Activities for seniors: finding great life enrichment activities in nursing homes.
Last October, we have organized a survey to settle down what were the good practices dealing with facilities and activities in nursing homes.
We have asked many questions to psychologists, Nursing home directors, Nursing home facilitators, etc. We have received more than 650 answers.
Therefore we can suggest you through this article, interesting activities in nursing homes.
Life enrichment ideas: Activities in Nursing homes
- Nursing home cultural activities
We can assert than the elderly usually appreciate taking part in cultural activities, such as outings and shows, going to the cinema and to the restaurant, singing classes, etc. Those activities in nursing homes allow them to recall their early childhood memories. It also helps in creating and maintaining a social link with the outside world.
Example: Almost 70% of our seniors who responded to our survey claim that they really appreciate taking part in singing classes.
- Creative activities in nursing homes
In fact, those activities in nursing homes allow them to develop their creativity and their imagination. Moreover, those senior residents activities help them staying “open-minded” and fighting against loneliness.
Example: Almost 45 % of the seniors who responded to our survey claim that they really appreciate taking part in cooking activities. On the other hand, only 15% enjoy plastic arts.
Take a look at this chart:
- Sports activities in nursing homes
Many seniors will enjoy practicing adapted sports (adapted to their age). It could be, for instance, Mild Gymnastics, Tai chi, or Corporal Expression, etc. This will maintain them in a good shape and mood. They will stay mentally young and dynamic. Furthermore, they will be able to discover and to exchange with new seniors. Again, this will allow seniors to maintain social links!
- Other “unusual” activities in nursing homes
Many seniors are also often interested in unusual senior care activities (representing 40% of our respondents) such as “going to church”, “laundry folding”, “gardening activities”, etc.
Listing the best activities for seniors
Here is a sample of the best activities for senior citizens ever organized in Nursing homes. Competition between nursing homes such as the Summer Olympiads
- Memory games for adults on tablet adapted to the residents’ capacities, Stim’Art
- Theme meals (Italian, Mexican, Japanese) and other organized tastings
- Going to museums
- Walking SPA’s dogs (Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals)
Typical life enrichment activities
We’ve listed the favorite senior activities of the residents! Now, we have to look at the organization: Who’s concerned? With who? When?
We advise you to create different activities in nursing homes adapted to the residents’ capacities. If you have a dementia care unit, you have to adapt your activities. But most importantly, everybody should be entertained!
Moreover, the life enrichment coordinator mostly organizes senior citizen activities in groups rather than individual activities. The average ratio is “90% collective/10% individual”.
Does the life enrichment director receive help from other professionals?
41% of our respondents have never received help from psychologists, 93% from speech therapists, or 72% of them from occupational therapists.
But, volunteers and caregivers are always here to help!
- 43% of our respondents have received help from volunteers
- 79% of them have received help from Caregivers
Indeed, caregivers and families can help and are really happy to participate when they’re here! It’s not easy for them to see their parent in a nursing home, especially in a dementia care unit. Creating activities for senior residents adapted to people suffering from dementia will also attract families to come and participate!
For example, with the memory games program Stim’Art on tablet, which is adapted for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, the family can play with their relatives. They share an activity: the tablet is used as a mediation. Therefore they spend a very good time without stress! A huge success!
There is no typical schedule. Some entertainers like to read the press in the morning and organize cultural and practical activities in the afternoon, but there is no rule!
Finally, You can try several activities and collect feedback from residents: this will allow you to adapt the content, the format, and if they like it, it benefits everyone!
Feedback is the clue!
How to know that your life enrichment idea is a good one?
It’s important to continually evaluate the activities you offer within your retirement home. The well-being and happiness of your residents are the goals! Here are a few clues to know if the like it or not :
Here are a few clues:
- The excitement of the seniors before the nursing home activity for senior citizens
- The initiative was taken by the seniors
During the activity in a nursing home
- Residents are smiling and are dynamic
- Families and residents do not hesitate to participate in the activities and to thank the facilitators.
- Complicity between residents
After the activity in the nursing home
- “Is it already the end?”
- Residents cannot wait and are excited to know when the next senior care activity for seniors will take place
- Residents are loyal to the senior citizen activities
- When those activities in nursing homes increase the residents’ wellness: Less stress, less loneliness, etc.
Finally good luck to you, and do not forget that you have one of the most beautiful jobs in the world! Do not hesitate to share with us your tips and ideas of cultural activities adapted to nursing homes.