Activities for Nursing Home Residents

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right nursing home for a loved one, and it’s easy to overlook the facility’s activity calendar. But nursing home activities can have a major effect on your loved one’s quality of life. Read on for details about nursing home activities and why they matter for residents.

Why Are Activities Important In Nursing Homes?

Scheduled activities don’t just help residents stay busy. They also offer a wide range of physical and mental health benefits and play a crucial role in residents’ overall quality of life. By taking part in activities, nursing home residents can enjoy:

  • One study even found that pleasurable activities were an effective non-pharmaceutical treatment for residents with depression.
  • many benefits for residents, from better balance to greater joint mobility. This can help residents maximize their independence.
  • lower risk of cognitive decline, and may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. 

Factors to Consider for Nursing Home Activities

Federal regulations require nursing homes to offer an ongoing program of activities for their residents, but the specific types of activities can vary widely from one facility to another. Each nursing home tailors its activity calendar to the needs of its current residents based on two key factors.

Resident’s Abilities

Nursing home residents may live with many types of mental or physical health challenges. Some may live with impairments such as vision loss or memory loss. Others may have activity limitations due to pain or a loss of mobility. Facilities have to keep their residents’ abilities in mind when designing an activity program to ensure everyone can participate. 

For example, in a nursing home where many residents are living with dementia, the activity calendar may feature sensory stimulation and opportunities to reminisce. A facility that’s home to many wheelchair users might choose to offer a variety of chair-based exercise classes.

Resident’s Interests

Nursing homes are required to consider their residents’ interests when designing an activity program. Some of the most popular activities among nursing home residents include listening to music and going outside when the weather is nice, so many facilities make these options available to residents. 

Some facilities collect nursing home activity ideas from residents and add new events based on this feedback. For instance, a nursing home might offer Karaoke nights if many residents request the event, or a book club if many residents are avid readers.

List of Activities for Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes may choose to offer a long list of social, physical, creative, and cognitive activities for residents. Keep reading for examples of fun activities in each category.

Social Activities for Nursing Home Residents

From small-group events to facility-wide celebrations, planned social activities encourage nursing home residents to mix and mingle with their neighbors. Nursing homes may invite family members to some events to help residents stay connected to the community. 

Social activities can vary, so when you’re comparing facilities, ask for a list of activities for nursing home residents. Some social activities that might be available to your loved one include:

Physical Activities for Nursing Home Residents

For good health, older adults are encouraged to get 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise, and perform muscle-strengthening and balance exercises at least twice a week. Nursing homes offer exercise opportunities throughout the week to help residents get or stay active.

Physical activities for nursing home residents can vary from one facility to another, but options might include:

Creative Activities for Nursing Home Residents

Creative activities allow residents to practice their fine motor skills and express themselves. Since these activities can be done alone or in a group, they can be popular with both introverted and extroverted residents alike. Nursing homes may offer a wide range of creative activities based on what their residents already enjoy or are interested in trying. 

If your loved one values staying creative as they age, be sure to ask about activities in this category. Some popular options include:

Cognitive Activities for Nursing Home Residents

Cognitive activities are mentally stimulating activities that can help residents exercise their minds while having fun. These brain-boosting activities may enhance memory and reasoning skills and even reduce the severity of cognitive symptoms in residents with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

Some of the many nursing home activities for cognitive health include:

Engage in Rewarding Activities at ArchCare

Each of ArchCare’s five residential care centers boast a full calendar of social and recreational activities. Residents enjoy ample opportunities to make new friends, get active, and keep their hands and minds busy. Call us today to learn more about our activities for nursing home residents and schedule a tour.

Let’s talk about what you need. And what you want.