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101 THINGS TO DO… Other than Watchin g the Televis ion! PRIME LIFE LIMITED “THE CARE PROVIDERS” The residential care home industry has attracted a poor image of elderly clients sitting in armchairs around the walls of the lounges, with the TV being the main focus, an unfortunate vision but one common to outsiders, and for those of us involved within the industry we probably do not fairly deserve. Our clients are individuals, they have history and our care plans should pick up on their past interests, and it is our responsibility wherever possible to encourage the clients to continue their interests, and perhaps to develop some new ones, in this way we can ensure that our care is all encompassing, focusing not only on the well-being of the individual physically but also in positively stimulating their mental state. There are a number of words and key objectives with regard to any social programme, they perhaps include fun and enjoyment, an opportunity to reflect over past activities and to discover new, to develop a physical and mental well-being, for the activities to be rewarding and satisfying, and could probably be described as an opportunity for people to play together and to enjoy quality time. A good programme will offer opportunities for all, individual interests and group activities, assisted by not just a paid activities organiser, but involving all members of the staff group, relatives and representatives from the community alike. Within this booklet we have identified 101 activities to be explored, we must give due regard to our clients, their ability, some clients may prefer activities of a short duration and of a simple nature, whilst others may prefer more complex interests of a longer term nature, but within the list we have included something for everyone. Before embarking upon the programme, there are 5 key steps to ensure its success, they are as follows:- Decide on a programme leader, give them authority and your support Assess the available resource, the people to be involved, the premises, the transport and the available finance Publicise the programme and seek help, volunteers and contributions from all Start off with easy activities and be prepared to build on early success Keep the programme under review, keep it fresh, retain peoples interests The goal is quite simple, a well provided for programme will offer enjoyment and satisfaction to the clients, they will be easier to care for, with an involved staff group they will too benefit, encourage volunteers and look for the smiles of enjoyment and satisfaction on everyone’s faces. Page 2 1 A TO Z QUIZ Using the alphabet, determine a category; fruit and veg, football teams, race courses or musical instruments, and think of an item starting with every letter of the alphabet. As an example for fruit…A is for Apple…B is for Banana…C is for Cherry…D is for Date…etc. A simple quiz, competitive, ideal for a lounge activity. 2 SENSORY QUIZ On a tray place 6 food items or herbs, for example sugar, salt, orange, lemon etc, blindfold the participants and ask them to identify the taste or smell. A simple lounge style quiz, designed to test and develop the senses 3 TOPICAL NEWS With the benefit of the daily paper, over morning coffee read out the key headlines, encourage the group to discuss the news, offer their views and express their opinions. For a more adventurous version, all newspapers provide back copies, why not try the same exercise with a 25 year old newspaper. 4 TREASURE HUNT In the home or in the garden hide 6 Cadbury cream eggs, and invite the residents to find them, a competitive event that encourages mobility. 5 CARD GAMES An old favourite but so simple, a pack of cards, 4 residents at a table, from a simple game of snap to a more complex game of Bridge. Once established the clients will probably meet frequently and repeat the game. 6. BOARD GAMES Everyone can play draughts, chess is more complicated, but again a table with 4 clients, enjoyment for all. Prime Life Limited Page 3 7 NOUGHTS &CROSSES Either a small group with paper and pencils, or a large group split into two teams, decide where the noughts and crosses should go, a good competitive game, enjoyment for all. 8 JENGA Available from all good toy shops, a series of wooden blocks that are stacked, but then the participants have to remove. Encourages dexterity, competitive, and if you do not have a game, a milk bottle with matchsticks on top will suffice. 9 INDOOR BOWLS Call it bowls or skittles, the equipment is available from most good sports shops, and is an ideal activity on the lounge carpet on a rainy day. 10 GOLF Someone who works or visits the home plays golf, borrow a putter and some balls, place an upturned saucer on the lounge carpet a n d you have the makings of an indoor activity. 11 MUSICAL MOVEMENT A radio, tape player or DVD player, simple music with a regular beat and a staff member to encourage armchair activity. Encourages healthy movement and develops a sense of rhythm 12 BAKING Ask your cook to bring the ingredients suitable to bake a cake in the dining room, invite residents to participate, to mix the ingredients, to talk of their past recipes, and the cook and clients alone will learn. As a benefit, everyone eats beautiful homemade cakes for tea. 13 PANCAKES Ready made pancakes, start off with a tossing competition, afterwards fill them with all sorts of interesting sweet and savoury fillings, and enjoy their consumption. Page 4 14 WHERE WERE YOU? ? Pick a significant date, 22nd November 1963 was the day 1 931 that President Kennedy was assassinated, everyone 1940 knows where they were on the date, ask them to talk ? of their experience. ? A good reminiscence experience and an easy event to provide 1 977 15 TEA DANCE Push the dining room tables to the outside walls, clearing a dance floor in the middle of the room, serve an interesting tea with some background music and invite the clients and staff to dance. 16 MAKE-UP Your home provides substantial business for your local pharmacy, who also have stocks of make-up and perhaps sales representatives. In return for the prescription business ask the chemist to send along one of their staff with some sample make- ups, and let the ladies enjoy the experience. 17 PEDICURE / MANICURE A good one on one activity, sit with the clients, trim their finger nails and toe nails, and perhaps encourage some gentle foot massage and similar. 18 TRAVEL SHOW A few colourful brochures from your local travel agent, sit with the client group, discuss where they have been and allow them to reminisce. 19 OH YES...IT’S BINGO! Everyone enjoys a game of bingo, if you have not got the cards simply write down the clients date of birth and pull the numbers out of the hat. 20 KARAOKE Most modern DVD players have a karaoke facility and everyone enjoys a sing-a-long. Prime Life Limited Page 5 21 THE LONGEST APPLE PEEL A traditional old English seasonal sport, each person has an apple and a knife, who can produce the longest continuous apple peel? 22 BARBECUE On a sunny day take the main midday meal outside as a barbecue, encourage the staff to join the clients, enjoy alfresco eating. 23 WINE TASTING Two or three bottles of wine from the local supermarket, red and white, northern and southern hemisphere, blindfold the participants, can you guess the colour? 24 CONKERS An autumn activity, collect the conkers, provide the string, a simple good old fashioned conker fight. 25 PEN FRIENDS Everyone likes to receive a letter, twin with another care home and encourage your clients to write to each other, share experiences and make new friends. 26 STRAWBERRY PICKING, JAM MAKING & CREAM TEA With the use of your minibus, take a group of clients to the strawberry fields, pick the strawberries, eat a few and return home. With the strawberries you have picked, together with the cook make it into strawberry jam, and once you have made the jam why not sit back at teatime and enjoy the results of your efforts by having a Cream Tea. 27 GARDEN CLUB Encourage your gardener to involve the clients in the garden activities, what has been planted and the different species growing within the garden. Page 6 28 SUNFLOWERS Obtain some sunflower seeds, some paper cups, allow the clients to plant them and water them and watch them grow, a winner will need planting out in the garden and will become 6ft high. 29 HAIRDRESSING The clients have to have their hair washed, why not encourage some creativity by asking your hairdresser to consider different styles and sets, develop a sense of interest in this essential function. 30 PHOTOGRAPHY A simple cheap throwaway camera, let the clients take pictures of each other and produce a collage. 31 MODEL MAKING We made them as children, but they are also for adults, every good toy shop has a selection of models to be made. 32 SUNBATHING Be careful, elderly clients can have sensitive skin, and some medications increase sensitivity to sunlight, but why not move some furniture outdoors and enjoy the sunnier days. 33 LIBRARY You may have a visiting mobile library, some clients may wish to attend the local library and some may simply wish to swap books, bring them together at coffee time and find out their wishes. 34 HEALTHY LIVING Your local district nurse who visits the home frequently, over coffee and they can give a talk on healthy living and simple ways on how the clients can participate. 35 RECYCLING The Kyoto agreements suggest we should all become more aware of this issue, including the clients, let the clients sort the household refuse, paper, bottles etc and let them take it to the recycling station. Prime Life Limited Page 7 36 CHARADES A good all time favourite, film book or song, pick the titles and let the clients act it out. 37 FLOWER ARRANGING Regrettably care homes have strong relationships with local undertakers, give them a ring, they have masses of flowers that they dispose of, ask for them, remove the labels and make them available to the clients to make arrangements for their bedrooms. 38 A BET ON THE HORSES With the benefit of the morning paper, a favourite horse, in the afternoon television, nip to the bookies, place a small bet, sit back and win your fortune. 39 CROSSWORDS With the same morning newspaper after lunch, sit down with the clients and attempt the crossword. 40 ORIGAMI The Japanese word for paper folding, good fun, encourages dexterity, simple to organise. 41 KNITTING CIRCLE / CROCHET Everyone has balls of unwanted wool at home, a few knitting needles, a few willing participants and hours of enjoyment. Crochet is a simpler form of knitting, ask your residents and relatives, someone has the equipment, an enjoyable way to entertain your clients. 42 SURF THE NET You probably have a computer, access the internet, how many clients would appreciate being introduced to same. 43 WALK THE DOG Someone has a suitable dog of the right temperament, bring it into the home, stroke it, walk it, throw the ball for it, fun for all. Page 8 44 FOOTBALL CRAZY Most homes have a local football team, most football grounds are wheelchair friendly, why not give them a ring and see if they would entertain interested clients who wish to attend. 45 A COUNTRY DRIVE Using the minibus venture off into the country, steal some daffodils from the roadside, see the lambs in the field, stop off at the local greasy spoon for a cup of tea. 46 CINEMA Visit your local video shop, videos and DVD’s are abundant, play them in the afternoon, serve ice creams, create your own cinema. 47 EXPRESSION THROUGH COLOUR Simple pack of crayons or watercolours and paper, let the clients create their own masterpiece, remember colours often determine mood, black could be associated with depression, red with excitement and blues and greens with a sense of calm. 48 SHOVE HALFPENNY An old English pub game, a table top, draw several lines, a few two pence pieces, can you knock them to finish between the lines? 49 DOMINOES Very popular particularly with the elderly client group, a simple pack of dominoes, a small group of clients, an enthusiastic staff member and an afternoons enjoyment. 50 BIRD WATCHING How many different species of birds can you see from the windows of your care home, encourage everyone to observe and keep a list of your findings. The RSPB are currently carrying out surveys and would love to hear from you. 51 TABLE SKITTLES Available from most good toy shops, an excellent activity for a rainy afternoon. Prime Life Limited Page 9 52 THEATRE Your local amateur dramatic society will probably attend your home and provide a short review, an excellent early evening activity. 53 DUCKS ON THE POND Your local park probably has a pond inhabited by ducks, the cook has stale bread, why not go and feed the ducks. 54 LOTTERY CARDS How many of your clients are gamblers, for a pound an interesting way of spicing up a Saturday evening. 55 LOCAL CHURCHES Ring the local vicars, they will attend the home to provide services and communion, and very much more. 56 SWIMMING Most modern swimming baths are adapted to provide facilities for the elderly and disabled, why not ring them and see what they have to offer? 57 SEWING Your laundress repairs garments, your clients probably have much skill, ask the laundress to involve the clients. 58 FORMAL DINNERS Pick a Sunday lunch or a special meal, offer sherry beforehand and wine with the meal, and ask the clients to dress for the meal, a little more formal but an enjoyable challenge for all. 59 SOAPS Most clients have a favourite, Coronation Street, Eastenders or what about the Archers on Radio 4, encourage clients to watch and listen together and discuss the plot. Page 10 60 REMINISCENCE OBJECTS Your local museum, relatives may have old memorabilia that you can sit and discuss over coffee, perhaps an old ration book, an antique, an old football programme, anything that encourages people to reminisce. 61 EYE SPY Such a simple one, “eye spy with my little eye, something beginning with…?” 62 HOROSCOPES Using the morning paper invite people to look at their horoscope, see what the day has in store. 63 PASS THE PARCEL Some simple sweets or similar from the local shop, wrap them up several times, pass them around the lounge, stopping the music and inviting the holder to unwrap. 64 EGG PAINTING Hard boiled eggs, some simple felt tip pens, or some water colour paints, paint the Fabergé egg of your choice. 65 JIGSAWS Everyone has one, put a jigsaw on the lounge table and invite everyone to have a go. 66 THEMED MEALS Remember the important days, perhaps the Saints days, St Patrick’s, St David’s, St Andrew’s, and ask the cook to cook a menu of that theme, and don’t forget to add the drinks. 67 CAR BOOT SALE / EBAY Find the local car boot sale, take clients to view same, or for the adventurous instead of an autumn fair, fill the minibus full of items and go and sell them and raise funds to support your programme. The electronic version of the above, collect the unwanted items and go on the net. Prime Life Limited Page 11 68 NAME THAT TUNE A simple tape player or DVD player, play the first few bars, ask the clients to name that tune. 69 FARM PARK Whether you have a farm park or a local farmer, pick the time of the year, see the lambs being reared, the crops being harvested, most local farmers will happily entertain you. 70 CHOIR Your local church and schools have a choir, they have to practice, why not invite them to practice in front of your clients. 71 GARDEN CENTRE Your local garden centre is well worth a visit, and if you ring them beforehand they may even have some cheap or unwanted seedlings that your clients can cultivate. 72 SHOPPING A simple trip to the local shops to buy some personal items, or a trip around the local supermarket, they probably have a restaurant, enjoy a cup of tea. 73 CASINO A few card games, the role of the dice, give all participants some monopoly money, who will become the millionaire? 74 TABLE DECORATIONS At Easter and at Christmas a few items from the garden, pine cones, logs and similar, a little glitter, an afternoons work making some decorations for the table. 75 CRICKET Whether it is a local county team or a school team, an afternoon watching the cricket match will be well enjoyed by all. Page 12 76 SING-A-LONG A relative with a good voice, or perhaps a resident, why not consider a sing-a-long and create your own choir. 77 ON THE WATER Somewhere near you is a canal, a river or a lake that probably has a boat that will offer trips, often wheelchair adapted, enjoy the experience. 78 POTATO PRINTS A few potatoes, cut them in half, use a blunt knife to form a stencil, a little ink, spend the afternoon printing your own designs. 79 CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS Ask everyone to save their old Christmas cards, cut the prominent features into small shapes, the rear is blank, you have abundant gift tags for next Christmas. 80 PLASTICINE SCULPTURE A simple pack of Plasticine, let the clients develop sculptures, Plasticine is re- usable, encourages creative thought and dexterity. 81 SIMPLE SIMON Perhaps not politically correct, but a staff member performing simple, easy activities, encouraging the clients to follow suit, an encouraging and competitive exercise. 82 A PINT IN THE PUB There is one on every street corner, a local pub, why not encourage the clients to take a stroll down and enjoy an early evening drink, a pleasant experience and make some new friends. 83 LOCAL MARKET A stroll round the local market is an interesting eye opening experience for all. 84 A TEST OF WILLPOWER A pack of fruit gums, give one to every resident, can you resist the temptation to chew. Prime Life Limited Page 13 85 EATING OUT Many local pubs and restaurants offer excellent value half price meals on weekdays to pensioners, two for the price of one, why not find out what is available in your area. 86 MUSEUMS Most museums have a very low cost or free entry, when did you last explore yours? 87 FIRE DRILL Every home is covered by a local fire station, invite them to visit your home, the clients get a better understanding as to who will attend in the event of fire, the fireman an insight into the client group and the building, and the care staff get to meet the burley fireman! 88 WHO’S A PRETTY BOY? Purchase a pet, a simple budgerigar or goldfish provides hours of entertainment and someone for whom the residents can care. 89 WRONGFUL ARREST Most homes have a beat bobby, invite him into the home, meet the clients, offers a sense of security and interesting conversation. 90 CHANGING ROOMS Frequently the care homes are redecorated, invite the decorator to discuss colour schemes with the clients, and create their own design. 91 HELLO / OK MAGAZINES Glossy colourful coffee table magazines, interesting pictures and articles of famous people, an excellent discussion document for a coffee morning. 92 WHAT’S IN THE BOX? Simple household objects placed in a box, one resident is allowed to feel, and then has to describe without naming the object to others. 93 POLISH THE BRASS Ask the home cleaner to bring into the lounge any brass or copper objects, and spend a leisurely half hour inviting the clients to help clean same. Page 14 94 ROTARY CLUB You have a local one, they have many members, ask them if a member would come along and give a talk on their profession or hobby. 95 A TRIP TO THE MERCHANTS Your maintenance man has a van with an empty passenger seat, when fetching materials, is there a resident who would enjoy a trip to the builders merchants, and perhaps even a bacon butty at the local greasy spoon. 96 LAYING THE TABLES Some clients want to be active, a nicely laid table is a delight to sit at, why not invite the clients to join in. 97 POSTMAN The clients post arrives together, why not invite a client to become a postman, to sort and distribute. 98 WHEELCHAIR SLALOM Using a wheelchair, with the clients as passengers and blindfolded carers, negotiate your way around the obstacles in the lounge, test your communication driving skills. 99 BEER MAKING Available from most good chemists, a simple home beer making pack, enjoyable to make and even more to drink 100 PRESSING DRIED FLOWERS On the trips into the countryside, or walks around the garden, pick suitable flowers, wrap in kitchen towel and press between books, and start the homes own collection 101 THE MOST OBVIOUS OF ALL! Invite your clients to form a committee, to decide upon and promote social activities and take back control and ownership of their own activities. Prime Life Limited Page 15 There is something for everyone within the programme, a small investment initially will pay massive dividends in time. Your clients may have differing levels of ability, but with enthusiasm their abilities will be increased, activities should be safe but also exciting, participation is perhaps more important than success. GOOD LUCK… ENJOY YOUR SOCIAL PROGRAMME Prime Life Limited Caenarvon House 121 Knighton Church Road Leicester LE2 3JN Phone: 0116-270-5678 Fax: 0116-270-2318 E-mail: email@example.com
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