I'm an Activities Director at a small assisted living home. I'm always looking for new ideas of interactive crafts, games, stories, and other stuff for my residents to do. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Jessie from Mauston, WI
Hey, so am I! It's really hard isn't it? Most of them can't do anything. But they enjoy watching me try to do everything. It sure makes them laugh. What kinds of things do you do now? If you're like me, you probably do a lot of Bingo. (03/11/2009)
We recently moved. I came across my Mom's hand print which was made at a nursing home she was in before she passed. I assume they used finger paint or something similar. At the top of the heavier white paper was this poem:
For my child:
My hands have grown older through the years,
And they have wiped away many tears.
They held you when you were young and
Her hand print was below this. I had copies of this made for my brothers and also for my grandchildren. They still remember great-grandma. This would be a great gift for the residents to make for their kids and grand kids for birthdays, Christmas, or other holidays.
Also, she had always loved doing crafts and at the nursing home (because she was so shaky) she did a lot of painting of velvet poster with markers. The velvet hid her shakiness but she could use her imagination for colors, etc. Even when she did duplicate posters, she would choose different colors for each. We always made sure she had lots of extra markers in a variety of colors.
Some of the residents worked regularly on jigsaw puzzles. They also had some type of wheelchair bowling, but I don't remember what they used.
Just recently, there was something in Thrifty Fun about doing sculptures using miniature marshmallows and toothpicks. I am sure some of the residents could come up with some great ones. Or what about a "show and tell"? They could share special stories from their past, or show and tell about a special treasure of theirs. And yes, they did play bingo at my Mom's home!
Have them sit on chairs holding a bed sheet, put a ball on the sheet, and have them not let the ball bounce out of the sheet. (03/11/2009)
Picture frame shadow boxes. You'll need a little glue, and have them bring a special picture and items. You would have to glue the frames together for them. They can glue all their stuff to the glass. Write me if you need to know more on how to, and how easy it is. (03/12/2009)
When I was in a nursing home for a couple of months after a car wreck, the Activities people regularly read items from the local newspaper. They called it "Newsbreak" and the reader would read the title of an article and take votes whether the group wanted to hear the whole article. They did the obits, too, reading full obits for the group upon request.
Also, our Activities folks created holidays. They did a "Frog Day" with a sort of bean bag toss game using little plastic frogs, and they served "frog legs" (hot dogs put together with toothpicks, which of course they removed before they let us eat the hot dogs) for lunch. I was only there a couple of months, but I still appreciated the fun things they put together. A creative and lively Activities team makes all the difference! (03/13/2009)
My mom is in an assisted living facility now. On Fridays they have dominoes, the ladies have manicures, the preschool kids come in and sing for 15 to 20 minutes, and then there is the usual cards, and WI bowling (this is a biggie there!). There is always a puzzle out on a table for the residents to do. There is a quilt in the frame for anyone who wants to work on it. They had crochet and knitting classes. They play bingo every week and once a month they play McDonald's bingo, with the prizes being McDonald's coupons. Hope these help. (03/14/2009)
I just heard of a great idea that was very popular: karaoke. Enjoy! (03/15/2009)
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