Top 12 care home activities.

Care Home Activities

Care home activities

& things to consider when choosing care home activities.

Choosing care home activities for residents can be tricky as there are so many varying needs among different residents. A care home resident’s day-to-day activity can have a massive impact on how they live the rest of their lives, especially in dementia settings. So, you might want to consider activities that:

  1. trigger memories from the past;
  2. exercise the brain (studies show that this can help prevent dementia);
  3. promote independence;
  4. keep the residents moving;
  5. include the outside world, especially elements of nature;
  6. the residents can relate to (this will differ from resident to resident).

Incorporating these types of activities into your residents’ daily routine can massively reduce the risk of dementia, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), mental health issues and other problems frequently seen in older adults.

See below video from our weekly series, The Newsreel, featuring Hayley from Rose Lodge.

The facilities at Rose Lodge are designed to accommodate elderly residents and dementia sufferers. The Lounge areas are clean, bright and welcoming, adding to the charm of the home. The orangery opens out onto a landscaped seating area. Activities might include simply relaxing outside on a sunny day, playing outdoor games or getting involved with gardening tasks. See more about Rose Lodge, by visiting their website: https://www.countrycourtcare.co/our-homes/rose-lodge-care-home/.

Top care home activities ideas

  1. Name the song

    • Playing games based on music from certain eras can trigger memories from the past. For example, you could play several seconds of a song and ask the residents to name the song. If the residents struggle with this, you could try playing musical bingo with words and/or visuals that hint at the song name.
  2. Reading aloud

    • Reading stories or poetry aloud can be enjoyable for residents even if residents with dementia cannot remember the entire story.
  3. Group sing-along

    • There’s not much better that getting everyone together for a sing-along. Pick songs that will resonate with your residents. This could be song genres and styles the residents enjoy and especially songs they know from their youth. You could use a TV or screen to play karaoke videos from YouTube or even invest in a karaoke machine.
  4. Card making

    • Fold pieces of A4 card in half for your residents to work with. Old magazines, pieces of tissue paper, paint, pencils, and stickers are all great resources for this activity. Encouraging residents to make cards for a friend or loved one can help keep the memories of that person fresh in their mind.
  5. Scrap booking

    • Very similar to Card Making, scrap booking can help residents to preserve the dexterity on their fingers and hands. Giving each resident their own scrapbook and letting their creative side loose can help to stimulate the mind.
  6. Painting

    • Painting uses both sides of your brain simultaneously. This type of brain stimulation is highly beneficial to elderly residents and those with mental health challenges. Group sessions can encourage social interaction in a very relaxed, low pressure environment.
  7. Jigsaws

    • Jigsaws often use imagery that stimulate reminiscence. They can also be great for stimulating the eyes and can help with dexterity in the hands. For patients with dementia, choose a jigsaw with fewer, bigger pieces to make it more manageable for them.
  8. Boardgames

    • Like jigsaws, board games can be great for stimulating eyesight and help with dexterity, along with social interaction. Although many residents may find it difficult to play classic boardgames, there are many board games specially designed for the elderly and those with dementia.
  9. Garden / Floor Games

    • Garden games can be a great way to combine all the benefits of playing games in a social environment with getting outdoors and the physical exercise that goes along with it. If the weather isn’t great outside, play a similar game inside if you have the space. Games like ring toss, skittles or horseshoe can be played from a sitting position if your residents aren’t mobile.
  10. Exercise Classes / Yoga

    • When exercising, the human body releases hormones called serotonin and dopamine, which boosts mood and can help with mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Mobility is important for the elderly as this helps with independence and confidence.
  11. Walking

    • As a form of physical activity, walking can be highly beneficial as outlined above. If you have a garden at your home, regular walks through the garden promotes biophilia. For more about biophilia in care home environments, read our article here.
  12. Dance

    • Dance combines the benefits of movement, music, and social interaction. This is incredibly beneficial for the health of your residents as it lifts mood, promotes independence, keeps residents active, and can help to trigger memories and stimulate reminiscence.

So whether its some form of physical activity, social interaction or some form of sensory stimulation, there are many activities you can do with you care home residents to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

Look out for other suggestions from us on our various social channels or on our newsletter. We always enjoy providing our customers with added value, and being able to inspire care staff and residents alike is highly rewarding.

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