Seniors in a nursing home, assisted living complex or other residence are at risk of boredom and apathy if they do not have appropriate activities. By providing the right things for them to do, you can promote physical health and social interaction, and help them tap into latent talents.
Newsletter for the Nursing Home
Many senior residents may be talented in writing poetry, fiction or news articles. Help them create their own resident newsletter to feel part of a community while enabling them to share their talents with others. Possible topics for inclusion in the newsletter include a poetry and fiction corner, news from the nursing home staff, community news, national and international news, book reviews and even pro and con editorials on relevant issues.
Arts and Craft Sales
Other seniors may be talented in artistic ways, or may derive pleasure from creating with their hands. Offer them a venue where senior residents can sell what they have created--and boost their self esteem in the process. Whether the senior residents prefer to knit baby blankets and booties, build practical items with woodworking techniques, create usable pottery, or design beaded jewelry, it is entirely possible that friends, relatives and visitors may be glad to purchase such creations. Include arts and crafts classes given by some of the residents (or by an outside volunteer), which could lead residents to create additional crafts for sale.
Even those who are wheelchair-bound will find exercise invigorating, if they take the chance to try it out. Schedule yoga or stretching classes to help loosen muscles and improve overall health for the residents and give them a chance to socialize while doing a physical and enjoyable activity.
When an event comes to the community, encourage senior residents to attend. Whether it's a county fair, a local political speaker or even a weekly farmer's market, senior residents will often enjoy mingling with people from the rest of the community and being a part of what is happening nearby. Provide transportation and assistance to interested residents, which can go a long way to coaxing them to get out and about.
Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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