The activities in assisted living communities get a lot of attention, and rightly so. Not only do the staff put in a lot of time and hard work into making those activities a success, but it’s those kinds of programs that are critical to helping residents get engaged in their community, which in turn is great for their health, both physical and mental.
But there’s a difference between activities and engagement. Keeping residents busy is easy. Getting and keeping them engaged is another matter entirely.
The term “activities” refers to any activity that can entertain residents and keep them busy. It doesn’t necessarily keep them engaged, and they’re usually designed to appeal to the greatest number of current residents. But where does that leave the rest of the residents?
When deciding if an assisted living community is right for you, their activities should be a priority on your list of concerns. Are they diverse enough to appeal to everyone? Are there activities on there that will appeal to your loved one? Are there activities on there that will encourage them to engage with the other residents? For example, crafts are great, but they can easily be done in solitude. Games, on the other hand, are a great ice breaker for just about any group of people.
Engagement, on the other hand, involves getting active in the community and interacting with staff and other residents. Activities should be designed to facilitate engagement, but it can also happen outside of structured activities. Mealtimes are a great opportunity to meet new people and strike up a conversation. If your loved one has a roommate, that can naturally improve their social engagement, especially if their roommate has been living there for a while and can introduce your loved one to other residents. Meeting new people is that much easier when you have an ally, and that can be the best part of having a roommate.
If your loved one needs memory care (or you think they might need memory care at some point in the future), make sure you choose an assisted living community that has activities that are intended for dementia residents and are designed to improve memory.
The research on dementia consistently shows that activities that stimulate memory can help maintain their cognitive function and reduce instances of negative behaviors, so if you haven’t already asked about memory engagement, put it on your list of questions to ask.
At Stillwater Senior Living, we strive to keep our residents active because we know how important that is for their overall health, but we also make sure they’re engaged. We have a variety of activities to make sure there’s something on our calendar that appeals to everyone. Our staff is also trained look out for residents who show signs of isolation and to draw them out as gently as possible to get them engaged with the rest of the community. We truly believe that it takes a village and we are committed to providing anything and everything that village might need.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.