Nursing Home Activities
The Importance Of Nursing Home Activities Programs
An understanding of what nursing home activities are available should be high on your list of priorities if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to put a loved one in one of these facilities. The priority issues are of course proper care, both in terms of day to day living, food, and medical attention. But many dread the thought of having to enter a nursing home, fearing spending the rest of their days sitting in a rocking chair looking at TV or staring out of a window.
Hobbies And Crafts - Nursing home activities can be things the residents are encouraged to do on their own, programs sponsored by the institution, or activities involving volunteers. Where possible, residents should be encouraged to carry on with favorite hobbies. Scrap booking, stamp collecting, or continuing to research a subject a resident has always had a passion for would be activities easy to encourage. Being around horses, or orchid growing might be more of a challenge. If an existing hobby cannot be continued, the resident should be encouraged to take up a new one, perhaps a hobby that can be shared with others such as chess, bridge, or a specific craft. Someone who has enjoyed gardening may still be able to work in a small plot on the grounds or grow a few plants on a deck or even in their windowsill.
Visits From People And Pets - It's of course important for people who have entered a nursing home to get regular visits from friends and immediate family. Most will welcome visits from complete strangers, volunteers, including high school students, or someone from an animal rescue agency who periodically brings cats or other small pets that the residents can pet, hold, or become acquainted with. Perhaps the nursing home activities that are of the greatest value of all to a resident is a visit from volunteers, be it an individual or a choir, as these are visitors who care. Church groups, youth groups, and musical groups often bring with them activities that the residents can enjoy watching, listening to, or even participate in.
Out And About - Nursing home activities need not be constrained to things done strictly in house. We've often seen bus loads of these senior citizens going to or coming from an outing. The bus is often one supplied by a local church group. Unless someone is very ill, incapacitated, or cannot be trusted to wander around outside the facility, an opportunity to get out and about is often one of the things residents look forward to most. The chance to keep in touch with the world they once knew can do much in helping nursing home residents maintain their self-esteem.
Keeping Physically And Mentally Fit - Most people entering nursing homes are still capable of being up and around, and as such will benefit both physically and mentally from physical activity. Nursing home activities could include low-impact aerobics, stretching, breathing, and flexibility exercises, tai chi, or even going for long walks. It isn't an unusual sight to see a resident of a nursing home who requires a walker to get around, taking his or her daily stroll through the neighborhood.
Something Worthwhile To Do - Some people would just as soon be waited upon hand and foot. Others can't stand the thought. Nursing home activities can include giving residents who want to be involved in things tasks or chores to perform, whether helping with the housekeeping, in the kitchen, or on the grounds. A resident who is sharp mentally and able to get around will often take on activities normally done by volunteers, greeting new residents, touching base with those who are bed-ridden, planning parties, and the like. Patients who are totally incapacitated, unwilling to take part in any activities, or suffering from acute dementia are usually in the minority, outnumbered by those who still want to make there remaining years count.
A nursing home need not be thought of as an elephant's graveyard. Many, probably most residents, plan on living a few more years, and they would like those to be golden years to every possible degree.