When you think about Life Enrichment in an assisted living community, activities like bingo, crafts and card games may come to mind. While these are certainly loved activities, there is much more that goes into Life Enrichment than meets the eye. Life Enrichment is all about improving the quality of life for residents through various activities that are fun but also provide important therapeutic benefits to our residents.
Our incredible Life Enrichment Team, comprised of experienced Recreational Therapists, provide inspired meaningful living to our community. Through the challenges of the past year, the team rose to the occasion and were an integral lifeline keeping residents engaged and happy.
Life Enrichment focuses on improving the quality of life for our residents through recreational therapy as well as meaningful and purposeful activities that are individualized to the person. Activities are person-centered and take into account the interests, hobbies and past careers of the individual while also addressing their physical, social, cognitive, and spiritual needs.
Life enrichment can look like a lot of things. Activities are focused on the why behind them and are tailored to help residents reach therapeutic goals through activities they love.
Group activities at Clark not only promote socialization but other important therapeautiful benefits. A fun activity like cornhole has important benefits beyond just the fun (although that’s of course important, too!). A game like cornhole can provide therapeutic benefits like working on balance, fine motor skills, strength, and maintaining abilities.
Music Therapy at Clark is a popular activity which allows our residents to tap into old memories and connections through the power of music. Music can provide comfort and happiness and is particularly beneficial for our Memory Care residents.
Clark was the first life plan community in the United States to adopt the Montessori for Ageing and Dementia program. Led by certified Montessori practitioners, this approach empowers residents with memory loss to be independent and lead purposeful lives by creating meaningful roles and routines, person-centered activities, an environment filled with memory cues and supports. The Montessori in Memory Care program at Clark encourages each person to engage in activities and to find valuable roles based on their history and interests.
Spirituality is important to many and Clark honors and celebrates the role spirituality plays in the lives of our residents. Various services are held throughout the week, led by our pastoral team who represent a variety of faith denominations.
A big focus of Life Enrichment is finding ways to help residents reconnect with hobbies such as gardening or art and giving them ways to help out in the community.
Group activities are balanced with purposeful downtime as not everyone thrives in a group setting. One-on-one time with individuals allows us to meet each resident’s specific therapeutic needs while working on things like balancing, fine motor skills, and movement.
There are a number of very important benefits of Life Enrichment in our community.
The number one goal of our team is to improve the quality of life of each of our residents through these activities.
As is true for just about anyone, having structure and routine through activity and engagement is beneficial to overall well-being. When our residents are engaged, we can physically see the benefits — their body language, demeanor, and attitude change. Residents are able to flourish through connecting with peers similar to them. Life enrichment also provides them with the tools to be successful.
Through activities residents are not only having fun, but are also often working on cognitive skills. An activity like trivia is fun, but it also helps sharpen cognitive skills.
Many Life Enrichment activities are focused around physical activity. Moving every day lowers the risk of certain health concerns. It also helps residents work on things like balance and maintaining muscle tone. Happy hours are not just fun, but also help residents maintain nutrition and hydration goals.
Despite COVID-19 bringing new challenges into our community, our Life Enrichment team has continued to find creative ways to keep residents happy, connected and engaged. Technology has certainly been an important part of keeping connected and our residents are certainly quite familiar with Zoom and Skype. Over the last year, programming like Music Therapy and Spiritual Care shifted from in-person to Zoom and group activities (when allowed) became physically-distanced hallway activities with masks.
Things continue to evolve with COVID-19, but we are grateful we can now offer more group activities as our residents are now vaccinated. This also means family visits both indoors and outdoors are back. Clark continues to follow and stay up to do date on guidelines from the state and CDC to keep everyone safe.
If you think your loved one could benefit from being part of Clark’s community, contact our senior living advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-278-6520 or fill out the form below to schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your loved one’s situation and see if Clark is the right fit for your loved one.