Whether you love the cold and wait with anticipation for the first snowfall, or you want to fast-forward straight to spring, winter poses problems for many people. Mood changes during the winter months are common, and those living at Dominion Senior Living experience them, too.
According to Life Enrichment Director Bonnie Parton, the residents at Dominion Senior Living of Sevierville go outdoors every day in the summer. Plenty of walks are taken, flowers are cared for, and rocking chairs are occupied. Once the cold air arrives, the activities must be moved indoors. Bonnie plans many fun things to keep the residents active and busy. “The morning routine never changes” says Bonnie, “and this provides stability, but the afternoon is a little more flexible and random.”
As we saw in our last blog post, arts and crafts time is important to the residents at Dominion. Not only does this designated time act as a way to keep busy, but is a time to care for the mental, social, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the residents. First of all, craft time is good for the residents’ mental health. As a memory care facility, Dominion Senior Living of Sevierville gears almost every activity to be intellectually beneficial. Each game played or craft made will stimulate the resident’s senses and utilize the movement of their hands. One such project involves making dolls for missionaries to take to orphans in South Africa.
These activities are also beneficial to the residents’ social needs. Before each event, Bonnie knocks on every door and encourages, but doesn’t force, him or her to join in the fun. By doing this, downtime is minimized, which helps with reducing the winter blues, and it establishes their individual sense of purpose. The craft time allows them all to sit together, talk if they want, and participate in a group setting.
Each resident also receives the emotional and spiritual health they need by choosing to be a part of games and arts & crafts. Due to Bonnie’s creativity, the residents are often eager to participate and try new things.
There are a few elements that change from week to week, but the calendar of activities always stays full. Mondays are time for arts and crafts, whether it is making decorative crosses, fabric coasters, birdhouses, or Pepsi bottle lions. Tuesdays are set aside for oil painting, which Bonnie leads step by step. On Wednesdays, the ladies get pampered with a special manicure in which they get to choose their own nail polish color. Thursday’s activity is a favorite of many because residents get to cook—and eat!—a special treat they make. Among the treats they’ve prepared are unleavened bread, banana splits, peanut butter balls, pizza, and different kinds of cookies. Fridays are special as well because everyone gets to gather around the piano and listen to Executive Director Pam Morgan sing. The residents have their own hymn books and can sing along if they wish.
Staying indoors during the winter can be hard. Cabin fever affects seniors just like it does anyone else. But thanks to a lively and engaging schedule, residents at Dominion Senior Living of Sevierville enjoy excellent care for every element of their health—even while remaining indoors.