Nursing Home Activities

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    I would be interested in hearing what kinds of activities residents do in other nursing homes. Our residents have complained to me that all they do is eat sleep and read the paper.

    We do have group activities like a Lawrence Welk video or nail care. Bingo and Bible study. Coffee Klatch....these are spread out in a seven day week.

    I would love to be able to suggest something that would help stimulate these bored people!!!

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  2. 23 Comments...

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    I worked in a LTC facility and my grandmother also spent a year in one before she died. The residents often enjoyed sing-alongs using familiar hymns and music from long ago ("Bicycle Built for Two" and songs like that, as well as simple choruses are good); I remember hearing about different times when a brownie troop or a boy scout troop would visit and they all did crafts together-- a good inter-generational experience for all; trivia games can be fun and stimulating, too. They also had times when those who'd enjoyed baking in the past would gather to help bake cookies or brownies together. Once in a while, they'd even get a special theme night. They had "Hawaiian Night" and put leis on the residents, played Don Ho music, and had special food for dinner. I always loved it when they had "Pet Therapy" and animals were brought in. Many of the residents would come alive around the animals. Where my grandmother lived, they had resident cats, dogs, fish, and birds which I thought was wonderful!

    When I worked in the LTC facility for 7 months after I graduated, every Friday afternoon, this guy, dressed in a tux, would come to the day room and play an electric keyboard and the residents could listen, sing along, and even dance. I have a fond memory of dancing with a male resident who was so stooped over, his head came right to the level of my chest. We danced one dance as I kind of held him up and I kept grinning as I thought what we must look like! :imbar
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    I used to work as a an activity assistant in a nursing home. We had all kinds of events for the higher function residents and the lower functioning residents. We had what we called Potpourri which was for the lower functioning residents, we would do a variety of activities to stimulate them, one gentleman I had I would sit and rug lotion into his arthritic hands, he could not speak but boy did he smile and then he would be able to play catch, which I hear tell he couldn't do before. Some we gave washcloths to fold, and they really thought they were helping us out. Or some we gave a baby bag full of baby stuff and let them "rummage" through it. They loved it! There was always music people coming in for a variety of shows. Church groups came in. If flowers from funerals came in we got some of the residents in to the activity room and gave them vases and pitchers of water and let them rearrange the flowers into smaller vases and then we would put them on the dining tables and pass them out to other residents. The local alternative education school picks up dogs from the local pound, grooms the dogs and brings them in for the residents to "visit" with. That is a big favorite! We had sing alongs. We have "parades" for various holidays. At holloween we made a haunted house with the residents. New years we have a big new years eve party (of course we had it at 8 or 9pm, but they loved it!) Nail and beuty day was a big thing we just pampered the ladies and put makeup on and did their nails & gave them hand massages. Every month there is a Birthday party (sponsered by different local churches each month) for all the residents who's bdays are that month, of course the whole facility comes to it, but the special residents of that month get a ballon and a gift. They go out for color tour drives and to car shows. They are kept pretty busy all the time. Hope this helps! Email anytime for ideas.

    Originally posted by Vicki30CNA
    I would be interested in hearing what kinds of activities residents do in other nursing homes. Our residents have complained to me that all they do is eat sleep and read the paper.

    We do have group activities like a Lawrence Welk video or nail care. Bingo and Bible study. Coffee Klatch....these are spread out in a seven day week.

    I would love to be able to suggest something that would help stimulate these bored people!!!
    ohioln and ping2k3 like this.
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    I work in a LTC facility. The activity dept is very good at doing things for the residents everyday of the week. They have bingo every morning, and rosary on Fridays. There is Mass on Wednesdays. At night there is Trivia night, and movie night, and sing a longs. Different musical guests come in and entertain, usually on fridays. One of the activity aides does nails for the female residents. they have the monthly birthday parties, which everyone loves. Different parties for the holidays. They have a Gong show every year, which is a big hit. a few weeks ago they did a cookie swap, where they baked their own cookies and traded them with staff and other residents. When its time for the Christmas bazaar a lot of the residents make crafts, and help sell raffle tickets. The residents are usually pretty busy. If they aren't in their room you know they're in the activity room. they also have KFC nights, where everyone places their order and they enjoy their chicken with their families and fellow residents. Pizza night is a big hit also. In the summer time some of them go out for ice cream, and others go to restaurants in the area, usually in groups of 10-15. I was suprised when I first started working there, because the residents were well supplied with things to do. At the facility where I used to work the activity dept would go home at 4:30pm, and never work the weekends. where I am now there is someone there until at least 8pm, and they are there every weekend.
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    Our activities are the pits. It is so sad to see at my facility. They seem to watch a LOT of movies. We used to have a music therapist, but she quit and they never bothered to replace her. We have pub nite once a month with the same old guy playing the guitar every time. Alot of bingo. Pet visits once in a blue moon. Maybe some crafts like every six months. It is despicable, but the not the fault of the activity deparment. They work with what they have, and now face more cutbacks. It is sad, and I am disgusted!

    One facility I visited had a huge map of the world and little stickee things with the names of the residents and pointed at where they were born, I thought that was so neat, but my idea was shot down.
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    We do have trivia and some baking. I think the residents I talk to who tell me there is nothing for them to do but sleep,eat and read the paper are looking for purpose to get up every morning. They do not look foreward to the next day as they all run together. And our residents that are not as able get little to no stimulation besides toileting and shower. A few fold bibs every AM and see it as their "Job", but that job takes them a half hour. Then what, they tell me. I hate to see their last years months days so empty and without purpose.
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    Hi I read your post about Activites in the Nurshing home setting. I used to work in a Day Centre for the Elderly. We played Bingo, but it was just the normal Bingo. Then the day Centre got a Bingo game called Musical Bingo. The old people loved it they couldnt play it enough, in fact there used to be arguments over who was going to play as it was so popular. It is just like the other Bingo but it has a CD we had a cassette and it had songs on it. You just get the cards like normal give them out then play the tape/CD and they play but are listening to the songs as well. They just cover the song on the bingo board as they hear it being played. They are all songs that the older person would know. Believe me it is VERY popluar. I know that it will stimulate your residents. Even the Carers liked playing this game. I have found a web site where you can find out more details and I think you can buy it it online. Here is the web site. I know that it will be more expensive then the other type of Bingo But believe me it is worth every penny. The old people at the day centre where I worked payed it EVERYDAY. AT LEAST 3 games a day. Then when we put it away they were all dissopinted as they STILL wanted to play Musical Bingo.

    It is well WORTH THE MONEY.
    There are thousands of Sites, But I found that the VERY first site had a bit for Musical activites this is where I found the Information for The game.
    Last edit by Carer on Mar 12, '02
  9. 1
    I travel to a lot of nursing home and I see a lot of activities. Recently saw a memory bag in use. The bag consisted of of things that dealt with a theme... boy's bag, baby bag, fishing bag, etc. I saw the boy bag used in a small group of men. 3-4. As a piece was taken out of the bag, they residents were encouraged to discribe a memory associated with the object. There was an airplane with a rubber band propellor, army men, cowboys, indians, a stuffed puppy, and marbles. Lots of great ideas.

    One facility has a scrap booking club. Another facility has a desert club, they make a desert once a week and share with the other residents. One facility has a quilting club. They have entered things in the state fair and the residents have actually won. There are crafts activities, card games, and board games. Bowling, gardening, casting a fishing pole. One facility goes to the local animal shelter once amonth and bring an animal for pet therapy.

    Try checking out these websites!
    elizabethgrad09 likes this.
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    In addition to the activities listed above, we try to have a "major" activity each month. (Our activity department is wonderful) We have a "senior prom" in May, where the local single Marines escort our residents (wheelchairs and all) for dancing and food. We have gowns and suits donated by the local thrift stores. Local hair parlors come and do the hair and nails. Everyone has a blast. We do a candle light dinner for Valentines Day. Administrative staff dress up in black and white and serve the residents and their families. We have a tea for Mother's Day. We have had luaus, pig pickin's, beach days (complete with sand that was brought in) We had a Winter wonderland theme last December - we made snow men with diaper boxes painted white - had a snow man decorating contest. The residents had an indoor snow ball fight (with cotton balls). It was so much fun!
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    I have a little trouble getting several residents to participate in activities, they hae a million and one excuses. How have you been effective in changing their habit of staying in their rooms?

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