As visitor restrictions approached their third week, activity-oriented companies and professionals continued ramping up virtual resources for senior care providers — sometimes for free.

In recognition of curtailed group activities, the National Certification Council for Activities Professionals last week unveiled a new website devoted to in-room programming. Links include information on how to use existing televisions to share information via Zoom video conferencing, ways to offer virtual family visits, alternate spiritual and religious services and added themed messaging to share in-room.

“The lack of visitors and need for social distancing has changed how we entertain our residents, but our activity teams have been coming up with creative ways our residents can still have fun while staying safe,” Life Care Centers of America said in a blog post this week. “Of course, residents are staying in their rooms a lot more, and those who are able have been doing individual activities like reading, word searches, coloring and making crafts.”

One popular engagement tool is hallway bingo, in which the activity team calls bingo numbers for an entire hall while residents check cards in their doorways. Life Care also provided each of its 200-plus centers with two additional iPads to help residents conduct video calls over FaceTime and Skype.

In some communities, residents are filling out “room service” cards that allow them to request specific activities or supplies. Others are using  Travel and Leisure’s virtual tours, talking libraries or providing in-room concerts with MP3 players.

Eversound, a resident engagement solutions company, has announced immediate availability of its new, live-streamed, interactive programming complete with on-demand access to over 100 previously recorded events.

The service provides communities near-instant access to cultural institutions and subject-matter experts across North America on a variety of topics ranging from zoos and aquariums to historical landmarks. Free access will be available through April 30. 

“Our goal is to help at-risk seniors continue to live fulfilling, inspired lives.” said CEO Jake Reisch. “Staff in senior living communities are on the front lines of this pandemic, working to protect our aging loved ones. We believe these services can help keep socially isolated residents more engaged, particularly under these conditions.”

Varsity, a marketing and sales firm focused on senior services, is also offering engagement tips during the coronavirus crisis.
Links at its dedicated web page include education and lifelong learning opportunities form free opera stream to online museum tours; spiritual grounding such as meditation or church service broadcasts; wellness and workout programs; and making connections via photo sharing or coffee chats over in-house TV stations.