Action Tips: No More Bingo! Non-Lame Things to Do with Seniors at a Nursing Home

Take an elderly woman for a walk
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If you want to help out at a nursing home, ditch the tired card games for once and try out some new activities.

Capture Stories

Go around and write down or record memories from residents. Their stories can around a theme like:

  • Your favorite memories of grade school.
  • The best first date you ever went on.
  • Where you were during a major world event (i.e. Pearl Harbor)

Make a booklet from the stories and distribute copies for residents to read. It'll make entertaining reading for everyone.

Put on a Talent Show

Consider bringing in friends to show off their artistic talents. Performers could:

  • dance ballet
  • make balloon animals
  • sing
  • do magic tricks
  • act out a scene from an old movie (i.e. Casablanca)

Bring In Your Pets

The presence of pets is good for a person's health. Bring in your cat or dog to the home for a visit with the seniors. Just remember:

  • obtain the approval of the home's administration
  • survey which residents are allergic or simply don't want to see the animals when they come
  • only bring pets that are well trained and enjoy large amounts of people

Host a Game Show

Bingo is so last century (which we're sure the senior citizens remember all too well). Instead, host a game show between two teams. As the host, you could:

  • Play a clip of a song and see which team can name first.
  • Quiz two opponents about the personalities of the other residents in the home (i.e. "What is Mildred's favorite type of food?")
  • Challenge three teams to guess the missing letters in a displayed word or phrase, kind of like a certain TV show with a wheel...