What activities and crafts are good for the elderly at a nursing home?

I just got asked to fill in for thier activities director. I am not sure where to start. I have been doing some research but not coming up with much. Could anyone help me?

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24 Responses to “What activities and crafts are good for the elderly at a nursing home?”

  1. thetiredpostman said:

    BINGO!!!!!! without a doubt

  2. lululaluau said:

    My Mum and Sister both manage “Retirement Flats” and from what they’ve said, if you can find someone who can play the piano or something, that’s a good start. Their old ladies love a good sing-song. I’m sure a lot of the elderly people there will have great sewing skills, so what about making a patchwork quilt together? If each person sews a square then everyone could get involved.

    I’ll have to ask my Mum for any more tips.

  3. spensmum said:

    Bingo always go down well with the elderly, wheelchair / chair excercises, get out the music and have a singalong. When its nice and sunny how about taking some of them out for a walk to the local park. Theres lots of things you could do.

  4. xHx said:

    my aunty used to play the piano for them

  5. Rags said:

    My Nan lives in sheltered housing and they do a lot of arts and crafts projects. They also have quiz afternoons on general knowledge. A big favourite with them was encaustic art. Abstract stuff is easier when people maybe have poorer eyesight. A history session when they all get to recall their childhood memories is another popular one.

  6. Daisyhill said:

    Bingo, card making…the sort with nice specialist papers…you could contact local singing groups to see if they’s put on a bit of a show…or you couldask the residents, their input may be valuable.

  7. becca9892003 said:

    they love to get there nails done and do stuff that the nurses with being so busy do not have the time to do..they love triva questions, puzzles and some old fashioned board games..they like to feel useful..so craft projects with cooton balls a blue arent the best ideas..this time of year maybe get some flower pots and let them start some vegtable seeds….

  8. GIS said:

    Pin the tail on the stripper goes down well at most places.

  9. matchstick said:

    Ant sorts of mind games, Chess, backgammon, quizes relating to thier youth era. card games etc. It’s been proven to enhance thier memory even though some people think they are just senile, theyr’e not they need mental as well as physical stimulation.

  10. Veronica Alicia said:

    My Mum’s cousin – who is 102 – makes all her own greetings cards.
    She does the “craft” ones and does vague painted landscape/sea scenes
    It appeals mainly, we think, because she is saving money for her old age!
    Just thought – she is very much into Family Trees and writing her memoirs too

  11. Janice B said:

    Painting, collage work, sewing seeds.
    There are special large foam balls for playing catch, armchair skittles…Giant dominoes…quiz’s….get a book on things from their era….Good Luck!

  12. songbird said:

    I was an activities co-ordinator in an old people’s home, they seemed to enjoy.
    Being taken to the park
    Trips to the coast, (as a group)
    Art – Painting and sketching
    Music, we had a singer and keyboard player come in.
    Some liked board games like chess and draughts
    Reading/having books read to them
    Playing cards
    Afternoon tea, hosted by the elderly person so they could ask people they wanted to spend time with to join them, and you sort out the refreshments for them.
    If you have the facilities cookery, pottery, and gardening are poular too.
    You may be with a totally different group of elderly people to me, those I worked with were terminally ill so options were limited.
    Ask them what they like, I had one lady who really liked watching Telly Tubbies but everyone turned it over to something more age appropriate when they went past her room. Everyone likes different things whatever their age, get to know them and you’ll know what to do.

  13. john m said:

    My father was in a nursing home and they held open days where the elderly residents had stalls where they sold soft toys they had made. they played hoopla with a portable board with pegs on it. the residents were encouraged to take it in turn to reminisce about the early years of there lives. large selections of music from there era was played in the afternoons so they could have a tea dance. Remember the elderly usually have a keen sense of humour and appreciate a bit of fun.

  14. lovely said:

    I used to volunteer at an assisted living home. I took two days a week and set up a make shift nail salon. Moisturize and polish nails they love it. Also maybe get some paints and paint or color. Bingo is a group activity that they could all join in on. You could get little figurines or candles from the dollar store for neat door prizes that they will adore. Just anything that gets them in a group for light conversation is good enough. Mostly they just want a friendly face with an open ear. A piece of light advice. Please don’t get to attached. They are wonderful people to have conversations with but, they don’t have years left and it is a painful experience to lose a friend.

  15. felineroche said:

    I have had a number of customers buying decoupage sheets for people who are in hospital for a while or completely bedridden. You just need blank cards, small sharp scissors and tiny double sided adhesive mounts and maybe a few peel off greetings so it doesn’t take up a lot of room and the cards can look stunning.

  16. nettie_lou said:

    My friends mom lives in a nursing home and enjoys crafting groups, anything from knitting, crocheting granny squares for a future quilt, making blankets for pets in homeless shelters, also she loves the pet therapy her home has… people bring in their dogs and let the elderly pet them, its good for their moral and makes them and the pet feel better. Also afternoon tea socials are a big hit. Hope this helps.

  17. worriedmum said:

    Flower arranging, jigsaws, quizzes, painting, still life drawing, singing, playing cards, bingo, knitting squares for quilts, or clothes for dolls, premature babies at the local hospital etc.

    Also make sure you ask people what they want to do. Dont assume anything, you may well be surprised at the variety of talents and interests the residents have.

  18. Jane D said:

    I teach knitting & crocheting at the local Senior Center and the ladies like making items for charity with donated yarn. Another woman teaches quilting and there’s a complete ceramics set up in the craft room. Does the nursing home have a library? Setting up book discussions would give the patients a group activity – each one could read a book and then tell the group about it. Bingo is a big favorite as are card games like euchre, pinocle & cribbage. There’s always a group working on a jigsaw puzzle too.

  19. k said:

    Chair Aerobics – the residents stay in their chairs while moving there arms and legs around

  20. Sweetgirl said:

    I consider this to be an Activity and Craft Project all together. I named it the “Secret Friends Game”. I tried this at my 7 year old nephew’s Birthday Party. It gives everybody a chance to show there creativity, make friends, and help there self-esteem by hearing a positive comment about themselves from other people. And a chance to get to know different people.

    1)Have them write there names on a piece of paper and put them in a box.

    2) Pass the box around and have them pick out a name.

    3)Have them keep there names a secret.

    4) Next, have them make a card out of construction paper, glitter, glue, ribbons etc.

    5)Then have them write a positive message about each other inside the cards.

    6)Once there done making the cards, have them give the cards to who ever their “Secret Friend” is.

    Have Fun!

  21. Harshvardhan v said:

    may be

  22. Junie Barefoot said:

    That was sort of inspiring! Completely unpredicted. Now I am aware what I am heading to do tomorrow

  23. ttanyashaln said:
  24. knagar said:


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