Spreading Smiles to Long-Term Care Residents Across KY and TN
- Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
Although our KY and TN Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) grant facilities and their residents aren’t able to play Bingocize® as they normally would, our team has been creative in coming up with ways for those long-term care residents to stay active and engaged during this difficult time of social distancing. To do this, a group of nine WKU graduate students from various programs within the College of Health and Human Services combined their efforts to create “Take Home” Bingocize® cards that residents can use to keep active from the safety of their rooms.
“Using the Bingocize cards could be the only opportunity for residents to have meaningful social engagement and intentional movement, especially those that are wheelchair- or bed-bound (all Bingocize exercises can be completed either sitting or standing),” says Annika Gabbard, Graduate Research Assistant for the Center of Applied Science in Health and Aging (CASHA). “The take-home cards have the foundational components of Bingocize without peer interaction [implementing social distancing].”
Many older adults report that traditional exercise programs are not enjoyable, leading to inactivity and related health issues. Bingocize® offers a unique solution that mixes exercise, health education, and bingo to help overcome health problems in participants across the entire spectrum of care.
“I think that utilizing these tools will not only benefit the aging population physically, but the format in which they were created will benefit them socially. While the goal of this project was to highlight the importance of maintaining good physical and mental health during this time, we wanted to present the information in an amusing way they could maybe have a laugh over and talk with their friends or relatives about. We have found that humor is always a good bonding point,” says CASHA Graduate Assistant, Ariel Tomes.
Receiving praise from a partnering healthcare facility, the tool is already making a difference, “It means so much to let our residents know their community is still thinking about them and keeping them in their prayers! They are an amazing and resilient group and we will get through this together, says Diana Melendy, Regional Administrator for National Healthcare Corporation (NHC),
Besides developing smile-worthy content for the community, our students remain busy amid the pandemic. “I am a first-year graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology which takes up plenty of my time doing class projects, exams, and working on the beginning stages of my thesis! I am also a full-time graduate assistant for the Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging and thankful I am still able to be a productive team member remotely,” says Annika.
We encourage our community to take a look at the videos our students created and share a smile with someone you care for, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVrXI7KpShkhiZWcIHhyvZ2WpSwx6fSXS.