Activities for an Assisted Living Home


I am the coordinator of social activities for an elderly care home. Any ideas for an easy, simple recipes, or food decorations for the residents to do?

By Malky from London


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By abrupt_silence 5 37 12/21/2010

Icing sugar cookies.
Fold some paper into cards for the residents and provide glue and other craft materials for them to decorate. It's a great project for them to give to their families for the holidays. You can also make paper ornaments.
Try making some homemade chocolates which are fairly easy. You need semi sweet chocolate chips (or whichever you prefer) a can of nuts. ( I've used cashews) and some milk. Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler. Stir in a bit of milk to thin the chocolate out a bit. Toss in the nuts and pour the mixture onto waxed paper. Set it in the fridge for a few hours and package. It makes a good item to sell at a bake sale.

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By Joan 13 1,482 12/21/2010

My former mother-in-law is in an actual nursing home, in a wheel chair because she lost one leg, due to poor circulation. She helps bake the cakes, is in a handbell choir, they work on jigsaw puzzles, and I can't remember what else all she has mentioned doing, but they are always busy. This is in a small town of about 1,000 people.

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By Leigh 5 31 12/21/2010

My 91 yr old mother-in-law recently moved in with us and I too am looking for activities.
Believe it or not her very favourite thing to do is make cabbage rolls. She must have missed doing this and really enjoys getting her hands in there! I have noticed how much better she has become at doing this too; the arthritis that was crippling her is getting less disabling as she exercised her fingers.
Search on the web for Marshmallow Fondant; its like plasticine that you can eat. Let them make decorations to top a cake with, thats always fun!

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By Linda from Bloomington, IL 76 172 12/23/2010

There is always bingo. I worked in nursing home a total of 14 years. A few years ago I was a patient there twice in one year. One my favorite things was making individual pizzas. We flattened biscuits by just pressing on them and stretching them out. The activity person put on a little pizza sauce. We could choose our toppings such as mini pepperoni slices, onion, green peppers, etc. The kitchen baked them and we had a nice afternoon snack.

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By nash mcmillan 1 05/02/2012

There was this game I played at school and I was thinking it would be fun for residents to do. You get a beach ball and you cover the entire ball with questions, about an inch apart from each other.

For the game, you toss the ball to a resident when they catch it whatever question their pointer finger on their right hand lands on that's the question that they have to answer. I think this games help promotes memory, because the questions are things they would have to think about, things from their pasts like what there favorite candy was growing up, or what they like to do on the weekends when they were younger. It also helps with physical because they have to catch the ball so they are up and being active.

Another thing is it helps residents get to know each other and socialize. I am going to be introducing this game to the assisted living facility that I currently work at.

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Here are questions related to Activities for an Assisted Living Home.

Question: Activities for an Assisted Living Facility

I would like to ask your suggestions about any activities in a assisted living facility that I could add on to what we currently offer. Are there any suggestions, besides bingo?

By May

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Most Recent Answer

By Lee Taylor 15 426 07/27/2011

I work in a nursing home in the Activity Dept. and some of our most successful activities are stringing beads for necklaces or key chains ( they love working with beads!) Some of them loved working with watercolor paints. I had large pre-printed images and they loved coloring it with paint. We've made small papier mache bowls. We've done yarn weavings and sewed necklaces with yarn on plastic canvas pieces. They love it when musicians come play music for them. We have live music once a week. They love to sing. I also do hand massages with nice smelling lotion. The ladies (and a few men) love it. We do manicures once a week. And they'll all come out for root beer floats or ice cream socials. We've also done cheese and crackers with fruit and they like that alot. And church on Sundays is big. We have several local churches who rotate coming once a month to lead the church service for our residents and that's very important.

Hope this helps.

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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)

By Suitsme

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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
wiped a tear to keep you strong.
So, hang this on your wall to view.
Remember that I will always love you!

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!

Judy (03/11/2009)

By typeset

RE: Activities for Assisted Living 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)

By gammybear

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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)

By hummm

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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)

By JustPlainJo

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

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)

By JoRock

RE: Activities for Assisted Living Home

I just heard of a great idea that was very popular: karaoke. Enjoy! (03/15/2009)

By lbeltran

Archive: Activities for an Assisted Living Home

I am starting up several activity sessions in an elderly people's care home. I am looking for ideas for crafts and different activities. We have residents of all different abilities. Can anyone suggest any ideas?


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