Activities for Nursing Homes

Fun Ways to Spend Time with your Loved One

Activities for Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have come a long way in the past few years. From updated marble lobbies to brightly lit private room arrangements, nursing homes feel a lot more like home than they used to.

When my great-grandma was in a nursing home in the 1990s it was rather depressing to see the lack of attention that she was given while she was there. It wasn’t the staff’s fault or the center that she was in. Back then, only a handful of nursing homes had activities to keep residents busy from morning to night. There was a church group that would come in to sing and greet the residents once a week. The dining hall would be packed. No one wanted to miss the only happening event of the week!

Fortunately, today’s seniors have better options for which type of nursing home they wish to live in. Many nursing homes offer engaging activities ranging from daily craft time, music time, board games, and dances to keep seniors active and fit. Some nursing homes also give residents weekly manicures and can arrange for onsite haircuts.

Spending time with a loved one in a nursing home is one of the most valuable expressions of love that you can give. Here are some fun ways to make the most of your visit:

1. Bring a memory book!

Nothing sparks a great conversation better than bringing in photos and keepsakes of fond memories. Asking for details on a particular picture will help you become a better storyteller as well. Was there a recent event that your loved one could not attend? Bring pictures to share with your loved one and leave extra copies behind so that they can tell their peers about your visit later on.

2. Telephone an out-of-touch relative or friend.

Is there someone your loved one hasn’t spoken to in a while? Arrange for your loved one to connect with them through your cell phone while you are there. What a great treat that would be!

3. Go on an outing!

Scheduling a lunch out can help foster a sense of belonging and connectedness. Although there may be a few rules to follow, this is one of my favorite things to do with my loved one.

4. Attend their favorite community activity with them.

Going on a planned activity such as listening in on a group music presentation is a great way to see how your loved one interacts with the other residents in the home. You can tell a lot by the way your loved one responds to his or her peers in the group. If your loved one is withdrawn from the group, you can instigate conversation with people in the group to help draw your loved one out.

5. Read a book together.

Some seniors enjoy having books read to them by their bedside. This is a great activity for you and your loved one and helps foster a sense of continued care and concern. Reading books can take quite a bit of time and is a wonderful way to engage your loved one in conversation about the book and the storyline.

The best present you can give your loved one is your time. By continuing to visit your loved one on a regular basis at the nursing home, you continue to show that you care about them and that they are being thought of. Hopefully these activities will help give you some creative ideas on what to do with your loved one the next time you visit them at the nursing home.

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