While elderly patients in nursing homes or hospitals may have little mobility, participation in daily activities is still important for them. As the Senior Site website points out, these patients can still enjoy social relationships and interact with what's around them, while activities give them a chance to fight back against any disabilities or ailments and help them keep their minds active.
The game of bingo--where players seek to cross out a selection of numbers on their game cards as soon as possible, by marking each off as the numbers are called out--is something of a tradition in nursing homes and social clubs for the elderly. That's because it's a universal game which requires little knowledge to play, and elderly patients can take part while seated: when a winner makes herself known, a member of staff or the game's organiser can come over to check the player's card. The Baby-boomer Care website suggests using prizes donated by members of the public to increase the fun.
The Senior Site website suggests a story or poetry meeting as part of a course of re-motivational therapy, used to reorient elderly patients to their environment. Hosting regular meetings in a nursing home's common room or a hospital's coffee room helps to promote social contact between patients, as well as with workers, volunteers and family. Each week, whoever is leading the meeting brings a written item--from a limerick to a newspaper feature--for all to read, consider and discuss.
All that's needed for this activity is some suitable clay--available from an art shop or from the Internet--and an area that can get a bit messy. You don't need to have a theme for the modelling, since the patients can make what they wish. To begin with, however, a nursing home hosting a clay modelling session might want to ask a local expert to give a talk on working with the clay. According to the Baby-boomer Caretaker website, clay modelling is a great choice of activity since it exercises the hands of patients. At the same time, it gives patients something to focus on and unleashes their creative side.
A sing-a-long or any other kind of music event is a great way to include elderly patients--by playing songs they'll have heard over their lives, they can join in with the words. Some nursing homes regularly bring in musicians and singers from the local community for this purpose, as suggested by the Senior Site website.