National Assisted Living Week is right around the corner (September 10-16). This year’s theme is “Family is Forever” – showing the family bond between staff and residents. Here are a few activity ideas to help you demonstrate how your facility is actually one big family – doing all the things that any family does:
Caring – Schedule several activities that show how much your facility cares about your residents.
Low-Vision Support Group – have both staff and residents attend a meeting so that staff members can learn about the concerns of low-vision residents (e.g., too small print on the menus or not enough verbal reminders for activities).
Crafts: Walker Bags – host a craft activity that provides residents with new walker bags to decorate and place on their walkers so that they can carry more items with them.
New Resident Welcome Social – invite staff and residents to welcome your newest residents during a fun afternoon social. Play several icebreaker games so that everyone gets to know one another. For example, use a Toss and Talk Getting Acquainted Ball for residents to learn more about one another.
Helping – Try to add in a few activities during the week that allow staff and residents to help one another.
Book Cart – Recruit residents to volunteer in your facility delivering books and magazines to your bedridden residents.
Dining Room Club – Invite residents to assist staff with folding napkins and making table centerpieces for the Dining Room tables.
Repair Shop – Set up a repair shop in your Activity Room and recruit your facility’s Maintenance Coordinator to help with minor repairs for residents (e.g., adding padding to the bottom of walkers, tightening screws on clocks, etc.)
Sharing – Coordinate several sharing activities among residents and staff throughout the week.
Recipe Book – Invite staff and residents to submit their recipes to be included in a facility-wide cookbook that can be sold to raise money for activity supplies.
Crafts: Family Scrapbooking – Invite family members to join in as you assist residents with recording and preserving their family mementos and photos with a scrapbooking kit.
Table Topics – Play fun games, like Table Topics, that ask questions that allow residents and staff to share more of their life stories.
Learning – Allow for several activities in which both residents and staff can learn from one another.
Occupation Story Circle – Invite residents to participate in a story circle in which they discuss what their occupation entailed and how they entered their profession.
Staff Seminars – Ask a staff member to share a hobby or skill with residents, showing them how to do the hobby. For instance, if you have a staff member that does needlepoint, ask them to lead a needlepoint class, showing residents how to stitch coasters.
Science Show – If you have residents who are familiar with a particular subject, like science, then have them lead a fun class in that field, like demonstrating fun science tricks.
Competing – Finally, provide fun contests and competitions throughout the week that can get your staff and residents working together.
Trivia Challenge: Men vs. Women – Invite staff members to join residents on their respective teams for a fun trivia challenge to finally prove which gender is actually smarter.
Autumn Hallway Decorating Contest – Assign a different staff member to a hallway to help residents compete in the “Best Autumn Hallway Decorating Contest.” Award the winners with trophies.
For even more ideas, visit our blog National Assisted Living Week – “Family is Forever” Theme
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.
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