We started talking about 3 months ago on how we could get our residents moving more through out the winter months and have tons of fun doing it. I brought the idea to the Supervisor’s meeting and we discussed what activities
to have that the residents could identify with and most likely participated in when they were raising their families. It was important to get all staff involved as well because the participation of residents is much greater. This past week was our initial kick off and let me tell you everyone was having fun. You could hear hooting, howling and laughter through out the building. The residents really jumped on board and could not wait until the next day to see what sport they would get to play. Our staff did a great job in getting everyone excited too. On Monday, Deb our Food Service Director and her staff started with the game of horseshoes which several residents remembered playing and wondered if they could still throw a good “shoe”. Tuesday brought us to a new game which residents were not familiar with, bocce ball. Julie, our Community Life Coordinator hosted this event and bocce is sure to be a hit. Then on Wednesday, Jane our registered nurse and her team of care providers brought out an old familiar game of bowling. Many of our resident remember bowling on teams and the old time bowling alleys–it was very affordable in their day. As expected our residents were still going strong on Thursday. Bill our Maintenance Director brought the great game of bean bag toss. Let me tell you–there were many residents that came and were cheering each other on. I can not remember how many bean bags actually went through the board hole but from the sounds of congratulations the number must have been high. Lastly, came Friday and it was time to head to the beach–yes you can go to the beach inMinnesotain January. Loree led the anxious beach goers to a wild game of beach volley ball–we adapted the rules a bit–you could either hit or throw the beach ball over the net or kick it under the net.
In all of the Senior Olympic activities this past week, our residents were definitely up for the challenge. They received lots of movement in their arms, hands, legs, feet which will help all of them continue to stay active. They also, gained strength and outlook on life as they cheered, laughed and can hardly wait until next week. In fact, at dinner one of our residents, Winnie stated, “ I am too tired to eat but boy I sure did have fun”. Another resident, Virginia stated, “ good times this week, I enjoyed the variety of activity”.
Marilyn liked the challenges of the many games and she participated all week. She also asked today, are we going to get to play beach volley ball again? Lois who loves to participate in many things said “it is a good get together with everyone.
We will continue our Senior Olympics through April and then most likely go into a walking program and other outdoor activities. Our hopes are that these activities will have an impact on the residents balance, strength, gait and reduce the risk of falling. The positive impact and laughter that this last week has brought to our community is awesome. Always remember, you are never to old to play!!!