I have worked in a nursing home for over eleven years. I have a list of four activities that our residents have really enjoyed over the years.
We have a group of ladies that get together once a week and make fleece tie blankets for babies for local shelters and the local hospital. This is a great activity that makes them feel like they are still contributing to the society.
Here are instructions on how to make a tie blanket.
2 ½ yards of different fabric of fleece (usually a pattern for the front and solid for back)
1. Clear enough room on the floor so the pieces of fabric can lie flat. Allow enough space on all sides so there is room to maneuver.
2. Lay one piece of fabric down with the softer side towards the floor.
3. Lay the second piece of fabric directly on top of the first piece with the softer side facing up.
4. Flatten or smooth out the fabric so there are no wrinkles or folds.
5. If necessary, trim the pieces of fabric so they are the same length and width.
6. Make a 5-inch long cut about 5 inches in from the corner on one of the short sides. Make sure to cut through both layers of fabric.
7. Move over 1 inch and make another 5-inch long cut. This is where you begin to make the strips of fabric that will make the ties of the blanket.
Repeat Step 7 until you are 5 inches from the corner.
8. Move on to the adjacent side by making a cut to meet up with the last cut that you made. The corner piece will be cut off from the rest of the blanket.
9. Move over 1 inches and make another cut to match up with the previous cut. It should be about 5 inches long. .
Repeat Step 9until a cut is 5 inches from the next uncut corner.
10. Continue cutting around the blanket until the last cut matches up with the very first cut.
11. Take both layers from the first strip of fabric that was cut and tie them together in a knot.WARNING!!: DO NOT DO THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE CUT AROUND THE WHOLE BLANKET
12. Continue tying all the way around blanket
Another great activity that the seniors like is movie night. We choose movies that coincided with the times they grew up in. They enjoy popcorn and drinks during the movie. Some great ideas for movies are: Sound of Music, Grease, Bridges of Madison County, Steel Magnolias, and Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn.
Our nursing home now has a dog, ducks, and chickens! The residents also enjoyed a lamb for a short time. The residents love watching the chickens. It is one of their favorite pastimes to check out what they are doing! Being from a farming community, this brings back memories from the days of growing up and their years on the farm. We also have birds and goldfish.
Residents have the opportunity to plant tomatoes and flowers in designated areas of our nursing homes. They love being able to help plant, water and nurture these plants. The seniors also really enjoy getting to eat the tomatoes when they are ripe! This is a great hobby for them and they feel grateful to have something to be responsible for.