Activities for the elderly
Every B&M Care Home has a Resident Engagement Lead on their care team, to provide a full calendar of meaningful and relevant activities and social events. All homes are members of NAPA (National Association of Providers of Activities for older people) and many have taken part in NAPA training programmes or are HCPA Activities Champions. Our care homes adopt a whole home approach to resident engagement and all members of the team will have had training on the role that they can play in making every moment count for a person living in one of our homes. At B&M Care we encourage the people in our care to enjoy the outdoors by providing stimulating and interesting grounds, gardens and patio areas. We have incorporated log cabins and greenhouses for gardening clubs and pathways and raised planting beds at many of our homes.
This page talks about the benefits of a meaningful activities programme for the elderly and is aimed at carers.
Group Activities for the elderly
Whilst treating people as members of a group may not be concentrating fully on the individual requirements, there are several important advantages. Members of a group with similar abilities are often encouraged by having the opportunity to share their life experience, knowledge and general views and opinions with their peers and carers. Group activities can be divided into four main types - orientation, education, social and physical. When planning activities, the individual needs of each person should be taken into account, to provide for the needs of the majority.
Orientation with the elderly
Quizzes of all varieties and levels can be used to assist long/short term memory. Most information is taken in through sight, rather than the spoken word, therefore quizzes using picture-music, tactile, small/taste are used. Newspapers and magazines are ideal as they could lead to discussions on current affairs. Calendars and clocks should always be large, helping a person to be more responsible for keeping them up to date.
Education with the elderly
Do not try to teach old dogs new tricks, try to stimulate interest and update old skills. Talks and demonstrations should be on subjects relevant to the group, they should be short with visual aids and audience participation should be encouraged.
Social Activities for the elderly
Communication skills should be encouraged, such as naming fellow residents passing and naming objects, music appreciation, singing and reciting poems. Relaxation will help sleep, reduce pain and aid mobility. Music, movement and relaxation exercises should be included. Constructive use of leisure time, is not all about Bingo and Beetle drive sessions, imagine yourself as being elderly, would you want to play bingo everyday? Indoors gardening where possible can be beneficial. One to one activities are useful for people that do not feel comfortable with group activities.
Physical Activities for the elderly
Sessions of physical activities not only encourages muscle strength and joint mobility but also aids circulation, digestion and appetite, respiration, relaxation and sleep. Exercise sessions can help to break the vicious circle of inactivity.
Inactivity = Stiffness = Loss of appetite and sleep = Tiredness and apathy = Inactivity
We must remember that out of a twenty-four hour day the majority of it for the elderly in some residential care homes could be sitting with nothing to do. Therefore a constructive activity programme is important for the well being of the resident. Happy, contented residents make happy contended carers and families. One important thing to remember before embarking on any programme is to know the persons individual needs.