From FaceTime book clubs to hobby boxes, long-term care providers are finding fun and interesting ways to boost resident morale during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the AARP.  

As visitor access, communal dining and large group activities in long-term care facilities have been forced to shut down to stop the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, providers have come up with creative ways to keep seniors engaged and prevent isolation. 

Numerous state and national provider organizations have created online repositories for helpful ideas.

For example, facilities can help set up a “FaceTime book club” between residents and their families by using various video-calling technology. Discussions also don’t have to be centered around just books. The time could also be used to discuss their favorite television or singing well-known songs, as well. 

Many providers also have begun campaigns that encourage members of the public to send handwritten cards, letters and videos to residents. The activity allows residents to keep communication lines open between themselves and others, and serves as a reminder that they’re not alone. 

“Recipients can display the cards and re-read correspondence to remind themselves that you care,” the AARP notes

Instead of bingo, providers can incorporate various different activities, like board games and puzzles, which often require much smaller groups to participate. Additionally, providers can put together a hobby box for residents to make different crafts. 

“Put in items that will work with their existing hobbies or ask what they’ve always wanted to try,” the group added.