Activities for Middle Aged Nursing Home Residents?

May 28, 2012

Man with grey beard painting on an easelMy 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


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
May 29, 20120 found this helpful

He might be mortified at the suggestion but knitting and crocheting are excellent pass times. So many are in need of afghans, mittens and winter hats he could provide a great service as well as keep his mind active.
They could be sold or given away depending upon your situation.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 186 Feedbacks
May 29, 20120 found this helpful

He could play solitaire. My former mother-in-law is in a nursing home, in a wheel chair because she is missing one leg, and is approaching 100 and she helps bake cakes, etc. They also have a hand bell choir or whatever they are called that she participates in.


They also have jigsaw puzzles set up that residents can work on whenever they want to. Do they have computers that the residents can use. Then for me there would always be reading, because I am the proverbial bookworm. lol

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 29, 20120 found this helpful

What about building bird houses? He can start with a kit if carpentry is new to him. Or tying flys for fishing. Not only would these occupy his mind and time, but he could give these things as presents, or sell them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
May 29, 20120 found this helpful

Wood carving, soap carving, oil, water color, pasteles, painting in so many mediums now ( art classes? ) and may I suggest one more thing? Long ago I used to save used greeting cards, get well and thinking of you and Christmas mostly. I used colored poster paper, folded in half and cut out the flowers,or animals etc and / or sayings and glued to the fronts and inside to make hand made "new " greeting cards for patients in nursing homes/children's wards and hospitals.


Maybe you can get a group together to brighten the days of other patients there.

Keep Smiling, It is contagious. GG Vi

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 30, 20120 found this helpful

Music therapy might help. Keyboards are cheap now and if you can't afford a teacher there are beginner books and you could learn together.

Short outings are great if he can go out. Watch the newspaper for free events.

Take advantage of good meds. I told my son that if I get dementia I want quality not quantity of life. Feel good meds - yes! Chemo - no!

If he likes animals see if you can find a therapy dog and then pay the owner to spend time with him if you have to. Or buy a harness and leash and bring a cat to visit.


Think outside the box. A little money can buy a lot of happiness for your husband and for you. Take care of yourself too!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 30, 20120 found this helpful

I would suggest word finds/puzzle books. I also think the puzzles are a good idea. If he had a hobby he did before he went to the facility maybe they could help him do it there.I know a lot of places around here(Pa.) are getting the Wii system for the patients. It keeps them active & they love it.

I would encourage him to stay active & do the activities that they have & socialize with the other people there. Then if you can't go one day he knows them well enough to at least talk with them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
May 30, 20120 found this helpful

All great ideas. And MartyD...the Crochet Dude would love to add another "dude" to his list of crocheters! Ancient fishermen used to do the rudimentary finger hooking for making nets, so it really did start out with them!


Crafts of any kind are wonderful therapy, esp' when you can, like you said, sell or give them away. Cards are also good. I am never without a deck of cards for those times when I have the opportunity to do nothing but think and play.

He could listen to audio books, and ask others to join him in listening, too. It could be like the movies we would pay .5 for in junior high and we got to watch 20 minutes of a movie. It made the anticipation of the next day something to look forward to. Plants are also wonderful things, as it gives the person something to care for.

I take large kid's size puzzle pieces and make frames and other crafts out of them. It's fun to create something from something else.
The above is what I got when I googled crafts from puzzle pieces and there are lots of ideas.


Making the bird houses is great. But I have an idea that is along those lines and safer. You can get them already done at the local dollar stores and craft supply stores. With a bit of sanding and some decals or paint, your items can be proudly displayed in a gift shop.

I hope these help. I am sending a link to the crochet dude's site. Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 2, 20140 found this helpful

I am a dance/movement therapist and have been doing my final internship at a nursing home, so I thought I would share some things that I have learned.

MUSIC. Music is a great way to lift spirits without lifting much else. If he is willing and able to move/dance, great! Expressive movement is great for strengthening weak areas, increasing circulation, and feels good for both body and emotions!

It sounds like he is there for rehab, since most people in nursing homes are at the end stages of life. Nursing homes are not very soothing environments, so he might feel VERY uncomfortable surrounded by people who are much older, and much sicker than he is right now.

Most of the interventions that I have learned that work best are geared for elders and problems specific to aging such as lack of internal motivation, so none of them feel right for a young/middle aged man....

I would focus on gratitude, any spiritual connection/belief he has, and as many visitors as possible! Isolation of nursing homes is the worst!

Thanks for reaching out for ideas! Blessings!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 6, 20160 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 16, 20160 found this helpful

I work in a nursing home in Ireland and I was just wondering if you have ever tried to do a busy board with all different items on it

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
Entertainment AdviceJune 14, 2016
Back to School Ideas!
Pest Control
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2023-08-27 12:10:50 in 5 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2023 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.