A Day In The Life Of An Animal Care Assistant The Importance of Nursing Home Activities

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The Importance of Nursing Home Activities

Many people think of the nursing home as a bad, soulless place where residents either lie in bed or sit endlessly in a rocking chair, biding their days until the inevitable happens. The reality – at least in a good nursing home – is far from this. Many people enter a nursing facility when they still have a lot of life left in them, and look forward to years of fun and socializing, with daily activities to keep their bodies and brains active.

In fact, studies have shown that regular stimulating activities help halve depression among nursing home residents, warding off dementia and keeping their spirits alive as well as their bodies. Activities are vital to maintaining the mental and physical well-being of residents, and even staff and visitors from family and friends can participate – willingly – in the activities a good nursing home offers.

If you’re looking to find a nursing home for a loved one who is still capable of loving life, it’s important to find out what types of activities are offered—and how often they’re available. In fact, nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid patients must have a designated activities director to receive the appropriate funding. But how well they do their job is something you have to judge for yourself…

“I think the residents I talk to who tell me they have nothing to do but sleep, eat and read the paper are looking for a purpose to get up every morning,” writes Vicki30CNA on the website allnurses.com. . “They don’t look forward to the next day as they all run around together. And our less fit residents get little or no stimulation other than the toilet and shower. A few folded pods every morning and they see it as ‘work’ them, but that work takes them half an hour. So what, they tell me. I hate to see the days of their last months so empty and aimless.”

If you want to avoid this happening to someone you love, read on. A wide variety of activities should be offered in any nursing home, so make sure this is the case when considering a nursing home. Some residents may enjoy going out to lunch a few times a week, go shopping, or visit the local art gallery or movie theater. Others will prefer field activities that stimulate their hearts and minds.

It may be a good idea to talk to the director of nursing home activities to see what is available. Here are just a few of the activities that a good nursing home should be happy to offer…

Self-Initiating Activities

Great as they require little preparation and can be planned by the residents themselves. They include:

The gardener. Depending on the area of ​​mobility and interest of the residents, gardening can be as rigorous or as gentle as they want. If there is a real garden that is fantastic, if not, then hanging baskets, small pots of herbs and collections of indoor cacti or orchids can continue the interest.

Arts and crafts. Even senior residents enjoy doing something – especially when they think it’s going to a good cause. Knitting blankets, making baby clothes, or entering art or photography contests can keep people busy and help them make a contribution to society at the same time.

Games. You might think bingo is the most popular nursing home game – and you’d be right. But there’s more to competitive gaming than just bingo. As for bridge, mah-jong, canasta or chess – the sky is the limit. One-on-one games are great for encouraging closer relationships between residents, and group games are also good for fostering a sense of community.

Music-based activities. Don’t limit the fun to just singing along – you can even have professional musicians among the residents, or discover some hidden talents.

Activities led by volunteers

Nail care, Bible study, hair salon day – all you need is a volunteer with a skill – and time to make a difference in someone’s life.

School groups. It may sound cliché, but the young have a lot to learn from the old. This could take the form of the grandmother teaching little Albertina to knit, or visiting a school once a week and reading to the little ones. Many schools, in fact, encourage outsiders—assuming they’ve been vetted by the police—to help kids who need a little extra help with one-on-one reading or math exercises.

Local community groups. People who have a special talent often enjoy visiting nursing homes on a regular basis and sharing their skills. This could be giving residents massages or reflexology sessions, teaching them a particular aspect about gardening, or talking about growing orchids.

Scout groups. Often, Scout troops visit nursing homes – getting together to do something fun, like baking chocolate chip cookies or building a birdhouse. Both groups can learn from each other and use each other’s skills and talents.

Local charities. People from charities often give of their time to seniors, whether that means arranging walks or having a pet therapy day, when the local vet or animal shelter workers bring animals to visit.

Activities led by the nursing home

Themed events, such as birthdays or religious celebrations. Some creative residents get together with staff to plan events such as Hawaiian nights, Chinese New Year celebrations, or Halloween or Thanksgiving parties. Friends and family can be invited to join – perhaps even residents of neighboring nursing homes.

Outdoor activities such as barbecues, picnics, or a walk through a park or garden center. In some cases, volunteers may be called upon to assist residents with mobility issues.

A little culture. Going to the theater, opera, museum or cinema can take some planning, but it’s worth it. Again, helpers and volunteer drivers may be needed.

Alternative therapies. Everyone can benefit – as long as they are not too invasive. Massage, yoga or Tai Chi can help residents have fun, get fit and relax.

Keeping people as happy and healthy as possible for as long as possible. both physically and mentally, should be the goal of any nursing home. Activities should be varied and interesting, suitable for the different abilities, needs and interests of the residents. They should be not only fun, but also worthwhile, enabling residents to form new relationships, develop new skills and maintain their fitness levels.

“We have a ‘senior prom’ in May where local bachelorette Marines accompany our residents (strollers and all) for dancing and food,” writes CoachCathy on allnurses.com. . Local hair salons come in and do hair and nails. Everyone has a blast.

“And we had a Winter Wonderland theme last December—we made snowmen out of diaper boxes painted white—and we had a snowman decorating contest. The residents had a snowball fight at home (with cotton balls) . It was so much fun!”

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