May 23, 2014
Official springtime is here and summer is right around the corner — which means more opportunities to show your residents the beauty of living in community. It can be a wonderful way to bring a cobwebbed disposition back into sunshine after a long, difficult winter (we’re up in Minnesota, so it quickly can become Jack London’s “To Build A Fire” story between October and April).
One of the best ways that residents can interact with the outdoors is by gardening. If you have a space that can be designated for perennials and annuals on your property, there are a few options if you haven’t implemented this yet. If residents are able to be up and about, you can have a designated planting space and have them choose between a few flowers, flowering plants, or cosmetic grasses. If there isn’t outdoor space to plant, you could also have potted plants that each resident can take care of. Also, if you have community members that are in wheelchairs and they want to do gardening, you can use wooden barrels to elevate the plants to a height where they can comfortably work with and take care of soil and their own personal gardens.
International Picnic Day is June 18th. Plan an outdoor picnic for your residents! You can set up a tent outdoors with colorful shading to keep your community out of the direct sun and out of any surprise thunderstorms that come your way. Or, if you know the weather’s going to be beautiful, you can pick the picnic place and go all out for your community members!
Landscaping is good for the residents and good for the establishment. While being indoors increases the variety of activities you can do, outdoor activities increase interaction with the senses and create a therapeutic effect. With this in mind, having your outdoor area as safe and accessible as possible (paved sidewalks, getting rid of uneven ground, making room for wheelchairs) not only increases the well-being of the residents, but it also creates a beautiful aesthetic for onlookers.
If you need some ideas to get started, click here for some great BBQ and picnic ideas.