Activities for Older Americans Month – Engage at Every Age

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Have fun in May as you help your senior residents celebrate Older Americans Month. Throughout the month, schedule fun activities that coordinate with the 2018 theme “Engage at Every Age”, and provide opportunities for your residents to learn, share, volunteer, and celebrate.

Learn

Teach your residents something new during the month of May by planning educational activities. For instance, invite speakers into your facility to give talks during a Senior Lecture Series, or use adventure DVDs to take your residents on armchair travel adventures, right in your Activity Room.

As a weekly activity, pick a different skill or technique to teach your residents. For example teach the residents in your Baking Club about your technique for making lattice-crust pies, or teach your Pottery Club members the pinching technique for shaping clay pottery.

For a one-time activity for the month of May, host a Sign Language Class where you use sign language cards to teach your residents simple signs, or pass out journals before to teach residents how to write their own autobiographies.

If your residents are quite handy, consider using kits, like an airplane kit, to show your residents how to assemble small toy airplanes.

Share

Encourage residents to share their knowledge through different types of fun activities. For instance, organize a Mentoring Session for your residents to meet with a local Boys’ and Girls’ Club so that they can share their knowledge and give tips and support to the kids.

Additionally, schedule several activities for your residents where they can share their experiences with other residents in your facility. For example, host story circles throughout the month, with each story circle having a different theme for residents to discuss, like Military Service, the 1950’s Housewife, or Wedding Day.

If your residents need more help in prompting a discussion, then use a game like Table Topics, where you can ask questions about the past, present, and future.

Volunteer

Help your residents give back by planning volunteer opportunities for your residents during May. Start with simple activities, like organizing a Volunteer Match where you pair residents with your facility’s bedridden residents so that your resident-volunteers can read to them.

In addition, use several kits to get your residents involved with doing work for others, like using postcards to start a Pen Pal Club with a wing of a local children’s hospital, or having residents decorate pencil cases to donate to a local elementary school class.

Another option for your residents is to create clubs in your facility in which your residents help out around your facility, like contributing stories and articles to your facility’s newsletter or helping to water the flowers and plants in your facility.

Celebrate

Invite your residents to express themselves as you encourage them to celebrate their lives throughout May. Provide art activities that tap into your residents’ creativity, like having residents use colored pencils to fill in famous works of art coloring pages by artist Norman Rockwell.

Alternatively, consider adding in a few dance activities for residents, like hosting a fun Dance Party featuring music from yesteryear or even organizing a Chair Dance Session where you teach residents a few chair dancing moves.

Finally, encourage residents to engage again with fun contests and competitions, like a Word Search Contest to see which resident can complete their word search puzzle the fastest, a Jigsaw Puzzle Contest to see which team can complete their jigsaw puzzle the fastest, or a Crossword Puzzle Competition to see whether the men or the women are the best at solving crossword puzzles.

About Not Just Bingo:

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Not Just Bingo is an online resource of fun, senior activity ideas for activity professionals of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They have been providing fun activity ideas online since 2009, and continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Not Just Bingo feels privileged to help activity directors better the living experiences of their residents while demonstrating that a senior’s quality of life can actually improve when they move to a nursing facility!

 

Want even more ideas each month? Visit www.notjustbingo.com for how-to activity ideas, monthly newsletters, and daily holiday ideas. You can also sign up for the Notjustbingo Membership to receive specialized activity ideas to keep your residents and staff engaged, active, and having fun!

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