Activities Help Improve the Quality of Life in Nursing Homes
Living in a nursing home should not mean that you have to give up all the hobbies and activities you enjoy. In addition to providing the care needed, nursing homes also offer plenty of enjoyable things for their residents to do. Nursing home activities are known to be beneficial to the older people who live there, and when you are choosing a nursing home, the activity programme is one of the important things to consider. According to research, older people who regularly enjoy three or four activities are amongst the happiest retirees. Here are a few of the activities you might find in a nursing home.
Many homes will make a birthday cake for a resident who has a birthday. Sometimes birthday parties are also arranged, and social gatherings like this offer an excellent opportunity for residents to make friends. Relatives are also invited to join in birthday celebrations.
Nursing home activities may also include games such as Scrabble, Chess and Whist that help to keep the mind active. For residents who enjoy simpler games, bingo is still a favourite and can be exciting, particularly when there are small prizes for a line and a full house.
Many nursing home and care home activities include musical afternoons or evenings. Local professional musicians may come and play for residents, and sometimes a school group or a local club will offer entertainment in the home. Music can make the residents feel happier and improve the mood of anyone who is feeling down or upset. In addition to listening to music, residents can be supported to make their own music. A range of wooden percussion instruments can be provided, and even people who are living with dementia and cannot remember very much at all will often enjoy joining in and singing along with familiar songs.
There are many arts and crafts that nursing home residents can enjoy. Anything from painting and clay modelling to knitting or quilting can offer a way for people to express themselves. Some homes organise exhibitions of the artwork produced by their residents.
Some nursing homes and care homes have resident pets, but even those that don’t can arrange for animals to be brought in for the residents to pet. There may be a local “pat-a-dog” service that could visit the home, and this can offer great comfort to animal lovers who have had their own pets in the past. It is not only dogs and cats that can visit nursing homes: sometimes a local farm park will be willing to bring animals in for the residents to see.
A nursing home’s exercise programme can help to keep both the body and mind active. There are levels of exercise suitable for everyone, and it is important that residents shouldn’t lose what mobility they have. Chair-aerobics is popular in many homes, and everyone can join in to some extent. Short walks are popular with many residents and help to keep muscles active and strong.
When you are considering different homes for your loved one or yourself, always ask for examples of the regular nursing home activities that are provided.