These are challenging times for residents of senior living communities as they remain separated from loved ones. It is also a challenging time for students, especially younger school children, who are working hard to get used to online learning and being separated from their friends.
During normal times, at our Anthem Memory Care communities, we regularly schedule outings to local schools and visits from students. Our residents love the interaction and never fail to pass along advice and encouragement to the students. Inter-generational activities work on many levels to build connections between young and old as well as provide a truly purposeful experience for our residents.
During the pandemic, however, our students have not been able to visit our communities. And they, as well as our residents, miss those wonderful interactions. But that hasn’t stopped us! We’ve found some creative ways to keep the conversation going!
Chelsea Place Memory Care in Aurora, Colorado, is a great example. Recently, staff members helped residents use chalk boards to send messages of good cheer and advice to young students, struggling with the many restrictions brought about by the pandemic. They have been sharing these images with the students and families online through social media and other platforms to keep this valuable connection alive until that wonderful day when we can all meet again in person.
What are our residents saying? We’d like to share some of our “chalk board wisdom” below:
Receiving these messages of hope and encouragement helps lift the spirits of local schoolchildren and lets them know that their friends from the community are thinking of them. Sending these messages of encouragement helps our residents maintain relationships they have built with local students and continues to give them a greater sense of meaning and purpose in their daily lives.
We applaud the efforts of our wonderful staff members and caregivers as they continue to use their creativity to find fun and meaningful ways of engaging with our wonderful residents and the greater community that surrounds us!