On our locked unit, it's considered "low-stimulation," so I often got chewed out for having some of the TVs on at night when everyone was in bed. I'd turn off a few, but some I had to leave on all night -- these residents are the ones who told me they'd fall asleep every night with the TV on! I'm the same way, just because it's just low-stim doesn't mean they can't have a life like they used to -- the life they used to have is the one they're often living on the unit! I just close the door a bit to make sure the other residents can sleep.
When I turn the TVs on, I like to make sure it might be like they used to, though. We don't have a TV room on the locked unit, so I'll get blankets and a snack for the residents, sit them in their chairs, and turn on the TV. And tune it to a station like TV Land, of course, or TCM (Turner Classic Movies, or whatever). And sit along and laugh with them, just like they might have long ago.
Some other ideas for activities you can do, if your activity program is mediocre at best:
* Singing or music. Some of our residents love to sing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_Me_the_Way_to_Go_Home
This is the theme song for our locked unit. Get them in a big circle and sing some old songs, or songs that we all know (Jesus Loves Me, You Are My Sunshine). They may sing at five different paces, but they'll just light up.
* Looking through magazines. I thought residents would get bored, but it sparks a lot of stories. Especially if you start them.
IE: Ooh a pretty wedding dress, what was your wedding like? What did your husband do? How long were you married? And some of them will love to see pictures of farms since most of them were raised there.
* Puzzles. Puzzles with pieces are fun for the more focused resident. For instance, we have a few dementia residents that will retain a fair amount of their memory for a day or so, and they have far more capacity for putting together 100 or 200 pieces than the average dementia resident. I also brought in a puzzle book with differences between two pictures one night (to keep me awake on third shift!) and I just gave it to one of my residents, she loved it -- albeit she picked out the same ones over and over again.
* Kickball. Great for exercise, too. Put all your residents in a circle sitting down, buy a nice-size ball and kick it. You'd be surprised at how active some of the residents get. The combative ones will get their mini-workout if you're lucky.
* Nail care and massages. Some of the more patient females will love a little manicure with nail polish and everything, and it might also spark some stories. I love when all the little ladies on my unit have their nails painted. Plus, this activity is so cheap, one bottle goes a long way. We also buy bottles of lotion and give some of the residents hand, neck, or arm massages at night in the dining room before they go to bed.
* Outside visit. I don't know if your unit has a little deck (maybe they all do, I don't know), but some of our residents absolutely love
to just be outside. Just to sit out in the breeze once in a while is like a dream to them. Just make sure that you don't make the same mistake a stupid aide here once did and let them out alone: two residents flagged down a car and had someone buy them cigarettes and coffee.
* "Handy work" activities. We have a resident that used to be on a farm, like many, but this guy will just wander the halls in his geri chair and find the smallest details and "work" on them. He gets combative at nights but he'll just stop if he finds a screw in the wall -- he'll have to "work" on it. One day they brought blocks, Legos, and some other connecting toys and he just goes to town on those. It keeps him busy, interested, and calm. If you have any "handymen" it works perfectly.
I hope some of these might work for you. I love working on my CCDU because I get to do these activities and, as Jolene Brackey says, help the resident "find their greatness." It really is so rewarding! Good luck.