Service efficiency
May 4, 2020

Care home activities during COVID-19 lockdown

Staying active and holding onto a sense of purpose can be really hard for care users during the Coronavirus crisis, but having a good array of activities can help keep boredom and frustration at bay. Here's some of the ideas we've come up with for care home activities

Host a theatre night

Seeing live productions can be a welcome break from watching films. The National Theatre is currently live streaming productions on its YouTube channel for free. You could organise a theatre night for residents with ‘tickets’ and theatre snacks, and even include an interval for extra authenticity!

Get moving

Any form of exercise has been proven to have huge benefits for mental and physical wellbeing. Simple things like tapping your belly and rubbing your head at the same time can stimulate both sides of the brain, and can help with core strength, coordination, and even posture! There are loads of free resources online, for example, the British Gymnastics Foundation has developed a free Love to Move programme that can get you started. If you want something a bit slower-paced, seated yoga could be a really nice option.

Put Green Thumbs to good use

Being with nature can bring huge benefits to people, and what better way to feel connected to nature than through gardening? If you have a garden, residents could get involved with planting seeds (it’s an ideal time to sow Beetroot, carrots, lettuce, and peas). If your garden is limited, why not look at planting a window box with flowers.

Get Musical

Singing or listening to music can help evoke happy memories and bring people together through song. You could make playlists of favourite songs to help reconnect with past memories. There are radio stations available that do this sort of thing (e.g. BBC Music Memories or Radio Reminisce), or you could look for YouTube videos that have lyrics to help people sing along. You could even try and make it into a game with ‘name that tune’ or ‘name the year’ quiz.

Have a games night

Playing games with people can help with everything from co-ordination to mental stimulation. Garden and floor games such as boules, skittles, or ring toss can be played from a seated position as well which is perfect if residents are less mobile. Board games can also be a good social activity, things like extra-large snap or dominoes can be enjoyable and easily pass the time.

Be crafty

Being creative can help stimulate lots of senses. You could help residents make their own cards using paper and any art materials (e.g. magazines, wrapping paper, wallpaper offcuts, paints, tissue paper, stickers). They could even write a letter or a poem in the cards and send them out to loved ones. Or you can just get creative and do self-portraits, copy photographs, or find images of favourite animals to copy – you could even hold an art show where everyone’s creations are displayed.

Helpful resources to support your care service during the COVID-19 crisis

We’ve put together a range of different free help resources from Coronavirus contingency plans, to posters, NHS admissions guides and even a free Keyworker identification letter. You can find them all over on our main news page.

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