Senior Housing Blog: "The Race"

Six Creative Assisted Living Activities to Make Residents Smile

Posted by Todd Barker

May 29, 2012 8:00:00 AM

creative assisted living actitivities

The best assisted living communities make it a priority to have an energetic and creative activities director on their staff.  This individual is tasked with keeping residents busy and happy and stimulated. A good activities director will continually ask residents and their loved ones for input so that the calendar is filled with a well-rounded range of assisted living activities designed to engage residents of all different abilities and interests and to reflect their own interests as community members. Assisted living activities are important for more than just fun and games, though. One study of more than 5,500 participants aged 65 years or older concluded that stimulating leisure activities were significantly associated with a reduced risk of dementia.

Putting a smile on resident’s faces is not too hard with a fun mix of activities. They don’t have to be expensive or complicated. Here are five ideas for creative assisted living activities.

1.      Barbeque 

Throw a southern barbeque party. Tell the women and men to dress in vacation resort clothes. Fire up the Bubba barbeque pit and serve your best barbeque ribs, pork shoulders and whole hog.

2.      Concert under the stars

Beautiful summer weather brings the ability to invite residents outside to a common area and put on a live music concert. Hire a duo that plays music most residents will recognize and enjoy. Serve snacks, cookies, punch and wine –if allowed in the assisted living residence – and let the music flow and the dancing go.

 3.      Arts and Crafts fair

Many seniors enjoy arts and crafts of various kinds – sewing, woodcarving, painting, drawing and scrapbooking are good examples. Further, many assisted living residents once regularly attended community festivals and fairs where handcrafted items could be bought. Why not combine the two and create an arts-and-crafts fair right in the community where residents can display or even barter or sell the crafts they have created.

4.      Picnic

Everyone has happy memories of picnics they went on when they were younger. Bring the picnic to your community and get residents outside for delicious picnic fare. Put out shade umbrellas and red-checked tablecloths.

5.      Car talk

This might appeal more to the male residents, but then again, many women love cars too. Hold a fun car talk night where residents can share stories about their favorite cars and reminisce about where they went in them and who they went with. Parking at drive-ins anyone?

6.      Pizza and comedy movie night

Pick a classic comedy movie to show and bring in pizzas for residents. If your community doesn’t have a theater big enough for seating most of your residents, schedule more than one pizza and comedy movie night. Alternately, take interested residents out to see a funny movie and stop for pizza before or after the movie.

When seeking a senior care residential community, talk to the activities director and check the community calendar to make sure that lots of assisted living activities are available. Tell us about favorite activities you enjoy.

Do you want your loved ones to maintain pride and a sense of ownership?

Assisted living and independent living doesn't have to be the stereotypes your loved ones are afraid of. It can be a rewarding and positive experience for the family, and activities play a big part in it. Learn how we've combined world-class care with the best practices in assisted living.

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Topics: assisted living, recreation, assisted living activities, activity planning, brain fitness

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