I'm 15 years old and volunteer in a care home, and one of the residents, who is quite active and mobile, finds that he is often bored. He walks every day but he doesn't really know what to do with the rest of his time. He doesn't like reading or arty activities, and it's hard for him to go out much aside from his walks because he usually needs someone with him and most of the carers are generally too busy. Are there any activities that could stop him getting so bored?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I'm going to sound like a broken record, my apologies. I have a therapy dog, and we started out at an assisted living facility. I noticed that many of the residents love to talk about their own lives, when they were little etc. don't ask questions that can be answered "yes" or "no". Another volunteer came with his newspaper and led a small discussion group about certain events. Also, when doing research for a gerontology class I took, I read about Concetta M Tamaino. She is a music therapist who came up with the idea of creating personalized iPod playlists for seniors. Look up her name and "Well-Tuned". I also found a link to an article about it:mcknights/music-and-the-mind-using-an-ipod-to-treat-alzheimers/article/160238/
(sorry may have to copy and paste.) Also the volunteer/activities person knows the seniors where you work, and may be able to help you get creative. Great job volunteering - that's awesome!
Helpful Answer (3)

Does the care home have musical events? Most do. We just returned from one this afternoon - there were 3 people in wheelchairs, brought by their family. I only could view one after the park filled with people but this woman really enjoyed getting out and listening to the foot stomping music.

Not only was the day beautiful, but there were more little children than any other type of human, and they were responding so innocently and basically to the music, hopping around, dancing in their own way. It was entertaining just to watch them. I think older folks enjoy being with a mix of ages, especially the little ones who are so innocent and natural in their response to music.

Taking a group of people from a care center to a park for a concert isn't always very practical, but if your care home doesn't have music therapy, ask if you can start a program. These young folks who played today spend probably half their concerts providing free music at various community parks.
Helpful Answer (1)

What are activities for older people? Complaining, sulking, making wholly unreasonable demands, tormenting their children…

Oh, sorry, you meant constructive activities! Amelia, forgive me - it's just that crabby middle-aged people like me get a bit jaded, whereas lovely people like you, giving your time and concern to our elders, are quite rightly looking for the positives.

[I hope everyone is paying attention: could we now have fewer critical comments, please, about "young people today…"?]

Amelia, the key - the really key - point about elders is that they are individuals. When you have lived another 70 years, God willing, you will still be as unique a person as you are now; and so it is with this gentleman. So your best bet is first of all to talk to him. Find out what he did in his career, what his interests and hobbies were, what he enjoyed doing in his leisure time, what his friends were like. Ask him if there is something he'd like to do, and could if he had an extra pair of hands (yours!) to help him.

Many care homes seem to be adopting the use of life history books, for people to write their own informal biography and include things like photographs and mementoes - if your activities co-ordinator uses these, maybe you could suggest helping him with one?

I expect you have only a very limited budget to work with, but supposing his interests were - oh I don't know - golf, fishing, following one special sports team or something like that: you might be able to find an online club or discussion group where he can make virtual friends, and you could help him with that. Or bring in books and magazines on subjects that are of interest to him.

If he likes gardening, and there's a garden, you could get him to teach you things like growing plants from seed, plant care, propagation, (light) pruning - he could do as much as he's able to, and you could do the fetching and carrying.

Would your parents mind if he taught you how to play poker?

But it's no use our speculating without knowing him, so first of all, ask him. Best of luck, and huge kudos to you for what you're doing. Well done!
Helpful Answer (2)

Puzzles; "Dictating" his life story & experiences that you could write or type for him to put in a book type format; Helping him with light carpentry projects...birdhouses???; Would he listen to books on tape?; Does he have a church or synagogue? They often have "ideas" for seniors. Good luck & God bless!!!!
Helpful Answer (2)

God bless you for your volunteer work.
Sounds like an active guy, any chance he can get a WII ...bolwing or other games could be fun
Helpful Answer (3)

Perhaps you could ask him about his early life, what he did for recreation when he was growing up and later during his adult life. Are there any you could adapt to his current situation? Or better yet, any which could be adapted to help him help others so that he feels that rewarding sense of still being helpful to others?

I finally realized that's one of the many factors in elder dissatisfaction and boreddom - generallly, they cared for their families and for others for most of their life. Now, they're not able to do that.

Does he play cards? bingo? board games? Does he play any musical instruments? Cook?

Was he in the military? If so, he could send cards to servicemen.

What did he do professionally? Is there any way he can adapt that to small projects?

I think the key is to find something he really likes and try to adapt it to his current circumstances, if possible.

Perhaps you could ask him what he'd do if he were living at home, then figure out a way he can still do it - although I know that isn't necessarily easy.

You must be a special person to do this kind of volunteer work; it's not easy emotionally or physically.
Helpful Answer (4)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter