Nursing homes have been hit hard during the pandemic, making it difficult for residents to have visitors. One nursing home in Blanchester, Ohio found a way to brighten its residents' days by bringing one winter activity indoors, but with a twist.
In the now-viral video shared on Continental Manor’s Facebook on Nov. 30, residents of the nursing home can be seen using Nerf guns to shoot foam darts at members of the staff who were all donning deer antlers and snouts. The staff pranced around the room, weaving in and out of the makeshift forest composed of multiple faux Christmas trees as the residents “hunted” them for a fun indoor activity.
“Residents had fun deer hunting today!” the Facebook caption read.
“I am always looking for something new and fun to keep our residents busy during these trying times,” Lisa Beach, Continental Manor’s Activity Director, told TODAY via e-mail. “This was certainly a hit, they really had a good time. The staff here is really great about jumping in and helping anytime they can with activities like this."
After a colleague showed her a video of a similar indoor activity, Beach decided to test it out for the residents of Continental Manor to show them some fun during these hard times.
“I got the idea to turn our dining room in to a forest and bring out all of the Christmas trees before we decorated them,” she explained, adding, “It was such a blast.”
Beach joked that she thought the staff had just as much fun "if not more" than the residents at the nursing home.
The video has garnered nearly 30 million views in less than a week since being posted, receiving tens of thousands of likes and comments on the heartwarming clip.
Beach said the residents in the video have “all called their family to brag about going viral.” She even made the residents "movie star signs" to go outside each of their rooms.
What's next for Continental Manor residents? Beach said the staff has already decorated all of the trees that were part of the "forest" and will be working on decorating the entire building for the holidays.