Group Activities for Elderly Nursing Home Residents

by Brenda
(Chicago, IL)

Senior Group Activities

Senior Group Activities

Devising or planning group activities for elderly individuals or those in nursing homes is only limited by the imagination. Remember the games that we used to play its kids? Chances are that Mom or Dad or Grandma and Grandpa will also remember.


That doesn't mean they have to run around playing hide-and-go-seek. Group activities can involve sedentary activities, such as Bingo, Jeopardy, or trivia, but can also involve active engagement that doesn't place a great strain on physical or mobility limitations.

For example, barbecues, chili cook-offs, and traditional carnival games provide a wide variety of options for group activities in a variety of scenarios. One of my dad's favorite activities at his nursing home is called Balloon Racquetball. Wood tongue depressors glued to paper plates make a great "racquets" and they have a blast batting a balloon back and forth.

Another activity that's a favorite among the seniors at my facility is a play on "Name That Tune" - you'd be amazed at how many times our group of seniors will burst out into song after the opening lyric or part of the lyric is given as a clue.

Nearly every children's game can be catered to the senior crowd to maintain their sense of maturity and dignity, but being old does not preclude having fun. My dad especially likes the tournaments set up at his facility including those for Dominoes, poker, and checkers.

Sing-a longs, especially during the holiday season are a perennial favorite. Wrapping presents for needy children in the neighborhood is also a favorite, especially when accompanied by the singing of Christmas carols and some hot chocolate.

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Holiday Door Decorations Contest for Assisted Living Center
by: Julie

I like something that the living center where my grandma stays does every holiday season. For Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, they have a door decorating contest.

The nurse’s aides or other staff and volunteers are more than happy to help the seniors with their door designs, and prizes are awarded (to everyone) at the annual holiday dinner.

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Social Interaction for Seniors for Holidays
by: Theresa

Whenever possible, I tried to involve my elderly parents into activities that also promote social interaction.

For example, my friends and I purchase a number of toys for the local hospital or battered women's shelters, and then take them to the nursing home to have the seniors wrap.

Encouraging the holiday spirit, enjoying a common activity, and gaining a great deal of pleasure of knowing if they're doing something for someone else is beneficial for their mental and emotional health.

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