This far from normal year has forced many providers and operators to think outside the box when it comes to keeping residents happy and engaged during the pandemic. That’s been especially true for the holiday season. 

Several Kentucky skilled nursing facilities have successfully switched gears when it came to their annual holiday decorations plans in a push to keep volunteers, families and residents involved and socially active this Christmas. 

The Signature HealthCARE at North Hardin Rehab & Wellness Center, in Radcliff, KY, for example, typically enlists volunteers and resident family members to help staff and residents decorate the inside of the facility for the holidays. This year, staff at the 148-bed nursing home developed the “Adopt-A-Window” program that called on the community to help decorate residents’ windows instead. 

All 85 resident windows have been decorated with various Christmas-themed adornments. The facility has since opened the program up to include the facility’s office windows and “community members are jumping on that, as well,” according to Keri Jewell, North Hardin’s quality of life director. 

“We are encouraging all who wish to decorate a window to have fun with their decorations; lots of colors, paints, wreaths, battery operated lights — the sky is the limit,” Jewell told local media.

“I have heard some are bringing decorations for the yard in front of their windows, ornaments hanging from the roof over the windows. We want them to be as creative as they want to be and to have lots of fun,” she added. 

Other Signature HealthCARE facilities have also pushed the initiative at their locations. A Kentucky high school girls basketball team helped decorate resident windows at the Signature HealthCARE of Carrollton Rehab & Wellness Center earlier this week.

“For us not being able to have those indoor visits and that hands on touch with family members, it’s the least we can do for them,” said North Hardin Administrator Kaycee Loucka. “The residents are loving it. When we told them they were doing it, they lit up.”