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Activity Ideas for a Brain Injury Rehab Facility

I need help. I work at a brain injury rehab facility. Most of our clients have use of only one hand and I would like to know if you have some ideas for activities we could do.


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December 31, 20080 found this helpful

Most activities can be adapted for one-handed individuals. Occupational Therapists are adept at adapting activities for people with different abilities. If your facility has one on site, ask her/him. Otherwise, post some specific questions on thrifty-fun and I and others will do what we can to help you.

There are commercially available holders for playing cards, but you can use a clean hairbrush to hold the cards. Most other games are fine one-handed.

Crafts are generally pretty easy to adapt. The hardest are knitting and crocheting, but they, too can be done if the individual is well-motivated.

There is non-stick sheeting that can be placed on a table to keep objects from sliding around while they're "worked on" (Dycem), and if you can't get Dycem, you can use the mesh-like material used to line shelves and keep area rugs from slipping around.

What kind of activities were you thinking about? Hopefully you'll get lots of input on here!

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January 1, 20090 found this helpful

The nursing home where I used to work had great success with bins of scraps of colored paper. The residents would arrange and glue them, and they looked good. They were labeled with the new resident's names, and taped on their door as a welcome gesture.

My favorite activity was memorizing tin pan alley songs. I played the ukulele (only cost $30), and sang songs I got for free from the library. Don't worry if your voice and playing are not great (mine aren't). The residents did not care one bit, they just loved old songs they remembered.

They also ADORED it when I read Shakespear plays to them, acted out the different parts, and explained what the plays ment.

Best of luck,


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January 6, 20090 found this helpful

Fourth of July sparklers? those are good year-round and handy when the days are shorter...lame-o, maybe so...

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

Could they play dominoes? They can be handled with just one hand. Also, there's a new game called "Triominoes" that's fun. Good luck and God bless you.

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

The game UNO.

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

When my dad had a bad fall and fractured his skull, he ended up in a nursing home for a short period of time. He acted a lot like a stroke patient. I went to visit him one day when they were playing bingo. I was amazed! You could just see the "gears turning" as he checked the columns and rows for letters and numbers. He made a quick recovery!

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

I spent a couple of months in a nursing home after a car wreck. The Activities people regularly read articles from the newspaper out loud to us, a time they called "News Break." Except for the designated reader, this is hands-free and I remember it as being very interesting. It made all of us feel a little less isolated, too.

Something else that could be done one-handed is jigsaw puzzles. You can get most kinds, from beginner to advanced, at garage sales or dollar stores, for little money. Finishing a puzzle is also a great morale booster, no matter what the level.

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January 8, 20090 found this helpful

After my mom's stroke, I bought her kids' puzzles and the large crayons & simple coloring books. How about stamping art projects; you can usually find stampers in the dollar stores, and sometimes craft stores have a clearance bin full of them.

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September 3, 20101 found this helpful

I found that many nursing home/rehab center residents still want to be useful. I ask that they help by making cat toys. pipe cleaners with bells and then wrapped around a pencil to make a coil. They loved seeing pictures of shelter cats playing with they labors of love. and great hand rehab work!

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March 31, 20160 found this helpful

That sounds absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing! :D

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