Someone was recently murdered at one Indiana nursing home, and a sharp-minded resident was able to solve the case.
But this wasn’t your typical caper. It was actually part of the Cloverleaf Healthcare’s Halloween celebration.
Activities Director Stephanie Hayes said they wanted to try something different this October. She believes that “times are changing,” with younger residents who expect more from programming.
“They don’t want to just sit and do crafts anymore,” she says. “They need more engaging, age-appropriate activities. It’s more than just the three B’s — Bible study, bingo and birthday parties.”
So, the 102-bed skilled nursing facility in the tiny town of Knightsville, IN, decided to try out a murder mystery, modeled after the board game Clue. Staffers took on different roles Oct. 23, from librarian to beauty queen, and all were suspects in the death of one staff member. They displayed photographs with weapons, locations and suspects, and tasked residents with taking notes, grilling witnesses and getting to the bottom of the crime.
One male resident ended up solving the mystery, correctly picking the disgruntled maintenance man, “Mr. Fix It,” who offed the marketing director with a wrench in the therapy room. The winner grabbed a huge gift bag with candy, colored pencils and an adult coloring book.
Hayes says the idea was a hit with residents and they hope to do it again next October. They’ve also kept residents busy this holiday season, stuffing some 350 Halloween treat bags for visitors.
“Just because our residents are in a long-term care facility doesn’t mean life stops,” Hayes says. “ It just means that we’re going to live life differently, and it can still be fun. Activities are the heart of the facility.”