Photos taken before COVID-19- mandated PPE and social distancing guidelines are followed. Top Photo: Sr. Michelle Moore, O.Carm. with residents and volunteers. Bottom Photo: Residents Art Show
by Sr. Michelle Moore, O.Carm.
The basic goal of an Activities Program in a Carmelite Home for the Aged is to help Residents reach their fullest physical and mental potential. Activities provide for
social interactions, creative and self-expression, memory sharing and the stimulation of interests and hobbies. Activities help restore self-confidence, gives Residents a sense of security and most especially gives them reason to live as they look forward to participating. Activities also helps Residents to increase their ability to create, like leading a song or a poem or creating color and design. How thrilled a Resident is when their artwork is posted on the bulletin board! They usually say, “That’s my work, isn’t it nice?” Some Residents come to Arts and Crafts for the first time and say, “I can’t do anything.” With assistance and encouragement, suddenly they say, “I did that!” A Resident was heard saying, “I learn something new everyday.” It is also wonderful to see a Resident helping another with their art project. Participating in a group brings Residents much joy and helps them make friends. Bowling, sing-alongs, exercise, memory sharing and group activities also gives our Residents something to look forward to. It is wonderful to observe residents interacting with each other during a social or group activity. Music brings back so many memories, and music is included during a craft class or another activity, especially exercise. When I began the Activities Program, I had to learn some of the old favorite songs like Daisy, You Are My Sunshine, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, and If You’re Happy and You know it. Listening to the residents sing taught me the lyrics. Social activities including birthday parties, a weekly movie, and bingo bring laughter and joy to the Residents. Schools also provide entertainment with singing and band performances. Having activities twice a day lead to the need to create an activities calendar! The importance of activities can be summed up in three words – encouragement, motivation, and participation.