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Creating Fun for Caregivers and Frail
Other ideas might be a quilt shop for a
former quilter, a hardware store for the ardent
handyman, the library, bakery, family style restaurant,
plant store or flower shop.
Fun at home
You don’t have to go out to have fun of course.
Opportunities are right there in their home (or
facility) to have fun and fight boredom.
Stage a sing-along to his/her
favorite music. Play the music loud and clear.
Get all dressed up and take some
photo portraits – use them for family gifts.
Rent/borrow movies for slow
afternoons – old ones, funny ones, scary ones.
Have a deck of cards on hand and
play the old familiar games – gin rummy, hearts,
Scrabble is great fun with
Keep a puzzle going if you have a
spare tabletop – people coming in always get engaged
and stay to talk
Get out of the room – visit other
residents, attend sing-alongs, presentations, craft
sessions, chair exercises lunch groups.
Pull out a family album – get them
to identify the older ones you may have forgotten
and take notes or audiotape the stories you hear.
Family photos trigger floods of memories.
Pick a theme for the week or month.
Decorate his/her room and door. It will bring people
in to check it out and or conversation.
Rearrange furniture and pictures –
just for stimulation.
Order in or pick up some favorite
foods that aren’t on the regular menu – hot dogs for
my mom, milkshakes for my husband’s dad.
Manicures and pedicures are a
special treat too. Have candy for drop-in guests and
gifts for visitors – order on line; think about
birthday and holiday gifts and ‘shop’ on line.
Make up a Christmas, holiday or
birthday wish list from the web – send it to family
members. So think about what your loved one has
always enjoyed, listen to what they talk about, look
around your neighborhood and give it a try!!
Lynn Howe is a registered nurse,
mostly retired, very interested in healthcare issues,
health and wellness. Her mother, age 93, widowed for 10
years, has lived in an apartment, assisted living,
nursing home and back to assisted living today. She
truly enjoys stimulating, but brief outings, which
continue to be fun (and meaningful) for all involved.
Lynn has written one article about nursing home
activities which was published in Nursing Home magazine
as well as several articles for a Recreational Vehicle
magazine about RV lifestyle issues.