Looking for new ideas for different things I could do with the residents. Any recommendations? - AgingCare.com

Looking for new ideas for different things I could do with the residents. Any recommendations?

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new games, crafts, baking, entertainment, exercise and so on! Thanks!

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Fashion Day!... (They have this at the senior center where my mother attends also)... They bring in second-hand clothing and have some seniors model it... and they they can buy it for very, very cheap... ($1 or so)... Everyone likes to look and feel good not matter what the situation or age (just my opinion)...
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Maybe a 'Cruise' night... Showing travel films...
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I like it Panstegman... Also, a movie day?... once a month?... (maybe they can vote on the movie they want to see). I can smell the popcorn now... (And, it doesn't matter if some fall asleep)
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I think they would love old radio shows, which you can get on CD. You can even buy CD players that look like 1930's radios.
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Maybe actually starting a Bridge, Spades, or ? (card Club) would make the residents feel more a 'part' of something and give them a 'specialness' about themselves. They could even have their own newsletter (just a one simple page with fun facts ... awards... news... names). This would even give them something to talk about and show to their visiting families and visitors.

Also, have you thought of a 'Casino' day?... We have one here in Denver at one of the senior centers and the senior love it. I also go with my mother to keep her company. They are given fake money and then after the 'games' (21, poker, etc) is over, they trade their (fake) money in for raffle tickets (eg: $100 = 1 ticket)... The seniors then put their raffle tickets in an envelope for a prize (or prizes) for a drawing (at the end of the event). They love this. And, I admit. It's fun.
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Most of the ones I have are ones you probably already know. One of the games that I observed that many residents liked in the regular assisted living facilities was dodge ball. The residents sat in a circle and rolled the ball to the other residents feet and they kicked it back and forth. I think it's good for those who can control and use their feet and legs. My loved one didn't have good control, so it frightened her, but some really enjoyed it.

At my cousin's facility(Memory Care) they have a modified Corn hole game. They make the hole larger and give the resident several tries to score. If they do, they get a little prize.

One Memory Care facility that I visited had a doll dressing and changing station. It was quite popular. They also had a bridal dressing area that residents could sit at mirror, comb hair and put on bridal veils and other dress up clothing.

I will say the most popular activities I have seen have been the music. They especially love it when there is a live singer of old songs. They seemed to love old gospel, R&B and Rock'n'roll. When I'm in the sitting room at my cousin's Memory Care Unit and the old songs like Baby, Workout, by Jackie Wilson or Blue Suede Shoes, even the residents who can't open their eyes or lift their head start to move in rhythm. It's amazing.

Visiting children seems to really be a special blessings to seniors and special needs residents. Once flu season is over, it might be a good idea. My mom was a teacher at a small private school and they made gifts, sang and spoke to the residents. It was a true highlight to their week.

I can imagine your job would be very challenging and rewarding. I wish you all the best. I bet you get more ideas here.
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My grandmother used to enjoy the cooking classes that her NH provided. Puddings and cakes mixes were their favorites. The other item they liked to cook was pinto beans and cornbread. They seamed to enjoy the feel of the beans on their hands when they were cleaning them.
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