As you hopefully consider moving away from traditional, institutional “activity programming” to normal, real life, in these warmer months I suggest figuring out how to live life outdoors. If you aren’t already, consider becoming passionate about getting people outside. We all know the benefits. Sunshine resets our circadian rhythm which helps us sleep better, vitamin D strengthens bones; both reduce falls and depression. In fact, if people you serve have sundowning, it simply means they need more sun. Sundowning = need more sun. Help people get more sunlight preferably going outdoors and offer and encourage time near windows.
There are many health reasons to get outside. In fact, I recommend identifying addressing Getting Outdoors on each person’s (resident’s) care plan. And the Artifacts of Culture Change 2.0 self-assessment and measurement tool identify it as a culture change practice:
- Each resident’s care plan includes preferences and accommodations needed for
going outdoors. (https://www.pioneernetwork.net/artifacts-culture-change/)
Get nurse colleagues and friends to promote it due to the many health benefits.
Accommodate people to be outside. Moveable furniture accommodates needing the sun or shade. If you don’t have good shade, order an awning or tent or canopy. Since you can make this decision, hold as many events as you can outside.
Does your home offer the option for residents to dine outside? That’s a big one. Imagine Baby Boomers insisting upon it. I know I would. Make it happen if it isn’t already in the home where people you serve live. Be an advocate for getting people outdoors in every way. Hold team meetings out there, eat your lunch out there, hold care conferences out there, promote a walking club. Get your teammates excited to promote it with you. Enjoy together the many blessings and benefits of living outdoors.
Carmen Bowman, MHS, is a former activity director, first certified activity professional to be a surveyor, CMS federal surveyor who taught the Basic Surveyor course and is an Eden Alternative Associate and Mentor. She has fun calling herself a Regulator turned Educator as owner of Edu-Catering: Catering Education for Compliance and Culture Change. She helps teams chip away at institutional culture with a strong foundation of regulatory requirements – moving away from traditional activity programing to offering real life. Activity consulting, personalized continuing education. Compliance and culture change workbooks at www.actionpact.com. Cutting edge-ucation nominal pay-per-view training videos at www.patreon.com/educatering, firstname.lastname@example.org 303-981-7228 www.edu-catering.com The Culture Change Minute for free www.facebook.com/Edu-catering