Celebrate National Nursing Home Week (May 14th-20th) with your residents by providing activities that reflect this year’s theme: The Spirit of America. Use the week to schedule activities that relate to the true spirit of America, including its history, its immigrants, and its beauty.
Educational – Schedule a few trivia games to test your residents’ knowledge about American topics. For instance, for a larger group, use an interactive trivia DVD to get residents to recall important American facts and events. For a smaller group, gather residents to play an American trivia board game.
Reminiscing – Plan a fun Reminiscence Tea Party for your residents to discuss a particular American era of interest, like the Big Band era of the 1940s or the space exploration era of the 1960s. During the tea party, ask residents to discuss their experiences, like which big band they preferred or where they were when they heard that an American had landed on the moon.
Social – Host a Veteran’s Story Circle to encourage residents to share their stories of serving in the military. Pick a topic that relates to veterans, like going to boot camp or returning from war, and go around the room and ask residents to share their experiences.
Cultural – Host an Immigrants Parade in your Activity Room to celebrate the ancestry of your residents. For the parade, pass out American flags and have each resident share a short story of how their family immigrated to America. In addition, if you have staff members who are immigrants, ask them to participate in a Fashion Show in which they wear attire from their homeland.
Special Event – Schedule an Immigrants’ Lunch that features a variety of foreign foods that have shaped American culture, like Italian spaghetti, Irish coffee, and Mexican tacos. If you have residents from other countries, be sure to include an entrée from their homeland as well. Beforehand, decorate your Dining Room with lots of patriotic balloons.
Historical – Read stories to residents about the history of different people who have helped shape America, like stories of African-Americans.
Musical – Use music to share the spirit of America by showing an America the Beautiful DVD that plays patriotic music while showing pictures of famous American landmarks. In addition, host a Patriotic Sing Along as residents recall and sing familiar songs with others.
Educational – Host a Geography Challenge to test your residents’ knowledge of American geography.
Tactile – Schedule a Jigsaw Puzzle Contest using jigsaw puzzles that feature American symbols. Have residents compete to see who can complete their jigsaw puzzle the quickest.
notjustbingo.com 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 we continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Don’t get them wrong – bingo is fun, but we want to spread the word that there is more to life than just bingo. Overall, notjustbingo.com feels privilege 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.