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Well thought out, individualized activities nourish the quality of life for residents in assisted living residences or nursing homes. These activities banish the feelings of isolation and loneliness. The studies have shown that loneliness in the elderly poses health risks, worse than obesity and smoking. A daily program of fun activities will ensure the seniors in a nursing home experience the sense of achievement every day.
Sometimes, a simple visit to your loved ones in a nursing home can mean the world to them. In this case, perhaps too much attention on fun activities doesn’t need to be given. In a interestingly revealing post from Linda P. Jacob from babyboomerlola.com, she mentions the simple pleasures of family visits, and how they make her feel.
Below are some of the fun things to do with residents in a nursing home that everyone can enjoy:
1. Picnics and Outings
Outings can work wonders for the well-being of the seniors. Change of environment will enthrall them. For the elderly using quad canes or in a wheelchair or those who are mobile on foot will benefit immensely from the physical aspect of maneuvering around. Outdoor picnic and outings undoubtedly help both the mental and physical health of the elderly.
2. Light and Gentle Exercise
Swimming, walking, and cycling are some of the light exercises that seniors can engage in. It improves their health, balance and flexibility. If this sound a bit hard, you can break them into a 10-minute chunk of workouts for at least two times a week. Accidental falls are the primary source of injury for many seniors. Incorporating balance exercises is essential and will keep them on balance. Workouts also stimulate the brain.
Talk to music therapists, neuro scientists, and physicians and they all hum the same tune: music releases good chemicals (dopamine) into the brain and makes people feel good! Clinical and brain imaging studies also back up these findings. Furthermore, you don’t need to be a pro to use music effectively. It can be used for agitation, balance, social interaction, depression and mood, gait, to name just some. Music pauses drudgery of the day for the elderly at nursing homes and is an excellent way to bond. Ensure you to play out their favorites and if possible make them dance!
4. Arts and Crafts
Elderly folk living with memory loss may benefit from art therapy. Moreover, this is on of the fun things to do with residents in a nursing home and you too. Painting and creating something meaningful keep the mind sharp and promote cognitive abilities. Art can also be used to uncover passions and connections that might be clouded by memory loss. In addition to combating dementia, it also helps in reducing stress. It’s a rewarding experience for the older adults!
5. Puzzle and Games
Mental health is as important as physical fitness. Word puzzles are exciting challenges that get the mind a workout and keep the brain buzzing. Even if all conundrums a puzzle will not be solved, by working with other people and trying to figure out the answer enhances brain health.
Bingo is a fun game that can stimulate three major senses: TOUCH by holding the cards, HEARING when the numbers are called out, and SIGHT.
6. Story Time
No one is too old to listen to a fascinating story. Gather a group of kids to read and narrate stories to the elderly.
Having fun things to do with residents in a nursing home will keep seniors happy and active. More so, the activities slow down and reduce negative mental effects.