Resident Initiated Tools for Engagement Programming

Engagement Toolkit – June 2022

In-room engagement has emerged as a silver lining of the pandemic. Moving on from social distancing and isolation, we know that residents continue to enjoy alone time and solitude in their own space, exactly as they did well before COVID. The only difference, is we have learned how to support and provide personalized, meaningful and interactive content to maintain health and wellbeing. Use these tools to help residents think creatively about new ways to engage themselves and each other.


The most important thing we can do for our bodies and minds is to keep moving. Movement is cumulative and all the seconds of movements add up throughout the day and throughout our lives. It is not about the amount of time spent per day moving, it is about the consistency and making a habit of doing something daily.

June Focus: Daily Dance Move Lesson 

The key to continuous movement is to make it seem less like exercise and more like daily doses of fun that are a normal part of life. Better yet, what can you do on a whim without leaving your house, changing your clothes, or putting together a fitness routine? Try dancing! Wondering what dances are hot in the world of pop culture? Check out these two links for the top dance moves in 2022. 

June Tools: Top 10 TikTok Dance Moves  2022 Dance Moves


Mindset is extremely important during increased alone time. Encourage residents to focus on positivity, peace, gratitude, future goals, hopes, and past memories to help them find good in any day.

June Focus: Aromatherapy 

The simple act of diffusing a scent into the air can have a much greater impact than you realize. In the link below, we provide a short overview of the numerous benefits of aromatherapy oils and how they can be used in various ways. Here are a few of the benefits: managing pain, improving sleep, soothing sore joints, fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, boosting immunity and also providing hospice or palliative care. 

June Tools: What is Aromatherapy

Creative Opportunities

We all flourish when find creative outlets to express ourselves. Creativity is not limited to the arts. Let your mind wander and ask residents how they engage in creative outlets. Some may say board games, cards, photography, writing, poetry, acting, singing, dancing, gardening, flower arranging, designing, sewing or knitting. Be open minded and let others explain options for additional creative opportunities.

June Focus: Weekly Community Museum Share

There is a saying that some of the best-kept secrets are right under our noses. Or, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Each week set up a time for residents to bring out one of two things: 1) a prized possession to talk about and share a story or 2) the most ridiculous, useless and absurd thing in their apartment. We tend to hold on to many things for years and decades for a variety of reasons. Some items are extremely valuable, whereas others are sentimental and become great stories we share with others. Find out more about residents and staff through this program. Each time this event is scheduled, have someone from your staff attend and share their favorite possession or silliest treasure! 

Mental Stimulation

Novelty is the best approach to counteract a monotonous routine. The mind needs to be stimulated: Learning new skills, trying new things and having new conversations with new people are excellent ways to stay mentally stimulated. Mental stimulation is so much more than brain games or daily puzzles.

June Focus: Neighbor/Community Pen Pal Share 

A little help from my friends can go a long way. Our digitally driven world may have lost the art of handwritten letters, but we know it is alive in our communities. Encourage residents and staff to participate in a weekly pen pal program where they take 5-10 minutes out of their day to share encouraging thoughts, inspirational quotes, jokes, puns, words of affirmation and gratitude. These can be delivered to one another throughout the week. For those who don’t want to write, maybe a drawing or torn out picture or article can be shared in an envelope instead.