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12 Activities to Add to Your Senior Program

When providing activities for your nursing facility’s residents, it is a good idea to include a variety of activity types that will appeal to different interests. Our friends at notjustbingo have shared several activities to consider for your senior program:

  1. Social

  • Play fun conversational games and ice breakers like Table Topics and Word Teasers
  • Organize Story Telling Activities in which each participant uses their imagination to create fun and interesting stories
  • Add daily, afternoon socials for residents to socialize with one another
  1. Spiritual

  • Contact local religious leaders to perform religious services at your facility for your residents
  • Provide spiritual singing activities, like hymn sing-alongs
  • Organize a Meditation Club, in which you practice meditation with residents, or a Bible Study Club, in which residents regularly read passages of the Bible together

senior program ideas

  1. Physical

  • Get your residents moving with fun exercises that uses props like Parachutes or even Resistance Bands
  • Add dance breaks to encourage residents to move, or supplement your regular Exercise Class with a Dance Aerobics session
  • Schedule weekly walks through your facility. Include outdoor nature walks or even an indoor walking tour to show-off the parts of your facility that your residents do not normally see (e.g., kitchen tour)
  1. Reminiscing

  • Reminisce with residents using photos of well-known people, like downloaded photos of Old Hollywood actresses
  • Use Reminiscing Books that contain common sayings or even nursery rhymes that can spark your residents’ recollection
  • Invite residents to bring their family photos and mementos for a fun reminiscing activity for them to share information about their lives with others

senior program activities

  1. Tactile

  • Plan fun arts and crafts projects that are seasonal like this Snowman Pins Craft Kit or that can be made and given as gifts like this Wooden Photo Frame Craft-Kit
  • Recruit residents to assist with administrative projects, like stuffing envelopes
  • Create a Dining Room Club to have residents assist with folding napkins. Consider giving a napkin-folding class to teach residents how to make different napkin animals
  1. Educational

  • Invite speakers to lecture to residents about interesting topics by hosting a monthly Speaker Series
  • Host a special how-to class in which you teach residents something new
  • Schedule interesting documentaries that appeal to your residents’ interests like an art history video or an animal documentary

senior programs

  1. Cognitive

  • Host activities with fun competitions using Trivia or even
  • Plan daily current events activities using your local newspaper
  • During this presidential debate season, schedule political discussions about hot-button social issues
  1. Community

  • Look within your community to help your residents fill a need, like collecting donated school supplies for a local elementary school class
  • Set up several drives (like a food drive or a clothing drive) during the holidays
  • Recruit residents to become involved in your facility’s Resident Council meetings
  1. Sensory

  • Appeal to your residents’ senses with visual games like
  • Incorporate games that involve different textures, like making bean bags for a bean bag toss
  • Make homemade musical instruments, using plastic bottles and dried beans or rice, for residents to use during musical performances

activties for seniors

  1. Outing

  • Take residents on fun scenic drives
  • Plan trips to local museums
  • Coordinate visits to other nearby nursing facilities (possibly a sister facility) where your residents visit to play bingo with their residents
  1. Musical

  • Teach residents how to play musical instruments (like piano lessons on your facility’s piano)
  • Schedule musical activities and games like Music Bingo
  • Use online videos to share music with your residents during one-on-one visits
  1. Family

  • Host special events and invite family members
  • Recruit family members to volunteer with some of your activities
  • Use your arts and crafts activities for residents to make gifts (like Hanukkah or Christmas gifts) for their family members

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