Policies are certainly a necessity in community care environments, but sometimes they can have unintended consequences.
For example, is it your community’s policy (either written or unwritten) to have all exercise and activity items locked away when not being used during a scheduled activity so they aren’t “misplaced” by residents? While safety and security are important, we should keep in mind that putting these items away can prohibit spontaneous activity when it is most needed, such as in the evenings or when someone is wandering or agitated and could benefit from an activity to distract or expend excess energy. Items like foam swim noodles and foam horseshoe games can safely be left out in common areas, and are inexpensive to replace if they go missing.
If leaving these items out in the open is still frowned upon, having them out of sight but centrally located and easily accessible can also work. Make sure that all staff know where the items are kept so they can be quickly retrieved when needed and not locked away.
Communities often encourage staff to clean exercise and activity items after each use. Consider having antibacterial/antiviral wipes nearby so they can be quickly wiped down and ready to be used by others.
Have a great week!