Encouraging social interation in elderly.

  1. Does anyone have any good tips for how to encourage an elderly person at risk for social isolation to go out and establish contacts and be more social? It seems that many residents could benefit from more social interaction, but I don't know how to encourage it.
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    About Capp

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 89; Likes: 71


  3. by   bookwormom
    Are you referring to community members or nursing home residents? My mother lived in several nursing homes. Some of the activities were ones she had no interest in (sports related, especially), and she would have never have enjoyed participation, even when she was younger. On the other hand, she enjoyed anything musical. If you know the resident's former interests, it may help to build on these.
  4. by   ktwlpn
    If a resident was a loner all of their life prior you aren't going to change that and in LTC they have the right to choose what they do or don't want to participate in.
  5. by   CapeCodMermaid
    I nave to agree with the last two posters. Find out what the individual's interests are. Not everyone likes group activities. And BINGO...please don't ever make me play.
  6. by   Capp
    I'm talking about nursing home residents. I understand what you guys are saying about finding something they're interested in. Forcing them to go to something they won't enjoy will just make them less interested in socializing.

    And I don't think I'm talking about people who were always loners. These are people who were social throughout their lives but now find themselves reduced to the very occasional visit from family, as far as social interaction is concerned.
  7. by   canigraduate
    Find out what activities are available and ask the residents what they are interested in. Try to relate the activities to the person's interests. If there are a lot of people that have similar interests, sit them close together at meal times and during activities. They will make their own social bonds.

    For those people that don't really like anything the facility has to offer, find out if the activities department can come up with something for them. One lady didn't like anything except listening to music, so the activities people brought a CD player into the dining hall and would play music for her and a few other residents for an hour or so in the afternoon.

    Try to be creative and see what you can do.
  8. by   NICU Kristen
    Find out the residents interests. Maybe going to each resident and surveying them on what they might enjoy doing. At a rehab/SNF I worked at as an aide we had tons of activities for the residents.

    The more social and usually younger ladies really enjoyed the crafts, making potpourri (sp?), holiday decorations, etc.

    We also would play older music and some of the more quiet residents would all just sit there together and listen.

    Lots of men liked to play cards. And yes we did bingo!

    It all depends on what they enjoy. Some residents would never participate. Others would make the best of their stay in rehab and make friends and fully participate. Those residents had better outcomes in their therapy.

    Good luck!
  9. by   DixieRedHead
    Good grief! You would rather sandpaper a wild cat's hind end in a burlap sack than try to call off bingo where I work.
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    Everyone came out for Bingo. And accused one another of cheating.

    One thing we did was encourage everyone to go to the dining room for coffee hour - and I saw to it that the geri-chair-bound, advanced dementia folks go, too. They benefitted.
  11. by   CapeCodMermaid
    I started a resident chorus on the dementia unit. We aren't going to win America's Got Talent, but it gets people out of their rooms and breathing.
  12. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    When I worked in Assisted Living, the most popular activity was Free Fishing Day, when the state allowed fishing without a license. Other popular activities included Wii golf and music programs (except one very bad recorder/guitar duo). One man who had lived in the boonies all of his life loved peeling potatoes and shooting the breeze with the kitchen staff.
  13. by   Butterfliesnroses
    Recently I had a new admit who had a hx of not socializing. I took her to the dining hall (which was a place where alot of the residents congregrate). Next thing I know her and another resident are visiting and playing games together. I was jumping with joy!

    I think just finding out what they like to do and offering it. Also just getting them outta their room and into a place where others will be would help!