How-To Articles

How to Provide Meaningful Bedside
Senior Activities

Even if a resident is bedridden, there are still fun and meaningful activities that you can provide for them.

By planning ahead, you can provide more meaningful activities for your bedridden residents. Here are a few quick tips to remember when planning:

1. Keep an activity container in the resident’s room to be used during room visits. Create an activity container full of various activity items of interest to the resident. Fill the container with favorite books, trivia questions and answers (which can be downloaded), and other objects of interest like a mini photo album. Encourage those doing room visits, like staff, volunteers, and family members, to use items in the container during their visits with the resident. Even ask family members to add items to the container that they think their loved one would enjoy.

2. Have the resident pick the time for bedside activities. In order for bedside activities to be successful, the resident must be interested in participating. Be sure to recruit volunteers to do room visits during times in which the resident will be able to participate the most. Encourage the resident to help set a schedule as to what is a good time for them.

3. Include the resident in your main activities. Don’t forget to include the resident in your large group activities. For example, drop off a piece of the apple pie made during your baking activity that the resident can sample, tie a few balloons to your resident’s bedpost that are left from your monthly birthday party, or even teach the resident some of the new exercises that are being taught in your facility’s exercise class. In addition, once per month, invite one of your mobile musical entertainers (i.e., an entertainer who uses a guitar or sings without the piano) to do room visits instead of performing in your Activity Room for a large group of residents.

4. Make a visually stimulating craft with your resident at least once per week. Make a fun craft with your resident, even if your resident cannot assist, that can be hung easily in your resident’s room for visual stimulation. Plan to make a new hanging craft once per week, like a sun catcher or seasonal mobile, that can replace the old craft.

5. Have resident meetings in your resident’s room. If the resident is cognitively able, have some of your facility’s club meetings in your resident’s room. For example, if your resident enjoys singing, invite a few members of the Choir Club to practice in your resident’s room.

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