Why Senior Living Series: Engaging Seniors’ Minds with Enriching Activities

Atlas Community Residents Practicing Social Distancing Featured

We are in the ‘new normal’ now. With COVID-19 safety restrictions in place, those who have loved ones in senior living may be wondering how residents are coping with less engaging activities and, most painfully, limited visits. It has been no picnic, which is a similar circumstance to everyone else worldwide, but that hasn’t stopped our teams from continuing to serve with excellence. 

Our communities have aligned with the times, but we continue engaging seniors’ minds! In fact, maintaining a normal and healthy routine has been in our hearts ever since the pandemic began. How do we continue to offer stimulating activities for seniors when we need to socially distance ourselves? 

Pursuing That Hobby

Well, seniors still have hobbies for one thing! And they are continuing to pursue them, just in different ways to continue staying safe. Our seminars and visits from educators may have come to a brief halt, but we are utilizing what we currently have to continue engaging seniors’ minds.

To be specific, one of the ways we are engaging seniors’ minds is through encouragement of building their technology and digital skills. Residents can interact with family members or loved ones through FaceTime or Zoom calls if they have smartphones. If our residents don’t have a smartphone, we will provide them one! But we also show our residents how to use the Internet and their digital tools for other purposes as well, such as watching YouTube videos or reading blogs about their favorite hobbies. There are gardeners, professors, authors, poets, engineers, dancers, singers, and many other professionals using the world wide web as a free tool to the public during these tumultuous times … and our residents are taking advantage of it!

If you’d like to set up a video chat with one of our residents, please feel free to let your community leadership team know! Give us a call and we’ll schedule a time that works for you and your loved one.

Eating Well with Professional, Passionate Dining Services

Another way to keep seniors’ minds engaged is through the food they consume. The National Council of Aging (NCOA) says that as we age, people need certain nutrients and that eating well maintains a senior’s independence and alertness.

Atlas community menus offer a variety of dining options to choose from with many foods being brain-healthy and nutritious. On the other side of the coin, our flexibility in our meals also allows seniors to indulge a little and choose more hearty options every once in a while! 

The NCOA suggests having as colorful a plate as possible with your meals. Below are the healthy foods the NCOA lists for daily consumption:

  • Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
  • Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
  • Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)

Although we have shifted our dining operations from restaurant-style settings, we continue to serve residents’ meals with a smile and a kind word. 

One of the most important initiatives we are doing for our seniors, however, is making sure they feel like they are never alone. Ever.

Maintaining Contact with the World

In addition to staying connected with family members and friends through letters, phone calls and video chats, we’re also thinking up other creative ways to engage seniors’ minds! 

Although visits are limited, that doesn’t stop our communities from hosting fun and safe events like car parades. During Mother’s Day, many of our communities asked family members, neighbors, and friends to decorate their cars and drive by the front of the building for our seniors to safely watch from afar and say hello. 

When we deliver meals to our residents’ suites, we like to get festive every once in a while to raise everyone’s spirits, such as dressing up, playing music, or even singing. You may want to keep up with everything we’re doing as well! Make sure to follow your Atlas community on Facebook – we are posting photos, videos, and announcements all of the time!

In Augusta, GA, our memory care community Madison Heights Evans is asking everyone nationwide to send greeting cards to all 38 residents. Once there are enough cards for all residents, our Lifestyles Director Kelly hands them out so each senior receives one! P.S. find your nearest Atlas community and feel free to send cards of encouragement and well wishes!

It’s safe to say this: our world is changing. But our service to seniors isn’t. We will always encourage our greatest generation to pursue enriching and fulfilling lifestyles.

If you are a family member whose loved one is in an Atlas community, please feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to connect. We are happy to set up calls or FaceTime/video chat visits at your convenience. 

If you are looking into senior housing, Atlas Senior Living is also here to help. Many Atlas communities are allowing new residents while following safety precautions. Contact us today if you need more information or would like to request a virtual tour.