Life doesn’t end when a person moves into a retirement home, so it is important to offer residents with interesting and stimulating activities as part of maintaining or improving their quality of life. Sometimes recreational therapists and activities directors sometimes need some inspiration that will meet the needs of different people there.
Activities, either in groups or individually, fall under one or more of three basic categories: social, physical, and crafts. Social activities are meant to keep residents and visitors entertained and engaged. They also often offer mental and physical benefits as well. Physical activities are meant to promote mental and physical health.
Read on for some activities you can expect at a retirement home, or some inspiration if you’re in need of some fresh activities to offer your residents.
Weather permitting, of course, you can set up a grilling area outside if you don’t already have one. If you don’t have enough grassy area, consider a tailgate party where you section off a portion of the parking lot and do it there. Cook hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages and coordinate with the kitchen staff to offer some side dishes like cole slaw, lettuce salad, potato salad, and fresh fruit. Bring out some tables or use picnic tables where residents can eat, and if they’re up for it, you can also play some outdoor games.
2. Birthday Parties
Birthday parties offer a great opportunity to offer or take part in different activities. Room decoration, cake baking and decoration, and party games are just a few of the different ways to get residents busy. The party might be private for the resident and his or her family members and closest friends, or open to all of the fellow residents. The socialization aspect will be beneficial for the honouree as well as the guests.
3. Card Games and Board Games
Residents can group together according to friendships or randomly in order to play games at varying levels, from Yahtzee to Bingo, Poker, Monopoly, Bridge, Cribbage, and even Candy Land. The great thing about cards and board games is they are social while also benefitting the residents’ cognitive abilities.
4. Exercise Classes
Exercise classes might range from gentle calisthenics, yoga, and even the Wii Fit gaming system that helps encourage participants stay active. Kicking and bouncing beach balls is possible even for those seated residents, and exercises can be tailored to each person’s level of ability and range of motion.
5. Stretching or Resistance Training
Residents might use small hand weights or resistant bands to help stretch, strengthen, and tone their arms and legs. Weight-bearing exercises like squats and lunges help protect from osteoporosis.
6. Pet Therapy
This is a great chance for trained volunteers and their certified therapy pets to visit the residents. Holding a fluffy bunny or guinea pig, or petting a cat or dog can be very calming and therapeutic for animal lovers.
People who move into retirement homes often miss the sense of accomplishment that gardening can provide. If the space is available, gardening is a fantastic physical activity that gets participants out in the fresh air and sunshine. Whether it be an herb, fruit, flower, or ornamental garden, residents will enjoy tending it, either alone or alongside volunteers.
Crafts offer the chance to maintain or improve manual dexterity and are highly entertaining for residents who participate. In addition, residents can feel a sense of accomplishment and pride upon finishing. Just a few of the kinds of crafts you might see include rug hooking, painting, sewing, crocheting and knitting, leather crafts, and beading.