Activities in nursing homes are designed to give residents an opportunity to interact socially with one another while participating in things they enjoy. From bingo to sing-a-longs, video games to yoga, nursing facilities are providing the residents with their favorite activities while introducing advanced means of stimulating their minds and bodies.
Monthly Birthday Parties
Hold a group birthday party to celebrate everyone born in a given month. Decorate a room and provide cake and refreshments, party hats and festive plates and cups.
Bring in a variety of performers, with special entertainment at holidays. One month hold a sing-along; the next host a pianist or guitarist; at Christmas, invite area schoolchildren to sing. Ask the seniors what kind of music they enjoy, such as tunes from their younger days.
Hold cookouts in warmer weather for both residents and staff. Not only does this serve to get residents outside, but it also gives them a chance to enjoy food they may not ordinarily have, such as grilled chicken, burgers and ice cream.
By federal law, nursing facilities must offer residents the opportunity to attend a religious service of their choice. Facilities typically hold services that are non-denominational.
Design exercise classes to suit people of all abilities, including those who use wheelchairs. Some nursing facilities have begun incorporating yoga and Tai Chi classes.
Playing Video Games
Many facilities have incorporated the Nintendo Wii into their activities. The video games simulate bowling, golf, even tennis. Even if physically impaired, players can sharpen many of their skills. Besides stimulating minds and bodies, the video games introduce seniors to new technology.
Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.