How to Connect in Meaningful Ways Now

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The Big Buzz Guide on Virtual Games, Movies and More!

In a time of social distancing, self-quarantines and work-from-home mandates, it’s more important than ever to connect with others in meaningful ways. That includes connecting with those you serve (such as clients or patients), those you work with, your friends and family, and even yourself. Big Buzz’s guide has you covered with ideas for how to stay in touch, ranging from online games to meditation apps.

For connecting with those you serve:

Video Marketing 

If your senior living organization has been thinking about expanding its video marketing programs, this is the perfect time to get started. Tools like those offered by HeartLegacy can help organizations create videos for lead generation efforts, social media engagement, recruiting efforts and life-story videos of residents.

Virtual Appointments

Programs like SmileSnap allow orthodontists to see patients via virtual consultations. Patients answer questions and submit photos electronically, which are then evaluated by a doctor, similarly to how an in-person visit might work. This is a great tool to engage patients until they are able to visit the office for an in-person consultation.

Facebook Movie Night (version one)

This one is easy! Have your Facebook audience pick a movie they would like to see (preferably on a popular platform, like Netflix) and then agree to start the movie at a designated time. Throughout the movie, you can either create a Facebook event page for people to hold open discussions, or you can comment directly on your Facebook page. Take it up a notch and ask trivia questions about the actors or the movie itself, and offer the winner a gift card! This is a great virtual alternative for practices that do patient appreciation movie days for their practice. 

Virtual Show-and-Tell

Create a Zoom meeting and invite everyone to share something personal – perhaps a favorite photo, a sports trophy or a childhood toy. This would be especially great in senior living communities where the social activities have been reduced or temporarily stopped. As the meeting host, you have the ability to mute participants during performances to give the performer the spotlight.

DIY Activities

Post tutorials on your Facebook page and encourage your audience to share their finished products with you. Here are a few to get you started:

Minecraft Fortune Teller

Paper Airplanes

Cardboard Pinball

Cardboard Basketball

Cardboard Skeeball

For connecting with your work team:

Virtual Talent Show

This may be a Big Buzz thing, but we often find ourselves in team meetings saying we should have a talent show – we have gifted piano players, ukulele masters, craft queens and more. Why not do it virtually? Create a Zoom meeting and invite everyone to share their talents! To make things more streamlined, consider creating a sign-up sheet on Google Sheets. As the meeting host, you have the ability to mute participants during performances to give the performer the spotlight.

Pictionary, Hangman, Tic-Tac-Toe or Team Brainstorm

https://awwapp.com/ is a free online whiteboard that you can invite users to via a unique link. Use the board to play Pictionary, Hangman, or even have a team brainstorm session. We recommend setting up a Zoom meeting so you can see and hear other participants, especially since most games and brainstorm sessions require verbal communication.

For connecting with friends and family: 

Facebook Movie Night (version two)

Did you know you could have a Netflix watching party? The only requirement is that you use Google Chrome. Go to https://www.netflixparty.com/ – from there, you will download a Chrome plugin. Then, simply go to your Netflix account, choose the movie you’d like to watch, and click on the red “NP” on your browser to bring up the extension. It will create a unique link you can share with friends and family. Grab some popcorn and let’s hang!

Zoom Dinner Dates

If you’ve been missing out on double dates at friends’ homes or Sunday dinner with the in-laws, Zoom is a great way to bring that sense of connection back. Schedule a dinner date with friends or family and plan to prepare the same meal. You may be miles apart, but you’ll both be enjoying spaghetti dinner like old times.

Online Games

Playingcards.io. If you enjoy playing cards, you can now do so with friends online! Choose from a variety of pre-loaded card games or open a custom game. You can share the game link with whoever you’d like, and you can open up a Zoom session so everyone can see each other. You can access it here: http://playingcards.io/

 

Jigsawpuzzles.io. Once you create a free account, you can select a jigsaw puzzle to complete and invite others to join. You can open up a Zoom session so everyone can see each other. You can access it here: https://jigsawpuzzles.io/

 

AirConsole. Now this one is pretty cool – imagine video games where your computer is the console and your mobile device is the controller! There are a ton of games to choose from, and it’s free! You can access it here: https://www.airconsole.com/ – Once you enter the code onto your mobile device, you can share the code with those who are interested in playing along.

 

Settlers of Catan. You can now play this popular strategy-based game online for free. Follow the link here: https://catanuniverse.com/en/game/ – This link should bring you to the English version. You will need to create a username, as well as one for anyone else who would like to join, and then you can invite them to your game.

For connecting with yourself:

Virtual Painting Class (or something similar)

YouTube has a plethora of DIY and guided videos to help you get those creative juices flowing. For example:

Painting Class Example

Drawing Class Example

Meditation

With so much weighing on our hearts and minds these days, now is a great time to start a meditation routine. Big Buzz’s CEO meditates daily and encourages others to join in on the practice by offering in-office sessions and meditation pillows (when not working remotely). Apps like Calm and Headspace are two great places to start.

 

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