How-To Articles

How to Get Your Short-Term Rehab Residents
Involved in Your Activities

While most short-term rehab residents will tell you that they will not be in your facility for long, we must still provide them with activity options throughout the day.

So how do you pique the interests of your short-term residents who are mainly focused on their rehab therapy so that they can return home as soon as possible? Here are 8 activity ideas to try:

1. Music. Invite the rehabilitation residents to see your scheduled entertainers. In fact, schedule a few of your entertainers to perform close to where your short-term residents stay – to make it even easier for them to attend the events.

2. Cognitive. Although your short-term residents are focusing on building up their physical abilities, don’t forget to engage their minds as well. They can still participate in your weekly trivia contests or your afternoon Name That Tune games.

3. Special Events. While the rehabilitation residents may not be able to leave the facility to attend activities, you can still include them in the special events at your facility. For instance, invite the short-term-stay ladies to your monthly Straw Hat Ladies Tea Party or the men to your weekly Men’s Poker Game Night.

4. Independent Activities. Ask your residents and their visiting family members about their interests and typical daily activities. Learn what they enjoy doing and try to make sure that they can continue doing those activities while staying at your facility. For instance, if your resident enjoys sewing, be sure to provide her with a hand-sewing project, or if your resident enjoys listening to music while reading a book, be sure to provide a small radio as well as books from your facility’s library.

5. Afternoon Socials. Each day invite your resident to attend your afternoon socials to get a quick snack while meeting some of your permanent nursing facility residents. Remember, your rehabilitation residents may not be participating in your activities because they may feel like an outsider. By becoming familiar and learning the names of other residents, your short-term residents may decide to become more involved.

6. Family Members. Try to invite your short-term residents to attend activities when family members are present. The family members, then, may help in encouraging their loved one to attend. Also, the family members may attend the activity too, making the resident more comfortable.

7. Outspoken Residents. Try to seat your new, temporary residents around your most active residents, hoping that some of that energy will rub off on them. Your permanent residents may be able to encourage your short-term residents to join in on the fun.

8. Benefits. Remind your rehabilitation residents that staying active may help them heal quicker. After all, that is why they are at your facility – to get better so that they can return home.

Related: How to Get Your Residents to Attend Your Activities

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