Games with Karen!

If you’ve seen any of Countryside’s Monthly Activities Calendars, “Games with Karen” is almost always a part of the weekend lineup. For years, Karen has been a part of the staff at Countryside who doubles as our fabulous weekend game host. We interviewed Karen on the creative ways she keeps our residents entertained.

 

How and when did “Games with Karen” become a staple of weekend activities?

Before joining Countryside, I was a teacher, corporate trainer, and team-building facilitator. So, back in 2013 when Lynn asked if I would be interested in conducting activities with the residents every other weekend, I jumped at the opportunity. On my first weekend we started off with “Getting to Know You” team building activities, and the rest is history!

It sure is. How do you decide which games are played each week?

I plan activities around current events, seasons, or upcoming holidays.  This includes trivia, math, word games, geography, card games, exercising, story hour, and more.  On some weekends, I’ll get inspiration by looking at a “day of the month” calendar to see what the specific day is known for, and create games from there.  A couple of weeks ago, I tied 3 activities around one theme – the flower of the day. First, we had a group discussion learning all about the flower which was called “Snow in Summer”. Then we did a trivia quiz where I asked the residents questions about the flower, and followed it up with a word game where they had to find as many words within the phrase “Snow in Summer” as they could. The ladies found 105!
 

Wow, that’s amazing! What are some of the favorite types of games the residents like to play?

In addition to the more traditional games like Bingo, the residents love brain teasers like word games, trivia, and puzzles. They especially enjoy trying to find words within other words or phrases. To get moving between games, we’ll do the hokey pokey or chicken dance (in our chairs of course), which never fails to make everyone laugh! The residents also enjoy making flower arrangements to put in their rooms. I’ll bring in mini carnations that they cut and arrange, then put into vases and decorate with ribbons. We even have an official ribbon curler!

I guess the activities span far beyond games! Are there any new games or activities that you’re trying out?

We just began playing a game called “Loose Change” where each player is dealt a hand of cards, each with a picture of a nickel, dime, quarter, or 50 cent coin. The object of the game is to get your hand to add up to exactly one dollar. The game can get tricky so we’re still trying to master it, but the residents seem to enjoy it and we’re getting better every time we play. No calculators allowed!

Sounds challenging! I think I’ll stick to the chicken dance. Overall, what is your favorite part about these game sessions every week?

I love interacting with the ladies and seeing their faces light up when we do the activities. They have a wealth of knowledge that they love to share!

 

September Activities Calendar

We’re sad to see the end of summer, but are very excited for everything we’ve got planned in September!

Our fingers are crossed for better weather (muggy August didn’t allow for as many Porch Parties as expected), and we have FIVE birthdays to celebrate. We’ll also be closing out the month with Oktoberfest, how fun!

See what else we’ve got planned in our September Activities Calendar below. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and pictures of the fun! www.facebook.com/countryside.nursinghome

 

2016 Friends & Family Cookout

Last week we had an incredible time at our annual Friends & Family cookout. Between residents, staff, and family we hosted over 130 people – a record high attendance for us!

In addition to delicious BBQ there was a spectacular performance by Toni, Paul, and Joe (relatives of Maria) who wowed the crowd with a rendition of “Love me Tender”.

All in all, it was great connecting with old friends and showing the families of our new residents how truly special our Countryside community is. Many thanks to the entire staff who played a part in making the day a true success!

 

30 stars for our 30 residents!
30 stars for our 30 residents!

Midas the Therapy Dog

This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite friends, Midas the therapy dog! Might-but-gentle, Midas is an 11 year old Husky, Shepard mix who was rescued from a shelter by his owner Judy. They’ve been paying  the ladies at Countryside a visit every Friday morning after Midas earned his “Canine Good Citizen Certificate” 4 years ago.

 

Midas never fails to brighten everyone’s spirits. We’re grateful for his visits knowing that pet therapy has been shown to have countless benefits on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the elderly. Particularly among nursing homes residents, more time with pets has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and release serotonin and dopamine, all of which have a positive impact on mental state*. More reasons why we love our Midas time!

 

A couple of fun facts about Midas

1. A true New Englander, he loves the snow.

2. All Judy has to say is “Let’s go see the ladies”, and he’s at the door ready to go!

August Activities Calendar

Hard to believe it’s already August! We’re squeezing in as many summer activities as we can, starting off with our annual Friends & Family Cookout this Saturday. We look forward to this day every year and can’t wait to see everyone again!
Check out the rest of our activities lineup in the August Calendar.

4th of July Festivities!

Last week we celebrated America’s birthday and showed off our patriotism in style!

Our Activities Director Kathy brought out festive 4th of July props and decorations, which led to an impromptu photoshoot! See a few of our favorite shots from the day below.


 

July 2016 Activities Calendar

Happy July! The month has already been off to a great start for us here at Countryside. We celebrated the Fourth in style and will be posting pictures of the festivities soon.

The fun doesn’t stop there! Check out our calendar below for a full schedule of events, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for weekly updates.

Click to Expand Calendar

Click to Expand Calendar

Planting Tomatoes with Mike!

Everyone knows that at Countryside, one of our all-time favorite summer activities is gardening! Last week, one of our long-time friends Mike came to help the ladies plant tomatoes in our backyard.

For the past year, Mike has been coming every week as a volunteer with St. Bridget’s Church in Framingham to help out with communion. Knowing the ladies love gardening so much, he came to us with the idea of planting tomatoes and we couldn’t have been more excited!

Our activities calendar is always full of fun events, and we will continue to share pictures of them throughout the summer here.

June Activities Calendar

June 2016 Activities

Can you believe June is finally here? This summer we have many outdoor activities planned – Bocce, Golfing, Horseshoes, you name it! We’ll be taking every chance we get for fun in the sun. 
 
We have three birthdays to celebrate (ice cream anyone?) as well as some exciting guests, so be sure to follow us on Facebook for coverage of our summertime activities! Countryside Facebook Page
June Activities Calendar

Visit from Pinefield Garden Club

Every year, the wonderful ladies from Pinefield Garden Club visit to help get our outdoor space summer-ready. After April (and even May) showers, it was great to get some long overdue sunshine!
 
Everyone worked together on filling the flower pots and planting them in the backyard, which is now more beautiful than ever. We are thankful for the help of the Pinefield Garden Club and will admire the flowers all season long!