Activities for the Elderly and Disabled

Finding activities appropriate and enjoyable for the elderly and disabled can be frustrating. This is a guide about activities for the elderly and disabled.

Elderly Woman Walking with Daughter
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Question: Activities for the Elderly and Disabled

My mother is legally blind and handicapped with a left arm she is unable to use and a right arm and hand that will work but on a limited basis. She has been active all of her life and now sits in a nursing home where she is bored and wants something to do so that she feels like she is accomplishing something. I have gotten her books on tape which have helped but I would appreciate any ideas you can suggest. Thank you.


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By mike 2 Flag

February 1, 2010

Another thing she likes is DVS movies it is only sound but Described as you go along with the original soundtrack. they are free to download at I put up to six movies on one CD.

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Tip: Craft Projects for the Elderly and Disabled

By Missy 19 41

There are so many small craft projects, with assistance that the elderly, handicapped and disabled can do! My most important suggestion is not to involve them in a lengthy project, but one they can accomplish in a short time frame.

Here are a few ideas, but use your imagination as there are a lot of brilliant members on Thrifty Fun!

  • Take a photo of this person, assist them to draw around their face on the photo by using a cup centered and an ink pen. Assist or cut out with scissors or pinking sheers. Use a hole punch to make 2 holes an inch apart. using Tacky glue, add a trim piece of lace around the edge of the photo, make a small bow and glue that on the top or bottom but, not to overpower or interfere with their photo. Use a large safety pin between the two holes, allow to dry. Voila! They can wear a pin with their own photo that they helped to create!

  • Another easy project is to allow them to look at pictures in magazines to see what draws their interest. Ask them to point, smile, or discuss if they see something they like or has a fond memory for them. Mark these items and also things that you feel the person would like. Cut these out, glue all of these items onto a poster board as a collage! Use a Glitter Pen to put their name at the top! This is a sure hit! Allow them to assist as much as they can! A lace trim glued to the outer edge makes it a tad more fancy!

  • Refrigerator magnets are also a hit made from photos, left over craft items, etc. They stick to metal wheel chairs and walkers, you know! Most of all, use your imagination for them for projects!

  • I have not come across one person who would not like to help make a homemade card! Left over craft items, paper stock, colored markers and glue! It can be for any occasion of just because!

  • Cookie decorating is fun for all!

I guarantee these projects will be a hit and very rewarding, both ways! Their motor skills and abilities may be impaired but, with your help, the possibilities are limitless! Please add your own creative ideas to this! Thank you!

By Missy MM from OH

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Question: Activities of Very Elderly Nursing Home Patient

I am a CNA at a nursing home in Des Moines, Iowa. I take care of a 96 year old lady who is 90% blind and deaf. She is very restless, always calling out for help, and continually wants to return to the bathroom, but usually doesn't void. I think it's because she has nothing to do.

I've looked for activities to keep her busy, but it has proven difficult to find something for the deaf and blind. Not to mention she is 96 years old and frail. She's definitely bored, as before she came to us she was still living at home alone and busied herself with whatever she did there. She does still walk, but not far and she is a fall risk as she has proven herself to be very unstable. Any suggestions of how to keep her busy and not have toileting and meals be the only stimulation of her last days?

By Tabitha

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By Lizzyanny 9 1,251 Flag

April 4, 2012

Would it be possible to get some massage for her? Even if it is just gentle rubbing of her arms and legs. It is tough to lose your senses one by one. Many good posts here...bless you for caring.

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Question: Activities for Middle Aged Man in Nursing Facility

My husband is 52 and recently went to live in a care facility. I visit him everyday and he is depressed because he is lacking stimulation. I need any ideas on activities he can do at the home. Any suggestions? He is capable of using all limbs and has good sight and dexterity.

By Jessie S from NC

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By CajuninKy 1 6 Flag

January 6, 2016

A container garden on the patio or in his window sill. He could learn to play an instrument. Ukulele is easy to learn, small and portable, and very economical. Mine was a whopping $28. I play it in church. The other residents would so much appreciate hearing live music.

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Question: Ideas for Activities at a Rehabilitation Facility

By dee 1

I am a activity director for a rehabilitation facility, so they pretty much come here to get better and then go home. I have a hard time getting residents into activities. The only thing some residents enjoy doing is just bingo and exercise.

We have have tried so many activities like a garden, arts and crafts, bowling, cooking class, we have a party once a week, and we even have a Wii, and they just don't feel like attending. I need a way to get their attention. I need new ideas! Anything would help. Thank you very much.

By Dee from Lodi, CA

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By Lelia Jo Cordell 51 1,936 Flag

September 2, 2010

Oh, yes, I remember one other thing. A longtime resident turned 100 while I was there. She was permitted to choose the kind of cake and the music. It was her day, so she also got to do what she wanted during the party. Wish I could remember more. My head was still a little fuzzy then.

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Question: Activities for an Assisted Living Home

By Malky 1

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 nash mcmillan 1 Flag

May 2, 20121 found this helpful

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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Question: Crafts and Activities for Seniors

By DONNA Q 1 2

I live in an apartment building for seniors. It's a nonprofit organization, so in other words, we do not have much money for crafts and activities. It's a government apartment. so we all are on Social Security. We need suggestions for things for us to do, fun things that doesn't require a lot of money! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    By worrellnorma 3 19 Flag

    August 3, 2015

    with a fat quarter any print or color you can make a cover for a spare roll of tp. there is no sewin involved. what u need is 1-fat quarter, 1- strip of green fabric 2"x 6" strip, scraps of jute, 1-brown lunch, 1- roll of toilet paper sack twisted & fold in 1/2. Lay your fat quarter open then set the new roll of tp n the middle. Tuck all 4 corners inside the tp roll. One corner at a time. Now lay the green strip across the top of the tp roll. Use a finger to tuck into the center. Now cut a few stands of jute fold in 1/2 and with the twisted & folded lunch sack (fold is on top) add them on top of the green strip. Push them down the center. Now you have a spare tp cover for your bathroom. it will look like a pumpkin. Different prints can be use for all holidays, so your bathroom looks good all year. We made these for my students with disabilities. they were so happy that they didn't need any help. I hope this will help you out. I have more ideas we use. e-mail me for more. worrellnorma AT Most our projects are cheap cause we as staff buy the supplies.

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    Question: Activities for Deaf and Blind Parent

    By Patrizia 1

    Can you think of any activities my 90 year old mom might enjoy? She had been enjoying coloring, but her vision is now so impaired she can no longer see well enough to color. She is also hearing impaired.

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      By Myrna 17 1,083 Flag

      October 23, 2015

      There are five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. Choose from the other senses that will work for your seeing and hearing impaired relative.

      Sense of Touch: Games that you feel and guess what it is. Sense of Taste: Try a food item and have her guess the ingredients that are in it.

      Sense of Smell: Smell a fragrance and have her guess what it is; there's flowers, candles, colognes and spices.

      Using the working senses, keep her mind active by doing things that make her think and solve. She also has a need to feel useful to others. You can give her a dull end plastic needle and beads and have her string them onto elastic thread to make a bracelet or necklace and gift them to children in hospitals or an orphanage.

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      Question: Activities for an Elderly Person

      By cpw2002 1

      My mother has macqular degeneration, problems with incontinence, dementia, and cannot walk well. Any suggestions to stimulate her mentally and physically would be greatly appreciated. She is 93 years old.

      By cpw2002

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      By Gloria Z 10 256 Flag

      July 30, 2014

      You can rent books on CD's from the library-if she likes listening to them get her a simple CD player. Also, remember pets - see if the home she's in allow visits from dogs & cats. Elderly people love petting them. You can pay to have a Caregiver stop by and take her for a walk or ride in her wheel chair, polish her nails, brush her hair etc. You can find them on the web and from hospitals & elderly departments in the town you live in.

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      Question: Craft Activities for an Elderly Blind Client

      By Mary 1

      I work with an elderly lady who is legally blind and she wants to work with her hands to keep busy. Any suggestions?

      By Mary from HI

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      By shorner1 1 Flag

      June 4, 2013

      I suggest finding craft projects that involve other sensors. For example, if you can find scented play dough, it deals with touch and smell. I don't know if I would suggest teaching her how to knit. I think it is really frustrating to learn even with sight. Another project I would recommend is making silly putty which can be an enjoyable experience due to the squishy textures. You make it with little mess by measuring equal parts Elmer's glue and liquid starch into a plastic baggie and squishing it around to incorporate the ingredients. Then you can take it out knead it together and squish it around. Good luck, and have fun!

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      Question: Activities for MS Adults

      My sister has severe tremors. What kind of activities exist for her that don't require the use of her hands because they shake too much. She just sits on the couch all day and I want to get her active instead of just waiting to die.

      By Paul

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      By Abigail A. 15 1,032 Flag

      June 25, 2015

      Is there a very nice neighborhood or park with trees near you? You could just drive her there, park, then take her for a walk a couple of times a week.

      Is there someone from a local charity who will volunteer to read out loud to her? She could sit on the porch or patio.

      Does your library have a multimedia room with audiobooks and headsets? Another destination place.

      Yard saling in summer can be fun. Do only as many as she can handle. Dig through boxes for her so she can see the stuff. You don't have to take much home.

      A picnic once a week would be nice during good weather. Pick a shady spot. You can pack food or stop by the deli. There needs to be a place nearby where understanding people will let her use their handicapped restroom.

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      Question: Activities for Someone With MS

      I have MS. I can stand, but not walk. I have the use of one hand. My husband would like to take day trips. Sometimes we take the bus to a casino. What is there to do? Beaches, swimming, hiking are out.

      By Deanna

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      By Darla 24 181 Flag

      August 27, 2014

      Maybe you could drive to a scenic spot and have a picnic & just enjoy nature. Sometimes there are outdoor concerts too. Not sure where you live or what your weather is like.

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      Question: Locating Christmas Activities for Assisted Living Residents

      I am an administrator for a company called Flourish Homes; we support the disabled and elderly within our sheltered housing schemes. I have been given the task to find local activities or entertainment for them.

      As it's near Christmas I thought maybe Christmas activities would be something fun for them. We are based in Frome Somerset and I was wondering if you knew of any local companies who were doing Christmas activities in my area. If you could email me any useful information it would be most appreciated. Many thanks.

      Miss Clare Louise

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      By Veronica 10 114 Flag

      December 10, 2010

      If you have access ti iTunes you might think about downloading and playing some old-time radio Christmas shows from the 40s and 50s. Just type "old time radio comedy" into the search box and you'll find Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, and lots of others and they're free.

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      Entertainment AdviceMarch 4, 2013
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