It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re getting ready to visit your grandma at her nursing facility, but you are at a loss of how the two of you can spend fun, quality time together.
What are some things you can do that both of you will enjoy? This time is precious and it’s important to make the most of it.
Here is a list of different creative activities you and your loved one can do while they are in a nursing facility:
Whether or not you’re a creative person, simple crafts can be a fun way to add some color to your time together. Crafts you and your loved one can do range from making holiday decorations to scrapbooking and even painting.
Mark Walker, director of therapy at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, says staff members enjoy providing seasonal and holiday-oriented craft projects for the residents.
“We just finished doing a Valentine’s project where we cut out hearts and placed them all over the facility,” he said.
Not only are these activities fun, but they can also help your loved one’s cognitive and motor skills.
Some nursing facilities, such as Provo Rehabilitation & Nursing, offer hand massages as one of its regular activities. You can give your own loved one a hand massage or manicure as a way to rejuvenate and relax them. Regular touch also communicates multiple positive emotions that can create a deeper connection. Try using essential oils or hand lotion in their favorite scent.
Make connections (phone call, storytelling)
Use your time together to share and collect memories and stories. Chances are your loved one has some great stories from growing up that you haven’t heard yet. Once they are gone, those stories may be lost forever. Take the time to ask them about their life and favorite memories. Consider journaling or recording these conversations so you can keep them for years to come.
Another way to bond with your loved one is to find a mutual love of some sort of entertainment and enjoy it together. Whether it’s reading a book, playing a board game, listening to music or watching a favorite movie, entertainment is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with each other. Many facilities, such as Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, provide different types of media that you can enjoy together. Consider inviting your loved one’s friends at the nursing facility to enjoy with you.
“Usually our biggest focus is on hobbies that our residents do at home,” said Walker. “We often start up a bowling session, which is great for balance and upper body strength, and the Wii gaming system is an excellent tool. We like the Wii Fit Program because it encourages standing balance and weight-shifting activities.”
While you may have to take a few precautions, going out or exercising can be a fun way to spend time with your loved one. You can garden, go out to lunch, see a play, walk to the park, or even stretch outside. The fresh air and quality time is sure to make for a wonderful day together.
If you’re not sure what to do with your loved one who’s staying in a nursing facility, try one of these activities. Remember, the important thing is that you make the most of your time together.
This article was previously published by the Daily Herald and republished here with permission.