Passion and creativity are essential when designing a leisure and lifestyle program for the elderly. You need to thoroughly consider the features that will attract your clients and come up with new developments and ideas to entertain your clients.
- Their preferences and needs
- What makes them happy
- Activities that they can easily participate in
- Activities that can improve confidence and self-esteem
- Their social history
- Their spiritual beliefs
- Their role in the family
- For dementia patients, find out which stage they are at and what healthcare they are receiving
Use individual centered care where possible:
The promise of individual care helps people decide to leave their elderly at the centre for a service approach that focuses on the elements of care, support, and treatment that matter most to the patient, their family and carers. However, the level of client functioning is so varied in most assisted living facilities that it is almost impossible to cater for each and every specific need.
It is more beneficial for dementia patients to have a one-on-one attention from the staff on a regular basis. But work-related constraints may make this impossible. It is still best to make every effort to give the very best leisure and lifestyle program for aged care that your establishment could offer.
Activities in the Leisure & Lifestyle Program should ideally:
- Be significant, enjoyable and stimulating
- Compensate for lost abilities
- Boost life contentment
- Help sustain existing skills
- Be culturally perceptive
What makes a good recreational program?
The best way to prepare successful activities is to keep in mind that every activity should be potentially significant and meaningful. This can be made possible with your outlook and commitment to the client in a caring and thoughtful manner. You can also involve the use healthcare equipment for clients who have special needs. Be adaptive and involve everyone.
A good leisure & lifestyle program should include:
- Fitness exercises
- Sensory experiences
- Emotional and spiritual passages
Activities worth including in your program:
There are several various activities that were successfully tested and implemented by Recreation Therapists and Leisure Coordinators. Set up a preliminary agenda for group leisure rehabilitation and then integrate tailored activities to meet the needs of individuals. You can also collaborate with your colleagues or get insights from a recreation therapist from other facilities. You can ask about the successful activities they tried so that you can also try them. Outdoors activities are always great, as residents may not get much outdoor time. Visit a winery for lunch or go for a walk in the park.
Don’t be afraid to try:
Keep in mind that finding the appropriate activities for your clients need to go through trial and error. By testing the activities, you are able to determine which activities suit them best. You can use a weekly or monthly program template to request and monitor the expenses made in purchasing the necessary materials for the activities. Do indoor games a puzzles one week and the venture out into town the next week and visit the museums and see exhibition display services in action. Museums are usually safe and group friendly with glass showcase in place to prevent accidents.
Some great games to try:
This activity is a great tool for recollection, entertaining and encourages communication. We tried this by picking themes and then filling a shoe box with items associated with each theme.
The themes included anything that we could think of like toys, sports, seaside, etc. We included this in our activities program and got positive results. All the elderly residents started chatting, even the shy 0nes. It created an enjoyable atmosphere and they soon came up with their own thoughts to add to the boxes. When toy box was opened, one lady remarked that she used to play with old-fashioned spinning tops which worked well with a string and another remembered that skipping was a group activity girl played. Among the contents of the box were pine cones and fake holly.
Cup Stacking Game
Cup stacking is not only a good way to develop agility and hand-eye coordination, it is also a great individual or group challenge! The objective of the game is to make pyramids out of cups as quickly and neatly as you can under time pressure.
Ask contestants to put their hands face down on the table in front of their 3 piles.
Once the clock starts, they have to stack up to each pile into a pyramid using both hands.
Once all the 3 pyramids have been assembled, they must go back to where they started, dismantle each pyramid and put the cups back into 3 piles using both hands.
When they have finished they must lace their hands back on the table in front of their cups and you need to stop the clock.
- Who was the fastest in stacking up and taking down their cups?
- Whose stacks were the most orderly?