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Nursing Home Activities

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Nov 18, 2018
Life in a nursing home can become very mundane and boring for its residents and staff. In order to make the atmosphere more lively and vibrant, we have provided some creative ideas.
Nursing homes are special places where skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services are given to people. They help caring for people who are suffering from some illness, injury or functional disability.
Nursing homes also provide care to the elderly and children who are developmentally and/or mentally disabled. These nursing homes also act as centers for drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation. These stand alone facilities can be a part of a hospital or a retirement community.
Nursing homes are places where people can get back to their health and well-being. There are many nursing homes for the elderly and disabled children, which has many permanent residents.
People tend to get weary and depressed following the daily activities of the nursing home. Every person needs to take part in a recreational activity that can refresh the mind and body. If there is nothing to stimulate the mind and body, people tend to get into depression.
Thus, depression or any other related problem hampers the basic idea of a nursing home. The staff also gets bored with their daily schedule and lose their motivation to care for the residents

Pastime for Nursing Home Residents and Staff

There are many activities that can be planned with the help of the staff, volunteers and residents.

Birthday Celebrations

There is nothing in the world worth the smile one receives in reaction to the surprise birthday party thrown for him/her. You can keep a track of the birthdays during the month and celebrate these birthdays along with the staff and residents.
You can celebrate not only the birthdays of the residents but the staff and volunteers as well. You can ask the family and friends of the individual to participate and suggest birthday party ideas.

Celebrating Holidays

There are many people who follow different religions and traditions. You can celebrate these holidays for these individuals who are away from their friends and families on these festive occasions. You can celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, 4th of July etc.


Planning a chess tournament for the residents who are fond of chess, board games, cards, bingo, etc. will help keep the residents lively.
You can ask the friends and family to get involved and plan a scrabble competition among the residents. You can choose different games depending on the age of the residents.

Outdoor Activities

Remaining indoors sometimes becomes overwhelming. Spending some time outdoors makes the residents enjoy nature and sight-seeing.
You can plan a basketball game or volleyball game, if the individuals are physically strong. These games help stimulate drug addicts and alcohol addicts, mentally and physically and get help them get over their craving for some time.
You can even try barbeque with the elderly or carry out some other cooking activity with the help of volunteers and family. Outdoor games are a must for children to stimulate their young minds and bodies. These physical activities help build the body stronger.


You can plan a tour as a part of nursing home activities. You can take the elderly residents to an art and crafts fair or the museum.
Or maybe take them to an adventure resort and allow them to enjoy trekking, kayaking or just take part in group activities. You can ask for friends and relatives to donate funds for the trips. Planning a day at the park will prove to be a fun-filled nursing home activity for young children.

Story Time

If there are old and young residents in the nursing home, then one of the interesting nursing home activities will be the elders telling stories to the youngsters. This proves to be a great bonding activity for the elders and the children as well.

Painting and Creative Crafts

You can provide some painting and craft materials for the residents and let them get creative. These nursing home activities help mentally stimulate the residents. 
You can even provide clay to the residents and they can try their hand with pottery. Some exceptionally creative residents may also like to try their hand with carpentry as well as sculpting.

Yoga Sessions

Organize a yoga session every day or alternate days. Yoga is a great way of meditating and helps the nursing home patients focus and concentrate.
It also helps calm their minds and keep them physically, mentally and spiritually active. These exercises will help stimulate the immune system of individuals who are weak and old.

Sewing and Knitting

Sewing and embroidering can be a lot of fun for nursing home residents. Old women love to sit back and carry out crochet, sewing, knitting and embroidering on fabrics. This helps them spend their time alone and keep them busy. You can even involve young children residents in this activity. They will learn a new craft and will love embroidering or knitting.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy can help the residents interact with animals as well as among themselves. They will love petting a dog or a small hamster. It has been found pets have a therapeutic effect and helps one regain lost health. A talking parrot can amuse the residents.


One of the most popular activities carried out by residents of a nursing home is gardening.
It is a recreation activity, wherein the residents get a chance to grow their favorite flowers, herbs, plants or even a vegetable patch. These plants can be grown in the garden or pots. The residents can always enjoy fresh air, sounds of birds and a refreshing environment due to the presence of flowers and plants in the surroundings.

Book Club

Many people love to sit back and enjoy a good book. You could ask a local library or people to donate books to your nursing home.
Start a library on the premises and allow residents to take books and read to their leisure. As you know, books are man's best friend. Books will help keep the mind busy and help the residents feel better.
You can arrange for funds and make these activities more elaborate. When planning these activities, do not force anyone who does not wish to participate. The ideas should not interfere with the peace and tranquility of the nursing home.
You should keep in mind they do not in any way hamper the health of the residents. Nursing home activities help build new friendships and give a chance to the residents to socialize.