Providing care home residents with a fun activities programme to enjoy on a daily basis is extremely important, especially when striving to provide them with the best quality of life possible. As we age, our immune system becomes slower to respond, making older people more susceptible to illnesses and health conditions. It also means that existing health conditions could worsen or side effects could increase. Providing residents with a varied activities programme enables people to focus on improving their mental and physical health as well as their social skills in order to meet overall well being.
There are numerous benefits to both mental and physical activities for elderly people. It is recommended that elderly people partake in 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Incorporating these types of physical activities into an activities programme helps improve residents' physical health and enjoy an active lifestyle. Other common benefits include an increase in mood, reduced loneliness, memory recall or simply trying out new things to discover new hobbies.
Organising activities in care homes can be challenging, however, there is a plethora of ideas to include once you have established the basics. If you are struggling to think of care home activity ideas to include in your schedule, we have created a list of the most popular activities in our opinion, for you to integrate within your care home.
The first type of care home activity that never disappoints in a care home setting is games and puzzles. Common examples include noughts and crosses, dominoes, chess, scrabble, card games, ring toss and jigsaw puzzles. Not only is it a good way to bring people together and have fun within a communal setting, but it also has numerous benefits. Playing board games or completing puzzles can increase dexterity, fine motor skills, cognitive ability, and memory recall which is especially beneficial for residents with conditions such as Dementia or Parkinson's.
An activity to treat care home residents is live entertainment in the form of music or dance. Bringing in tribute acts/groups or taking residents out to watch others in the community will be thoroughly enjoyed by people of all interests and abilities. This environment encourages residents to sing along and dance alongside the live music which elevates their mood. It is a brilliant way to make new friends through social interaction or spend time with current family and friends. Singing and dancing can also enhance reminiscence and trigger memories, as residents will remember times in their youth; sparking positive emotions.
One of the most popular group activities within a care home is quizzes or bingo. You could put your own twist on these activities to make them even more engaging, one example of this is playing musical bingo. By bringing everybody together can create some friendly competition between residents, as well as creating new bonds with other people within the care home or the local community. By getting everybody together for a quiz or bingo night will enhance morale within the care home. You could even ask for feedback on what rounds were difficult or not as difficult so that you tailor the quizzes to your residents for future sessions.
It is common to have some green-fingered residents within a care home, so it’s important to put their skills to good use in your outdoor area or garden. A trip out to the local gardening centre to buy an assortment of plants and flowers, then taking the time to plant them and watch them bloom allows residents to take pride in the end result and feel a sense of achievement. Gardening also has numerous health benefits including strengthened joints and muscles and better balance reducing falls or slips. Residents can also take part and play in a range of garden games such as golf, bowls, croquet and giant chess as some examples.
A recommended activity that would be beneficial to introduce within your activities schedule is sensory classes. Some examples of what this could entail hand massages, blindfolded tasting competitions, moulting dough with essential oils or a lucky dip, flower arranging, knitting, finger paint and even head massages. Some benefits of sensory activities include better concentration, increased motor neuron functions, a more relaxed state of mind and a boosted mood. Sensory activities are particularly great for those with certain health conditions such as Dementia or sensory impairments.
Arts and Crafts is a broad activity, meaning you can create each session based on your residents’ needs and interests. This is often a popular activity within care homes as residents can use their creativity and imagination to create something unique alone or with the help of staff. It also is an excellent way to encourage social interaction whilst carrying out art classes, with residents being able to have direction if needed or make use of their creative side. Common benefits include increased concentration, developing creative skills and reminiscence. Even if active participation does not interest a resident, they have the opportunity to think back on crafts they made in their youth, whilst socialising with other residents.
Physical activity is a vital part of staying healthy as we grow older. Light exercise sessions in your activities programme could include tai chi, dance classes, pilates, guided meditations or walks and jogs- Science direct shows that 14% of older adults deem walking or jogging as their favourite activity and it’s the perfect excuse to get out and about and explore your local area. Besides the obvious health benefits that exercise and fresh air provides, older people can also reap the rewards from its mood boost, the increase in balance and strength and the improvement of cognitive function. Exercise could be made into a fun activity to support different abilities, so everybody can take the class at their own pace and still enjoy it.
Here at Westerton Care Home, we offer a brilliant activities programme for our residents to get involved in on a regular basis. Some of these include trips to the local garden centre, live entertainment, pet therapy, arts and crafts, baking and decorating and so many more which are arranged by our activities coordinator. Our activities coordinator and team work closely with our residents to ensure we are providing them with the best options possible. We also plan regular seasonal events for our residents, meaning they are given numerous opportunities to meet new people and take part in group activities for residents live a full and meaningful life.
Westerton Care Home is a luxury care home situated in Bearsden, Glasgow that offers the highest quality Residential Care, Dementia Care, Respite Care and Nursing Care services.
As well as our activities programme, we have a wide range of facilities for residents to utilise daily such as a hair salon & treatment room, cinema room, relaxation areas and more. We offer an all-inclusive care package which means all activities, events and excursions are included in our fees, helping to support residents in living an enriched and varied lifestyle and maintain exisiting relationships.
If you are interested in getting more information about Westerton and the high quality care options we have to offer on behalf of a loved one, please get in contact with us. You can reach us on 0141 942 5834 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our friendly team will be delighted to assist you.