If you have an older family member or loved one in an assisted living community, you know how important it is to spend time together and plan regular visits. Beyond that, you want to make sure they’re active, engaged and healthy. To make your time more memorable and effective, come equipped with a list of planned assisted living activities that everyone will enjoy.
If you need some new ideas, check out the below list of fun and healthy pastimes. Additionally, many of these assisted living activities are beneficial for older adults with memory diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Try Crafting Projects
Crafts are a creative way to spend time together and produce something your loved one can display in their room. Depending on the time of year, try seasonal projects, which can also help you celebrate special holidays together. Get inspiration from websites like Felt Magnet, Crafts by Amanda or Pinterest.
Scrapbooking is another project that’s great for families. Looking through old photos not only allows you to reminisce, but the scrapbook gives your loved one a way to remember you until your next visit. Overall, studies show that creative activities help to provide a sense of purpose for aging adults.
Play Board Games
Board or card games are a great way to keep seniors happy and engaged. A little competition can make your visit more fun and even let your loved one exercise their brain. However, with these assisted living activities, it may be helpful to play a game that you’re already familiar with, particularly with memory impairment issues.
Spend Time in Nature
Anytime the weather allows, take the opportunity to get outdoors. Being outside is worthwhile for everyone, especially aging adults. According to recent research, nature’s health benefits include:
- Increased vitamin D levels
- Immune-boosting qualities
- Improved focus
- Energized mind and body
Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, and find a quiet spot relax for a bit. You can also bring along food to have a picnic. Alternatively, if you want to get a little more exercise—take a stroll through the community gardens. Don’t forget sunscreen!
Watch a Movie
Watching a movie or TV is a great way to spend time with aging adults without feeling pressured to make conversation. Allow your loved one to pick the movie, maybe an older film from their generation that they’d like to share with you. Familiar movies can help bring back memories and spark conversation—especially important for memory care residents.
For adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s choose material that is:
- Fun and upbeat
- Shorter in length
- Has a simple plot
Check out Alzheimer’s.net’s list of specific film and TV show suggestions.
Listen to Music
Vineyard Bluffton uses innovative music therapy programs for memory care residents. Recent studies show that memory for music may not be affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Curated music also reduces agitation and anxiety.
Listening to music can be a fun, low-key activity for the entire family. Perhaps save this for a day when your loved one is tired or needs a more relaxed visit. Consider creating a playlist of favorite songs. This can be a fun process as you reminisce on memories associated with the music. Additionally, it can provide something for your loved one to enjoy while you’re away.
Take a Day Trip!
Short outings are a treat for someone living in an assisted living facility. If their health allows, take your loved one out and about for a change of scenery. They may enjoy going to a religious service, a favorite restaurant, or simply taking a scenic drive. For more ideas, refer to our list of Bluffton Day Trips.
Participate in Community Activities
Before planning your visit, be sure to check the events calendar. At Vineyard Bluffton, we have activities such as:
- Presentations by local historians
- Local Lowcountry cooking in our restaurants
- Happy hour
- Musical entertainment
- Resident art shows and displays
Plan Fun and Healthy Assisted Living Activities for Your Visits
No matter the activity, remember to be supportive and present for your family or loved ones in assisted living communities. While Vineyard Bluffton offers a fantastic environment for your loved ones to live life their way—time spent with family and friends is invaluable. Make the most of our your visits and plan fun activities that will also engage your loved ones.
Remember that the feelings of happiness and contentment will remain with your loved ones, long after your visit.