Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis
Entertaining the new residents of an assisted living center is a significant issue for the caregivers. Of course, you have to make sure that everyone has a routine, and they stick to it. But assisted living activity ideas can sometimes become relatively mundane.
Such a situation warrants some activity or pastime, which will make the monotony go away. After all, one of the main concerns that family members revolve around is recreational activities.
Assisted living activities are necessary to ensure that elders have something to do. This ensures that the seniors are having a good time and allows them to explore new interests.
Activities for Assisted Living Residents to Partake on
The families of residents want to ensure that every service needed by their elders is appropriately met. But that’s not the only thing that should be looked after. Since their loved ones will be living their full time, there needs to be something for them to do.
But the facilities need to ensure that it isn’t too taxing for them as seniors may need help performing specific actions. So, what kind of activities should be available in an assisted living situation?
Well, for starters, you must know that certain activities for seniors cater to their needs. After all, the senior living community must ensure that the elderly have all the help for comfortable living arrangements.
This blog post is dedicated to providing these facilities with assisted living activity ideas.
Fun Activities for Assisted Living Residents
Of course, before we begin, we must look at how such centers usually cater to their residents. There are plenty of occasions in which seniors can relish their time at a senior care center.
Assisted living facilities are particular about holidays and festivals. So, you should make sure that there’s something for the residents to do. This way they can enjoy those with people of their age.
You must make sure that everyone’s time is well spent, and the best way they do this is by making every occasion count. So whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or even Friendship Day, set up an activity for seniors.
All these events are made with socialization in mind. Senior living centers should encourage their residents to form friendships. After all, their family can only visit them every so often. So, it would be best if you made them feel as much at home as possible.
What Assisted Living Activities Are Suitable for Senior Residents?
There have to be special assisted living activities for seniors. There’s no rocket science or shame involved in this. Everyone gets old at one point, and seniors can’t do certain activities on their own.
They’ll need special help from you and your staff. So, it’s a good idea to alter activities to allow seniors to take part in them. For example, it is very common for people to assume that seniors need to be seated when doing a particular activity. But this couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
You see, seniors can perform all sorts of activities. But, of course, some activities are physically demanding. For these situations, they will need the help of the staff to support them. So, if you’re wondering about the activities offered at senior homes, we’re happy to suggest some great ideas.
What Assisted Living Activities Are Best for Elderly Residents?
Now that we’ve clarified a few things, we’re going to provide you with a list of activities. These activities can be excellent options for entertainment in an assisted care facility. So, here’s the list:
1. Seniors’ Clubs
Developing senior clubs will actually lighten up the place. This is ideal because everyone’s got different interests. The best way to ensure that everyone is happy with the assisted living activities is by making clubs.
There can be a cooking club, a book club, a chess club, and so on. Each club can decide what they want to do, and the staff at the facility will ensure proper execution.
Wondering where to start from? Well, we’ve got tips for you!
What to Do:
As we’ve mentioned, you can create these clubs by asking the seniors to sign up for them. Then, if there’s an interest that you haven’t considered, add them as well. There can be as many clubs as you want in a single facility.
Make sure that no one joins too many clubs as it can be hard to manage. The last thing you want is to overburden seniors. Once these clubs have been formed, you and the staff can go over the suggested activities. Then you can check which ones are best suited for seniors. Simple enough, right?
2. Leisure Lessons
Everyone has a particular hobby or interest which they weren’t able to pursue. For example, someone might have wanted to attend an art class but couldn’t because of unavoidable life events.
Of course, we often let these interests die out, believing they weren’t meant to be. But do you know who would love to pursue something they couldn’t in their youth?
Why, elders, of course!
If you’re a senior living director or staff member, such activities are perfect for your residents. All it will take is simple arts and crafts or photography lessons- just make sure that your residents are heard, and you’ll do great!
What to Do:
You can start this program by asking the seniors about a particular activity or lesson they’d be interested in. Then, you can set these lessons to last the entire calendar year by their availability. Isn’t that amazing?
3. Plan Trips
It’s often easier to plan indoor activities than outdoor activities because of the availability of on-site staff. But planning trips isn’t something that takes too long or has to be done frequently. We recommend that you plan one good trip once a month or once every two months.
Just make sure that it’s great and that the seniors will have plenty to do on that day. This will definitely keep them busy for a while. After all, a trip to a science museum or a car show is something entirely different. Many seniors under your care probably have done this during their school days. It’s a great way to have them move around in the outside world as well.
What to Do:
Simply call your local museum director or car shop and ask about these activities. They’ll set you up with someone who’s got information on these events, and that’s it. You can then organize your team and set a date. It’s really that simple.
4. Karaoke Night
We can’t tell you how much fun this activity can be. Seniors often don’t partake in karaoke nights because most children and grandchildren don’t know the music from their age. We think that this is the perfect opportunity to get your seniors to loosen up and enjoy themselves with their own peers.
Such assisted living activities can easily be set up for every week as well. They just need a good speaker and mic.
What to Do:
You know your residents best. So, you can easily set up a dance floor or some sitting arrangements and a stage where seniors can sing to their favorite music. You’ll need someone who knows how to access music from the ‘50s, of course, quickly, but that’s pretty simple these days.
5. Storytelling Events
This is quite straightforward. Seniors have gone through a lot. The world had changed quite a bit since they were children. So, many good and bad things have happened to everyone.
What’s better than having them share these stories with the staff and their fellow residents as well?
What to Do:
This is the most effortless assisted living activity that you can come up with. You don’t need to do much. Just ask someone to speak about a subject they like. Or, you can do this in a restaurant or community park where outsiders can also join. Who knows? Maybe one of your senior residents has had a truly adventurous life.
How about Learning Some New Skills?
In assisted living, seniors can learn new skills. It can help to keep them mentally and physically active, and can also help to improve their overall quality of life. Additionally, participating in activities that involve learning new skills can help to boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
Here are some of the skills older adults can learn in assisted living:
Apart from these, seniors can also improve their existing skills, such as writing, painting, gardening, etc.
Other Activities for Seniors
There are still plenty of other assisted living activity ideas that residents can partake in. We haven’t forgotten about them, but usually, the communities already have these on their calendars. So, we have decided to mention these at last.
So, last but not least, you can even host learning classes where you teach your seniors some skills they never got to learn. Education never ends for anyone, and it’s a great idea if you decide to hold “gadget lessons” for your seniors. For example, you can teach them how to use an iPad or work their own social media accounts.
This way, they can stay in touch with their families and appear as cool tech-savvy grandparents. Most children today wish that their folks knew how to use electronic devices.
Think about Vocational Activities as Well
Apart from that, you can also have them showcase some of the vocational skills that they may own. There’s nothing like a knitting or sewing competition to get everyone to do something at the assisted living center.
We strongly recommend that you come up with events that involve the entire community. Perhaps you could hold several competitions on one day in the form of a grand tournament. It’s up to you, of course, but this will be very nice for the residents.
Some examples of vocational activities for seniors in assisted living include:
- Working in the on-site garden
- Helping with meal preparation
- Assisting with housekeeping tasks
- Leading exercise classes
- Organizing social events
- Working in the on-site library
Crafts Activities for Assisted Living Residents
Crafts activities can offer a sense of accomplishment and purpose for assisted living residents. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
This is a great craft for assisted living residents because it is easy and doesn’t require any special skills or materials. Have residents choose images from magazines, newspapers, or other sources to create a collage. You can also have them create a collage of their loved ones.
Painting is another great way for residents to unleash their creativity. They can paint landscapes, abstracts, or portraits. It is a great stress reliever too!
If your elderly loved ones are skilled in woodworking, have them create small pieces like birdhouses, napkin rings, or picture frames. It is an excellent pass time and allows them to create something new which provides a sense of accomplishment.
Sewing is a great way for residents to use their creativity and dexterity. Choose simple projects like pillows, quilts, or tote bags.
Pottery is a great craft for assisted living residents because it allows them to be creative and use their hands to create something beautiful. It is extremely calming and improves cognitive function.
Things to Consider While Choosing Creative Options for Seniors
Apart from what we’ve talked about. There can be more creative activities for seniors too. To ensure that you’re able to provide creative assisted living activity ideas for seniors, you must make sure of two things:
When deciding on activity opportunities, you must consider how feasible the idea is. For example, suppose you claim that you could fly out seniors to a lovely retreat on the other side of the country. But this isn’t very practical.
This is because of the expenses that go into the trip. Some seniors might not have a passport, and there are tons of other issues- like families not agreeing and so on. So, instead of looking for funding for such extravagant trips, you could try bringing the retreat to the seniors.
Yes, it might sound like too much work, but it’s a great idea! Families can even volunteer to pitch in and set up the entire trip at the center. Isn’t that a great idea?
2. Mobility of Seniors
The most crucial aspect of any creative endeavor is to ensure that the residents can conduct the activities. It would help if you thought about how mobile the seniors are. This means that you have to look at whether they can stand or sit for long before deciding what activity to do.
We highly encourage families to talk to assisted living centers and refer to these ideas. You have plenty of time to spend with your parents and grandparents at such events. It’s a great idea for meeting each other and making things more exciting.
As you can see, there are many assisted living activities and excursion ideas available for seniors. So you don’t have to think of something dreary all the time. Seniors like having fun too. And these activities will ensure that they have a lot of that with the community.
Don’t think twice before setting up these assisted living activity ideas for seniors. We guarantee that they will love it. You can even go a step further and make these simple concepts turn into remarkable ones for your residents. Then, the sky’s the limit, and you can quickly come up with anything for the elders at your assisted living facility.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to encourage assisted living residents to participate in activities?
Some ideas to get residents involved in activities are as follows:
- Plan activities that are interesting and appeal to a variety of interests.
- Schedule activities at times that are convenient for residents.
- Promote upcoming activities well in advance.
- Make sure that all necessary supplies and equipment are available for each activity.
- Encourage residents to participate and socialize with their fellow residents.
How many caregivers per resident in assisted living?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it can vary based on the individual assisted living facility. However, on average, there is likely around one caregiver for 6-8 residents.
Are assisted living facilities required to have an activities schedule?
There is no specific requirement that assisted living facilities must have an activities schedule, but many facilities do provide scheduled activities as a way to engage residents and promote socialization.
What is assistance with daily living activities?
Assistance with daily living activities refers to help with activities that people typically do every day, such as getting dressed, eating, bathing, and using the toilet. It can also include assistance with tasks that are more specific to an individual’s needs, such as preparing meals or managing finances.