When Youre Taking A Ahower But The Music Is.Too Lit The Importance of Nursing Home Activities

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The Importance of Nursing Home Activities

Many people think of a nursing home as a disgusting, soulless place where residents 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 that. Many people enter a nursing facility with plenty of life left, looking forward to years of fun and experience, with daily activities to keep both their bodies and minds active.

In fact, studies have shown that regular stimulating activities help reduce depression in nursing home residents, prevent dementia, and keep their spirits as well as their bodies alive. The activities are essential for maintaining the mental and physical well-being of the residents, and even visiting staff and family and friends can take part – willingly – in the activities that a good nursing home provides.

If you are looking to find a nursing home for a loved one who is still able to love life, it is important that you find out what types of activities are offered – and how often they are available. In fact, nursing homes that take Medicare or Medicaid patients need to have a designated activities manager to receive the appropriate funding. But how well they do their job is something you’ll have to evaluate 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 reason to get up every morning,” writes Vicki30CNA on allnurses.com. “They don’t look forward to the next day when they all run together. And our residents who are not so capable get little to no stimulation except for toilets and showers. Some fold aprons every morning and consider it their ‘work’, but this work takes them half an hour. So what, They tell me. I hate to see the last days of their last months so empty and without purpose.”

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 several times a week, shopping, or visiting the local art gallery or movie theater. Others will prefer on-site activities that stimulate their hearts and minds.

It might be a good idea to talk to the nursing home operations manager to see what’s available. Here are just a handful of activities that a good nursing home should willingly provide…

Self-initiated activities

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

horticulture. Depending on the extent of mobility and interest of the residents, landscaping can be as rigorous or as gentle as they want. If you have a real garden that’s fantastic, if not then hanging baskets, small pots of herbs and a collection of indoor cacti or orchids can still keep things interesting.

Art and creation. Even older residents enjoy doing something – especially when they feel 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 contribute to society at the same time.

games You might think that bingo is the most popular game in a nursing home – and you’d be right. But there’s more to competitive gaming than just bingo. What about bridge, mah-jong, cansta 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.

Musical activity. Don’t limit the enjoyment to singing – you might even have professional musicians among the residents, or you might discover some hidden talents.

Activity led by volunteers

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

school groups. It may sound cliché, but young people have a lot to learn from adults. This could take the form of Grandma teaching little Albertine 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—to help kids who need a little extra help with one-on-one reading or math exercises.

local community groups. People with special talents 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 special aspect of gardening, or a lecture on growing orchids.

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

local charities. People from charities often give their time to older people, whether that means preparing trips or holding a pet care day when the local vet or animal shelter workers bring animals in for a visit.

Activities led by a nursing home

Related events, such as birthdays or religious celebrations. Some of the creative residents get together with the staff to plan events like Hawaiian nights, Chinese New Year celebrations, or Halloween or Thanksgiving celebrations. You can invite friends and family to join – maybe even residents of neighboring nursing homes.

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

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

Alternative therapies. Everyone can benefit – as long as they are not too intrusive. Massage, yoga or tai chi can help residents have fun, get in shape and relax.

Keeping people as happy and healthy as possible for as long as possible. Both physically and mentally, should be the goal of every nursing home. The activities should be varied and interesting, suiting the abilities, needs and various interests of the residents. They should be not only enjoyable but also worthwhile, allowing residents to form new relationships, develop new skills and maintain their fitness levels.

“We have a ‘Senior Ball’ in May where the local Bachelor Marines accompany our residents (wheelchairs and all) to dancing and food,” writes CoachCathy on allnurses.com. “We have dresses and suits donated by local thrift stores. . Local hair salons come and do the hair and nails. Everyone is having a blast.

“And we had a winter wonderland theme last December—we made snowmen with diaper boxes painted white—and had a snowman decorating contest. The residents had an indoor snowball fight (with cotton balls). It was so much fun!”

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