Keeping the mind of seniors stimulated with activities


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

Anne Marie Amacher Pat Frederking prepares a frame for an art project with the help of Lisa Hass, life enrichment supervisors at the Kahl Home in Davenport.
Anne Marie Amacher
Pat Frederking prepares a frame for an art project with the help of Lisa Hass, life enrichment supervisors at the Kahl Home in Davenport.

DAVENPORT — Socialization, stimulation and keeping the brain active are several reasons the Kahl Home offers a variety of social and hands-on activities, said Lisa Hass. The life enrichment supervisor says activities might draw anywhere from a handful of residents to a packed room, depending on what is offered.
Some of the activities include take and bake, make and take, exercise classes, musical entertainment, outside groups doing demonstrations and the ever-popular pub nights. The pub, open every evening at 4 p.m., except Sunday, is by far the most popular event. Family members often attend with their loved ones who live at the Kahl.
In addition to the pub, activities are offered every morning and afternoon, Hass said.
For the bake and take, residents help make a treat and then take it back to their room to eat it. Make and take involves craft projects that start in the activity room and are completed at residents’ own pace in their rooms. Large coloring pages for residents are available to color and get framed, Hass said. Many of the craft projects are given to family members or hung in the resident’s room.
Exercise classes are held twice a week. Groups outside the Kahl Home come in at various times to entertain the residents with demonstrations such as dance or singing.
Hass said when groups visit, especially those with youths and teens, the residents love to interact with them. “They enjoy it so much.” Sometimes residents may reminisce about dancing when they were younger, for example.
A favorite activity involves St. Ambrose University’s Urban Plunge. Hass said the St. Ambrose students involved in that one-day volunteer activity take down life stories of the residents to enter into a project the Kahl Home has offered for years to residents and their families. “Sometimes I think the residents would rather interview the students on what life is like today,” she noted. Some students will continue a relationship with a resident beyond the Urban Plunge. “They come back and have lunch with them or visit. They love it. It’s all about socialization,” Hass said of the activities the Kahl offers.
On July 1, residents enjoyed a picture frame make-and-take activity. They selected from a variety of wooden frames, painted on decoupage (a glue-like substance) and then put a coloring sheet on top. Hass cut out the hole for the pictures. Residents could stay to continue their craft or take it to their room to color. Once they finished, the staff would apply another layer of decoupage to seal the craft.
Resident Pat Frederking said she enjoys going to the make and take because, “it’s fun.” Since many times the activities involve coloring, she’s in. “I like to color.” She has taken several of the large coloring pages to her room to do on her own. She also likes to read and do puzzles to keep herself busy. “And I like having Mass each day.”

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