Resident Initiated Tools for Engagement Programming

Engagement Toolkit – March 2022


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

March Focus: Neck Flexibility

Neck flexibility is something we overlook in most exercise routines. It is a seemingly small, but critically needed skill for older adults. The old saying if you do not use it, you will lose it rings true. Think how often in a day you rely on turning your head left to right and and look up and down to accomplish routine tasks. Neck flexibility is not just for rotation, it also alleviates tension, relieves back pain and improves posture. This is true for your residents too.

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.

March Tools: Neck Flexibility Video


Mindset is extremely important during increased alone time or quarantine. Encouraging people to focus on positivity, peace, gratitude, future goals, hopes and past memories can help all of us find good in any day. Restful sleep is also important. You can help residents put themselves in the best position to sleep well at night by adding or changing the bedtime routine. This helps the mind recover so residents wake up feeling excited and encouraged to tackle the new day.

March Focus: Meditation Minute

Grief is a normal part of life. We all have days where we have to work though loss, abandonment and even death and dying. Grief is defined as deep sorrow, and the best way to overcome deep sorrow is to address and work through the messiness. 

Share this meditation minute with residents, but also ask if there is a group of people who would like to start their own grief support club. If there is sizeable interest, maybe a grief workshop is your next paid vendor, rather than that monthly entertainer or band.

March Tools: Guided Meditation Video

Creative Opportunities

We all flourish when we find creative outlets to express ourselves. Creativity is not limited to the arts. Let your mind wonder 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.

March Focus: Start a Short Story – Recorded or Written

Sometimes residents get an inkling to write, but lack a compelling prompt to get started. Even when intentional about writing a short story, or journaling daily thoughts, sometimes residents need inspiration. Share this tip: Start to notice little things that could spark a story. For instance, wondering why a person is dressed a certain way, driving a certain automobile, traveling here or there, why the weatherman or woman on TV is talking about the weather. What if plants could talk or animals really do have their own animal language. Let imagination and creativity spark a story.

March Tools: Short Story Topics 12 Creative Outlets 

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. 

March Focus: Online Learning

Offer a class. Help your residents step back and rediscover what it feels like to be “in-school.” With a simple query, they will find options galore to help them learn about some of their greatest curiosities from brilliant minds. Check out this link for Coursera to learn about “The Science of Wellbeing.”

March Tools:  Wellbeing Course