There are many activities for seniors in assisted living facilities more than bingo nights or birthday celebrations.
Though not all assisted living facilities have the same resources or services, it is important to consider what kind of community activities are available when choosing what assisted living facility is best for you or your loved one.
Why are activities for seniors in assisted living important?
Assisted living is about more than just caring for your daily physical and medical needs; it’s also about living in a shared community with opportunities for fun and comradery.
Participation in meaningful activities has been shown to buffer against depression, a common risk in long-term care living. So does exercise, which also improves mobility and helps overall health. Engaging activities offer cognitive and social stimulation, help vent frustration, and lessen feelings of loss and loneliness.
What kinds of activities do assisted living facilities offer?
Each facility will offer its own combination of activities for residents, though in whatever case, there should be a variety of options to engage seniors in healthy community life and suite their needs.
Check out this list of common activities for seniors in assisted living that you should look for when choosing a facility:
Fitness programs are not only good for physical wellness but to increase your energy and improve your mood. Aside from required physical therapy, some fitnesses or sports opportunities an assisted living facility may offer could include things like yoga classes, tai chi, swimming, golf, hiking, walking clubs, or other personalized wellness programs that include physical fitness and nutrition.
Off-campus day trips can be a wonderful activity to get residents participating in a community activity. Is there a new exhibit at a local museum? Local live theater? Nearby historical site? Fun location or shopping center to visit?
Classes and Workshops
Art classes, cooking classes, computer classes, and other educational opportunities are just some of the activities an assisted living facility can offer its residents. On-site classes are a great way for seniors to learn new skills or explore interest or hobbies.
A facility may have resources for seniors to continue enjoying their favorite hobbies, such as gardening, sewing, crafts, fishing, or woodworking for example.
Themed dinners are an easy way to turn a simple mealtime into a festive celebration. Having a menu and decorations around a specific theme (BBQ, Italian Night, Taco Tuesday, etc.) can be a creative way to spruce up mealtime.
Similar to themed dinners, parties focused around a special holiday or big event are great activities to get people involved in a fun and festive way. Whether you celebrate with a St. Patrick’s Day Irish dinner or a Super Bowl viewing party, mark your calendars and get party planning!
Live Music and Entertainment
Having living music performances either by a band, a local group, or even enthusiastic students, can be a great entertainment idea. Live music can be combined with dancing or as background for another big event, or can just be a special concert for residents. Getting input from residents on their favorite genres or eras of music can help have a live music event that everyone will enjoy. Other forms of live entertainment, such as comedy or theater, are other fun activity options.
Talent shows with the residents are great ways to engage residents, for them to get to know each other better, and to just have fun. Talent shows can also be put on by a local school or church groups if a more observational event is more your speed.
Movies and Games
Simple activities for seniors can range from community movie nights and game nights. Movies, cards, and board games can be a simple but effective way to unwind in the evenings and allow for large group accessibility and participation.
Each assisted living facility is different and it can be hard to accommodate everyone’s interests. However, there are a lot of great activities for seniors in assisted living out there, helping residents have fun, get involved and their community, and lead vibrant social lives.
These are just a few common activity ideas that can be found in assisted living facilities. Contact or visit an assisted living facility prior to joining to learn more about what activities they offer for their residents.