights of daily news inside the community and around the world. Could make it only good news “news” and put them on the intercom or closed circuit TV.
- Mystery Pen Pals – Program Director takes the names of those that want to participate – assign each person a “Game Name” i.e.: Doris Johnson – Game Name is Winnie the Pooh. (use Disney names/star Trek/or old rockers like Elvis) Winnie the Pooh goes into the hat – each person picks a mystery name to write to. Therefore, Winnie the Pooh may pick Donald Duck out of the hat. They cannot share their real name. At the end of the week if you have a close-knit community they can try to guess who they were pen paling with or you can post a page with pictures and their mystery name and real name.
- Outside Fly Time – When residents go outside to enjoy the sunshine have some balsa wood airplanes available – throwing them and retrieving them is great exercise and a lot of fun. (I love amazon – 36 Balsa-Wood Top Gun Glider Model Planes for $44 and you can spray with alcohol to sanitize)