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Active Minds, Happy Minds

Haleigh Carter, Activities Director in Capitol Lakes’ Assisted Living, is committed to keeping the residents she serves engaged and active – especially through the pandemic. As she says, “The last two years have been such a challenge – especially for the residents I work with – so it’s been important to me to provide many different types of activities to spur conversation, connection, and most of all fun! That’s why I was so grateful to the Capitol Lakes Foundation for purchasing the Relish Starter Kit which contains 23 products to support a wide variety of activities for older adults.”

According to Carter, the puzzles included in the kit - especially the one with the fishing scene - were a big hit with Assisted Living residents. In addition to stimulating the brain, these puzzles provided opportunities to start conversations about fishing, favorite holiday activities, and other topics.

Carter also encourages UW student volunteers to use the activities provided by Relish when they come in to work with memory care residents. “The grab and go nature of the box makes it ideal for volunteers to easily use,” says Carter. “One day our UW student volunteers sat with the residents on Ivy, our memory care unit, and completed a group puzzle. This was not only a meaningful activity for our residents, but provided these students with valuable experience and insight on working with older adults.”

Engaging all of the senses is another feature of the Relish Kit. One of the first activities Carter brought out of the box used scents to stir memories. “It’s easy to forget how powerful our sense of smell is, but familiar odors can sometimes elicit the strongest memories,” says Carter. “In this particular activity we ended up reminiscing about our first cars and our favorite automobiles. It was fun to remember these associations as a group and share stories.”

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