Unique Activities for Seniors to Keep Them Well at Nursing Homes

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Who says nursing homes aren’t fun? While it may feel lonely, especially when residents miss their families, activity directors come to the rescue to boost mood, play games, facilitate group activities, and more.

It’s similar to staying at home, wherein not every day is bright and sunny. But nursing home residents have professionals looking after them 24/7. These long-term care facilities aim to help the families of their residents that cannot commit to all-around care due to work, family setups, location, and more.

Nursing home activities vary, depending on the interests of the residents or the availability of expert facilitators. However, many facilities put up birthday parties, regular bible study, and other religious services and facilitate group games for seniors, like playing bingo and word searches. The limited activities program and common mental stimulation tasks to encourage residents to participate have brought a negative connotation to nursing homes in the past.

Admittedly, nursing homes struggled to come up with physical and mental health nursing home activity and routines that promote mental stimulation and psychosocial well-being while providing exercise and play to residents of these long-term care facilities.

Consequently, the struggle in the past brought about innovative activities for seniors that residents find engaging and enjoyable. It’s not surprising to see residents of assisted living facilities these days participate in read-aloud games, watch movies online, have video chats with family and loved ones, or sing along to karaoke.

According to experts, nursing homes have now understood that the nursing home activities previously enjoyed no longer interest most of the residents. So, it prompted them to focus on coming up with nursing home activities to improve the residents’ lives rather than merely filling their time.

Many facilities adjusted the activities for nursing home residents during the pandemic. They assisted the seniors and elderly residents of the facility to stay connected to their families. They introduced them to gadgets, and most of these technologies remain in use even after the effects of the pandemic have subsided.

Here’s a look at the top activities done by nursing home residents to keep them well inside and out.

Customized Activities for the Seniors in Assisted Living Residences

Every home care nursing facility has an expert responsible for designing physical activities, one-on-one activities, engaging activities programs, and other fun events to cater to the different interests of the residents. This is necessary because every person, young or elderly, defines a fantastic activity differently.

For this purpose, a nursing home assesses the resident’s capabilities, interests, ideas of fun, and even their favorite flavor of ice cream. The facilitators at nursing homes consider everything before laying the line-up of activities. This will ensure that all programs will cater to the interests of all residents.

For example, suppose the facility learns that most of the elderly residents enjoy activities program related to planting or getting fresh air. In that case, they will include gardening in their list of activities.

They may form a group of gardeners in the nursing home and encourage participants to ask fellow residents to join.

Active vs. Passive Activities in Nursing Home Facilities

Whether the activities are passive or active, the more important thing that a nursing home considers is the interests of all its elderly residents.

Some elderly residents, especially those with limited mobility or physical weaknesses, would rather do passive activities in nursing homes. They include watching television, playing bingo, or watching the performances of invited guests.

Nursing home experts follow up on these passive activities with group discussions. They invite each resident to participate and talk about what they have watched and what they think about it.

This is a sample of a memory care activity that is good for the residents’ mental health, psychosocial well-being, and overall well-being. By encouraging these seniors to give their opinions, they get more from the activities, enhancing the experience.

On the other hand, being active doesn’t only mean traditional games involving physical activity. Many facilities are now introducing technology-driven active programs, such as virtual reality (VR).

For example, in one nursing home, elderly residents were taught how to use VR. A group of them experienced it and huddled after to discuss the experience. Then, they planned when the next VR activity would be.

Therapeutic Cooking

Another good physical activity for elderly residents at nursing homes is therapeutic cooking. While other seniors prefer baking bread and cookies or eating ice cream, most of these residents enjoy measuring and mixing ingredients.

Any activity involving the kitchen makes many elderly residents feel reminiscent of their younger lives. Instead of focusing on the bad, they talk about the experiences to themselves with fond memories.

Some nursing home facilities even invite known chefs to cook with their elderly residents. It’s a great activity they enjoy doing as a group and have fun sharing what they have prepared and cooked after.

Musical Activities

Nursing home facilities often invite choirs, performers, or family members of their residents to sing or play musical instruments. These seniors have fun singing or listening to the performers play.

Hometown Touring

Most seniors living in a certain nursing home live around or near the area. This is why hometown touring is considered a great activity. It gives them a sense of how’s life in their hometown today. They get a peek at what has changed or even reminisce about their lives before.

This activity encourages elderly residents to participate, including those with limited mobility. It’s easy and comfortable since they only need to hop on a van or bus that will drive them around town.

Art Therapy

Aside from brain games and board games, many seniors in assisted living facilities love spending time doing art. Nursing homes make it more fun by allowing the residents to do their artwork while enjoying wine and cheese.

Additionally, facilitators sometimes give these elderly residents blank canvasses. Then, they play classical music before asking the residents to start painting.

Some facilities also invite art therapists to encourage residents to participate in one-on-one sessions. They sometimes take these seniors to museums or art venues where they display their works.


Every resident has differences in the physical activity or extent of exercises they can do. Nursing home facilities only want what’s best for their residents’ lives. So they adapt the activities based on what they can do.

Many nursing homes have experts handling low-impact exercises for elderly residents. They include walking, yoga or wheelchair yoga, tai chi or chair chi, Zumba, and aquatic therapy. They tweak the physical activity done by each resident.

For example, if a resident has high blood pressure, they will ask them to do minimal physical tasks. But other residents who are active can participate in the more challenging exercises.


This activity is among the top favorites in many nursing home facilities. They often invite botanical experts to assist residents in planting and potting. It’s a fun experience for everyone. The best thing about gardening is that it gives these residents something to look forward to each day. And that is the continuous growth of the plants, so they make sure to take care of them every day.

Movie Night

Residents are encouraged to watch anything and all movie genres, including sexy films. Experts agree that these seniors do not have to suppress such longings after entering a nursing home. They watch and enjoy films and participate in movie discussions after.

Family Get-Together

Despite the loaded activities in nursing homes that boost residents’ health, nothing can beat family visits and get-togethers. Nursing homes provide residents and their families with separate spaces, especially when celebrating special occasions like holidays and birthdays.

Nursing homes allow the families of their residents to drive them nearby, take photos, and spend quality time. 

Why Choose RC Caregivers as Your Home Nursing Agency?

If you are still in doubt about whether to put your elderly parents in a nursing facility or not, we’re here to help. Talk to us at RC Caregivers. We’re among Singapore’s best home nursing agencies with years of experience making seniors’ lives comfortable, safe, and fun.

Joshua is the founder of RC Caregivers. Having been the primary caregiver of his father, he has been undertaking ways to provide affordable and quality care, not just to his father, but to all elderly in Singapore. He has founded multiple care companies, such as Red Crowns Senior Living, and has been featured in Straits Times, Zaobao and Money 93FM. He has also been lauded by DBS, with the company being the recipient of the DBS foundation grant.
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