Going through the COVID-19 pandemic means spending several months, or more, at home and indoors – which can affect people in different ways. Supported living staff continue to find creative ways to ensure residents pass time in isolation productively and maintain a positive outlook.
Direct Support Specialist Quincy enjoys putting together fun activities that will keep residents motivated while staying home.
“We have done tie-dying parties where they have had the chance to tie dye t-shirts and bags,” said Quincy. “We have also taken walks around the neighborhood, flown kites outside, ridden bikes, dyed Easter eggs and residents also participated in Easter egg hunts.”
When the weather isn’t nice, and loneliness can easily creep in, staff have put on Karaoke, a fashion show, indoor bowling, puzzles, coloring and BINGO.
Direct Support Professional Mackenzie shared some of the ways staff and residents at team 16 spend time, “When it is raining we turn our upstairs hallway into a little movie theater and project a movie onto the wall and most seem to love that. We try to spend a lot of time outside and just hang out with each other. We put together a camping experience where staff made s’mores and hot dogs, but due to the rain we had to move it inside. So staff projected a campfire on the wall and we sat around and told stories.”
SL staff also provide extra support by cooking the clients two meals a week. This allows staff to eat as a team in addition to ensuring a nice balanced meal for the individuals they serve.
Decreased social contact is particularly hard on vulnerable populations and can lead to feeling isolated. It’s important for staff to help supported living individuals calm fears, manage stress and work towards personal goals while being quarantined. DSP Mackenzie ensures residents always have someone to talk to.
“Our team has made it very clear to our clients that whenever they need to talk or vent they can come to any of us at any time,” said Mackenzie. “When a client is upset we try to sit down with them one on one and talk to them or just listen to what they have to say. We will go on walks or drives if anyone just needs to get away for a while.”
Supported Living teams have been challenged more than ever to find new ways to productively pass time and break up the day while continuing to provide 24/7 support to keep individuals safe, healthy and engaged during these challenging times. Thanks to the dedication of Supported Living staff, residents continue to thrive, connect and achieve.