The Waterloo Heights team is tapping into their creativity to keep spirits high – and it’s working

From outdoor dance parties to hallway bingo, residents continue to enjoy a high quality of life while maintaining safety protocols during pandemic
6/24/2020  - Deron Hamel

Waterloo Heights team members have been tapping into their creativity during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic to keep residents’ spirits high at the Waterloo, Ont. seniors living community.

Team members have been dressing up in costumes and hosting fun-themed days while adhering to important social distancing protocols to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

Interim executive director Anna Marie Crawford dressed up in a chicken suit one day, and this went over so well that residents and her colleagues are still calling her “Chicky,” she tells S&R Today.

Waterloo Heights residents have balconies outside their rooms, and they have been standing outside watching team members have parades and dance parties – including one where team members, some clad in dinosaur costumes, danced to the Village People’s hit song Y.M.C.A. – to keep everyone entertained, Anna Marie notes.

Some of the entertainers who frequent Waterloo Heights have been hosting makeshift concerts from the front courtyard while residents watch from their balconies, and this has been a big hit as well, Anna Marie adds.

“We are just giving (the residents) a little bit of a bright spot in their day,” she tells S&R Today. “And they just have so much fun with it. ... It’s finding those moments to have fun and a laugh.”

Team members have also hosted a lemonade day (where residents could get yellow lemonade from a staff member dressed in yellow and pink lemonade from a staff member dressed in pink) as well as regular ice-cream socials where ice cream is delivered to residents’ rooms, Anna Marie says.

Anna Marie also credits Waterloo Heights activity director Jacqui Reid for coming up with ways to host programs for residents while maintaining social distancing protocols.

“She has been so amazing; she has done things on the floor for residents where she has stood at the doorway and done entertainment for them – things like hallway bingo and things like that where residents can have an activity but still maintain social distancing,” she says.

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