Focus: OSF Senior World 

Keeping older adults active is key to their cognitive and physical health, but it requires perseverance from caretakers who are often overwhelmed by basic caregiving responsibilities. Fortunately, there are places like OSF Senior World in Peoria, IL, that provide adult day services that activate and energize their senior clients in a way they couldn’t get at home.

Pre-pandemic, the facility hosted up to 44 clients a day, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are currently limited to 15 to 20 clients a day who participate in fun activities like trivia, word games, chair exercises, singing and art projects. Most of the participants have some form of memory loss and comorbidities, but none of it slows them down once they’re at Senior World. Courtney Roberts, MSG, Senior World Supervisor says, “Our clients look forward to coming here. It gives them a sense of purpose.”

Participants at OSF Senior World using pool noodles to play balloon volleyball; George, shooting hoops to keep his body moving and active.

 

The pandemic has not put a damper on participant enthusiasm, even though many of their activities are restricted. “The seniors have acclimated very well. It’s more of a challenge for us to make sure everyone is safe,” Roberts acknowledges. Communication is key to adapting their program so participants are still socially and mentally engaged from a safe distance. 

Senior World serves a hearty, healthy lunch every day that is savored by clients—”It’s the best part of their day!” she says. Mealtime often lasts up to two hours and it’s a time for the seniors to socialize with each other and staff. 

One of their favorite physical activities is balloon volleyball, in which participants volley a balloon back and forth. Instead of eliminating this activity due to the pandemic, the Senior World staff got creative and switched it up. Now participants use a pool noodle instead of their hands to volley the balloon, and have just as much fun. 

“These games, which activate them mentally and physically, are so important to their overall well-being,” Roberts notes. “They are a positive group of people, who inspire us and remind us that we are all living through this pandemic together.” 

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