With more than half of all nursing home residents suffering from depression, according to the American Geriatrics Society, most nursing homes find it essential to engage residents in activities that make them feel active and stimulated. The activities coordinator typically directs a broad range of programs and often provides activities each month that coincide with that specific time of year, such as the month of January--often considered a time of reflection and renewal. Activities should meet the needs of all residents, including those in wheelchairs or with debilitating physical or mental conditions. Staff, community members and volunteers can help carry out programs and activities.
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Hosting parties for residents with January birthdays provides entertainment and social interaction for all involved. With the help of volunteers, other residents can participate in decorating, card making and birthday cake baking. Family members and friends may often partake in the celebration.
A scrapbooking class gives residents the chance to reflect on the previous year while exploring their creativity. Residents may have fond memories and nice photographs of holidays spent with family, friends or fellow residents. In a class led by a staff member or volunteer, they can preserve photos and memorabilia in an artful manner.
Getting more exercise is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions in the United States, according to USA.gov. Nursing home activity directors can bring in volunteers to lead a yoga or other exercise session designed for seniors or those with limited mobility. If the facility provides light weight sets, some of the more active residents may benefit from mild strength training. All residents, even those in wheelchairs, can find satisfaction in regular exercise.
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