yes, i think your question #2 is referring to social activities that are designed for the residents in ltc facilities. in the facilities where i worked they did so many different things. they had people who brought in animals and went from room to room with them. you could see the faces of many of the residents just light up when one of these dogs or cats was brought in to them. some of us bought milk bones so the residents could give the dogs a treat on those days. they had singers come and perform. i'd be willing to bet that more than one nursing home had young trick-or-treaters visiting the other day as well as a halloween party for the residents as well. we had a birthday party every month for all the residents whose birthday was that month. we had bingo with volunteers who assisted those who either couldn't place the bingo markers on their cards or in some other way, either physically or cognitively, couldn't play the game like you or i can. one home had a daily exercise class that was an absolute fun thing to watch or help with. patients were brought into the dining room after all the tables were moved to the sides of the room. they were placed in recliners or their wheelchairs and assisted by aides or volunteers and exercised to music while led by the activities lady. one facility had a special satellite radio hookup for the patients to receive old radio programs that included old comedies, big band music and news programs that were specifically aimed at the geriatric and elderly population. there was also a reminiscent group that got together once a week to do a kind of show and tell. they were encouraged to bring mementos of their past and talk about them with the group. i will never forget one young aide who was absolutely flabbergasted to see a dial phone. she had never heard of a phone like it. made me feel old for the first time in my life! i worked in a jewish home that carried out all the religious practices including things like weekly temple services and seder dinner during passover. all residents were assisted to attend if they wished. the kitchen was a kosher kitchen and kosher meals were served to all residents. god, the aroma of food cooking that came out of the kitchen was absolutely wonderful! we had dairy and meat refrigerators at two different areas on the unit to accommodate food brought in by relatives and to keep kosher food laws.
with regard to assessing socialization, you might find this information on the website i gave you the link to below. i used to take my mother to a daily lunch program for the elderly in town and it was very interesting to watch the interactions going on. some elderly as they develop sensory deficits (problems with hearing, sight and touch) seem to become less aware to things going on around them. they seem to withdraw into their own immediate environment and pay less attention to others. my mother would use the electric scooters in the supermarket and knock displays down as she cut corners too sharply and nearly run into people. her reply was often, "oh, they'll be ok. i didn't hurt anything." that wouldn't have been her response 20 years ago. my shopping experience with her was constantly running after her as she went speeding down the aisles doing damage control and preventing potential disasters.
with regard to cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic factors i have noticed something quite astounding here in arcadia, california. there is an increasing presence of asians as many young asian professionals are moving their elderly parents into homes here. a number of asian adult day care centers have cropped up where these elderly, many that cannot speak any english, can go to socialize with others of their own age and culture and get a hot ethnic prepared meal. if they were not in an asian dominated community, these kinds of services wouldn't be available to them. without transportation they would be confined to their homes. doctors, nurses and other professionals who can speak with them in their native tongues are also available to see them at these centers. their children often are the source of their financing since they do not qualify for social security or medicare.
hope these have given you a few more ideas. here is a website of geriatrics. you might want to look around on it for some of the answers you are looking for.
- the university of iowa geriatric education center home page. click on the links you might be interested in.