Mari Englehardt, Administrator at Crawford Manor, told us a story about Oscar*, a resident who became uncharacteristically withdrawn and despondent once he learned that he would not be able to return home because of his extensive care needs. A generally jovial and funny guy, Oscar felt that his life was over.
Seeing his that his spirits were low, Mari and her team asked Oscar what he would enjoy doing if he were at home. After Oscar said no to several options, the team asked if he likes to play games or cards and he answered with a resounding “Yes.” In fact, he said he loved to play Spades.
In short order, Mari and the activity staff discovered other residents with the same preference and got a game together. Over the next two weeks, the group played happily a few times — and then stopped. When Mari asked the residents why, she learned the group needed help to organize the games.
The Activities Department at Crawford Manor now facilitates the weekly Spades sessions and all are delighted with the results. Mari says that Oscar’s spirits, and those of the other card players, have brightened from the pleasure of sharing a game they all enjoy.
This simple case study highlights how learning preferences of residents can help Activities or Life Enrichment staff plan group events. By identifying shared interests recorded in PELI interviews and coordinating with residents, staff can ensure the monthly calendar has activities residents will enjoy.
Thank you to Mari Engelhardt, the Administrator at Crawford Manor in Cleveland, OH, for sharing this story!
*Name changed for confidentiality.