Independence Day is a day of celebration, cook outs, fireworks, time with family and friends, and feeling extra patriotic! However, as much as we were all anticipating these upcoming celebrations, they will not be the same this year. The COVID-19 situation (we know, we’re tired of talking about it too!) has completely altered daily life, including how we gather and celebrate. Assisted living, residential care, and other long-term care facilities are no exception to these alterations, in fact, they are the most affected. So the question is, how can facilities like yours celebrate with their staff and residents SAFELY on July 4th, 2020? Don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways to get creative and celebrate safely. Here are a few simple, quick tips on how to do so:
Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines (you know, the usual)
Yes, we have to mention social distancing. It’s woven into the fabric of everyday life right now. If you originally planned on having some sort of group gathering or inviting residents’ family members over to take part in a celebration with their loved ones, chances are you’ll have to alter these gatherings. Many long-term care facilities still have modified visitor policies and procedures in order to mitigate the traffic of people entering the facility (other than staff). This includes family members wanting to take their loved ones out of the facility to celebrate at home with the family. No matter what your visitor policy is currently, the health and safety of your staff and residents is top priority.
Get creative with some Independence Day themed crafts! Hop on Pintrest to see some of these unique craft ideas for seniors. Showcase some red, white, and blue in your facility by decorating the halls with streamers, flags, and more! Encourage staff and residents to get in the patriotic spirit by creating their own star-spangled crafts that they can share with fellow residents and even family members. Also, encourage everyone to share some Independence Day memories that they may have from the past as they create their crafts.
Cook Up a Delicious Independence Day Meal
The traditional July 4th cookouts may not be happening this year, but don’t let that stop you from whipping up a great meal! Have your own little “cookout” by fixing up some traditional cookout food like burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and more! Of course, make sure to take residents’ dietary needs and dietary restrictions into account when preparing the meal. You can substitute traditional beef burgers for turkey or veggie burgers, use low sodium ingredients, and offer both naturally sweetened (like fruit) and sugar-free goodies.
Don’t forget to get everyone outside and moving! Obviously, keep an eye on the weather to make sure its OK to be outside that day. Encourage staff and residents to get some fresh air, walk around, or even host a small group activity/exercise outside (make sure to adhere to social distancing guidelines!). Weather permitting, you can also take your little cookout outside!
We have been saying a lot how things are going to look a lot different this summer. However, that doesn’t mean the celebrations can’t go on! Follow social distancing guidelines, encourage participation among staff and residents, and promote a happy and safe environment this 4th of July to get everyone in the spirit to celebrate this patriotic day!