The best assisted living communities make it a priority to have an energetic and creative Activity Director on their staff. This individual is tasked with keeping residents busy and happy and stimulated.
A good Activity Director will continually ask residents and their loved ones for input so that the calendar is filled with a well-rounded range of assisted living activities designed to engage residents of all different abilities and interests. Activities should also reflect residents' own interests as community members.
Assisted living activities are important for more than just fun and games, though. One study of more than 5,500 participants aged 65 or older concluded that stimulating leisure activities were significantly associated with a reduced risk of dementia.
Putting a smile on residents' faces is not too hard with a fun mix of activities--something we strive to achieve at all of our communities in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Activities don't have to be expensive or complicated. Here are six of our favorite ideas for creative assisted living activities:
Throw a southern barbecue party! Have everyone dress like they are spending the day at a vacation resort on the beach, fire up the smoker, and get ready for a feast! Recently, our Oakwood Senior Living community in Knoxville, Tennessee, had a blast when they held a "Family Night Backyard BBQ" for residents and their families--complete with live music!
Related: Meet the BBQ Doctor
Concert Under the Stars
Beautiful summer weather brings the ability to invite residents outside to a common area and put on a live music concert. At our communities, we like to reach out to local artists who play music in the styles our residents enjoy. Serve snacks, cookies, punch, and wine (if allowed in the assisted living residence) to snack on in between bouts of hitting the dance floor!
Arts and Craft Fair
Many seniors enjoy arts and crafts of various kinds--sewing, woodcarving, painting, drawing, and scrapbooking are all good examples. Further, many assisted living residents are familiar with community festivals and fairs where handcrafted items could be purchased.
Why not help foster residents' sense of purpose by creating an arts and crafts fair right in their own community? Everyone can display their work and even barter or sell the crafts they have created.
Help your residents bring back fond memories of family picnics from their youth. Bring the picnic to your community, and get residents outside for a delicious lunch. Help achieve the perfect ambiance by using shade umbrellas (if there is not already natural shade in the area) and red-checked tablecloths.
This idea might appeal more to male residents--but then again, many women love cars, too! Hold a fun "car talk" night where residents can talk about their favorite cars and share their favorite "car memories." Parking at drive-ins, anyone?
Pizza and Comedy Movie Night
Pick a classic comedy movie to show and bring in pizzas for everyone to enjoy. If your community does not have a theater big enough for seating most of your residents, schedule more than one movie night. Alternatively, take interested residents out to see a funny movie and stop for pizza before or after.
When seeking a senior living community for your loved one, talk to the Activity Director on staff and check out the community calendar to make sure that lots of assisted living activities are available. Make sure to share your loved one's favorite activities with staff, so they can use that information to help plan future activities!
Shape the Experience
Assisted living and independent living communities often come with stereotypes that your loved one might be wary of. However, there are many chances for rewarding and positive experiences, which activities play a big part of.
We encourage you and your loved one to contact us today to schedule a no obligation tour of one of our communities. By taking a tour, you and your loved one have the chance to ask important questions and learn more about what assisted living is really like.
Don't miss the chance to learn how we've combined world-class care with the best practices in senior living.