What Are the Recommended Activities for Older People Living in the Nursing Homes?

Most elderly people who live in nursing homes still have the chance to develop their quality of life by means of joining some exciting physical and mental activities. These activities will help them in maintaining their self-confidence and self-worth.

Providing daily or weekly activities for the elderly is a biggest challenge to all nursing home staff. They have to link the activity to the personality of their residents. However, encouraging depressed senior citizens or those with low self-esteem to join the activities is the hardest part.

Nursing home staff should conduct a therapeutic activity so that the elderly people can benefit from it. In this article, we will give you the list of the recommended activities for older people living in nursing homes.

nursing homesCounselling
Talking to the elder residents one by one is recommended. Nursing home staff should assess their residents about their physical and emotional status. This activity is helpful since you will know what activities they want. Senior citizens living in nursing homes have a very low self-worth since they think they are already forgotten by their loved ones. Simply talking to them will help them develop their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

Early Morning Group Exercise
Early group exercise is the best morning activity for senior citizens. It includes stretching, mild bouncing and kicking. Exercise provides better mental stimulation and physical activity to the elder residents. It also prevents them from having heart and lung problems. Nursing home staff can also utilize gaming consoles such as xbox Kinect or Wii as an exercise tool for people who are in wheel-chairs.

Art activities
Painting is known to be the best mental activity. It helps elderly people think actively. By doing this activity, senior residents are prevented from other mental disorder such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Painting can also relieve series of arthritis attack.

Agricultural activities
Older people are known to be good at this activity. They like to grow plants, trees, flowers in pots. Although some of the residents can no longer do this activity due to sickness. This activity promotes better mental stimulation and muscle activity.

Music Therapy
Music has the capability to uplift the mood and spirit of every person. Nursing homes should include this in their daily activity since it promotes mood relaxation. Residents can also sing and play music together since it promote bond and comfort to one another.

Activities in Nursing Homes

nursing homeSupplying nursing home residents with stimulating and engaging activities is an integral part of enhancing their quality of life. Managing directors, nurses, and therapists need suggestions for various kinds of activities which will satisfy the various needs of those within their care. Activities aren’t all bingo and watching television. Actually, activity programs can be very creative which stimulates the resident’s mind. And also the health and well-being advantages of a great program are becoming a lot more important.

The greatest challenge for just about any activity coordinator is matching the best activity to every resident’s physical and cognitive abilities. Leisure practitioners should also work carefully using their nursing staff to select an activity that will be most advantageous for the needs of every individual resident. Activities can be achieved individually or perhaps in groups if your particular activity is appropriate for the residents.

The following activities can be included in the existing activities in a nursing home facility. 

Exercises: This may include gentle calisthenics which are modified towards the residents’ physical abilities. Bouncing, throwing and kicking beach balls offer physical activity and mental stimulation. For instance, wheel chair-bound residents may still manage to use their arms to simulate actions like moving a bowling ball or swinging a baseball softball bat.

Gardening: This activity is seeing revival in recognition. Some residents might enjoy growing herbal plants inside a window garden or planting flowers in containers. Given that many residents cannot do it on their own, so staff must be able to assist them.

Games and Handcrafts

Simple games that are suitable to their physical ability and age can have a positive effect on the residents’ health. Indoor games specifically board games are healthy past times and great mental stimulants. Handcrafting can also be included in the set of activities to be offered to the residents.

Threats of Understaffed Nursing Homes

nursinghomeMany nursing home facilities are extremely understaffed that they might be endangering the welfare of the patients; this is according to a report by federal health authorities. The report suggests more stringent recommendations that will require thousands of nursing facilities to employ more nurses and nurses’ aides.

According to several studies, under-staffing in nursing homes has led to many issues in patient’s condition like severe bedsores, abnormal weight loss, and malnutrition. It is, of course, hard to maintain the welfare of the seniors if a facility lacks manpower. It has been reported that a huge amount of patients have developed life-threatening infections that could have been avoided if there is proper staffing. 

The US government has already made several vital steps to resolve the issue. It suggests new federal standards to ensure that patients receive no less than two hours of care every day from nursing aides, amongst other things, there must be sufficient amount of nurses and other health professional within the facility. The research states that 54 % of nursing facilities presently fall underneath the suggested minimum standard. This is very threatening, given that it may endanger the life of the senior.

Studies suggest that patients receive only a minimum of 12 minutes each day of care from nurses. Presently, 31 percent of nursing facilities don’t meet that standard amount of nurses. Though the government has intentions in resolving the problem, it is still impossible for the government to propose minimum staffing recommendations since they were supplying insufficient subsidies under Medicare insurance and State Medicaid programs. Many senior care authorities explained that it is also hard to attract and retain good employees because of the status of the economy. Making the job appealing for nurses and developing a program will increase the quality of healthcare service that our seniors will receive in a nursing home. 

Care Lapses in Nursing Homes

Eight Connecticut nursing homes have been penalized by the state Department of Public Health for lapses in proper care. On Nov. 7, Beacon Brook Health Center in Naugatuck was penalized $2,180 in relation to a citizen who passed away May 23 of cardiopulmonary arrest and a bowel impediment, DPH records show. DPH discovered that the house’s healthcare record did not indicate that an abdominal evaluation was done on May 23 after the citizen reported of feeling sick and a stomachache on May 22. Also, healthcare records did not indicate that a doctor had seen the citizen after May 21 and the home did not have a policy about stomach tests. On May 23, the citizen was discovered without a pulse and CPR was started. The citizen passed away after paramedics came and took over the CPR.

In a similar case, a Beacon Brook citizen with congestive heart failure incorrectly was not given drugs for fluid retention and no excess weight factors were mentioned in the resident’s history that would have activated a doctor’s notice. The citizen gained nine pounds between July 10 and July 21 and was put in the medical center for difficulty breathing and liquid excess. DPH discovered that the drug was mentioned in a doctor’s purchase but not in the drugs history, so the elderly care facility ceased providing it to the citizen on July 9. The citizen spent five days in the medical center.

nursing_homesBeacon Brook’s manager, Betty Garcia, said that the occurrences happened before she took over, so she could not comment. On Nov. 6, Manchester Manor Health Care Center was penalized $2,250 in connection with two occurrences, including one on May 29, when a nurse’s assistance had left a citizen in a bathroom, heard a thump and then discovered the citizen on his or her legs with a deep cut on the temple. The cut required five stitches to close and personnel discovered that the assistance had breached a safety rule at the nursing home by leaving the citizen alone.

A health professional was observed on Oct. 30 providing a citizen with Alzheimer’s disease coffee without a lid in breach of a doctor’s order that the citizen be given a lid on all hot drinks. State records show the citizen had been burnt off on the hip and legs Aug. 2 and on the stomach on Oct. 2, after dropping hot coffee that was provided without a lid. Administrator Jane Ellen Gaudette said the staff has been retrained since the occurrences and the property is in full conformity with state guidelines. These lapses in care, although minor can have very relevant effects in nursing homes.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Dilemma

For family members across Kansas and Missouri, struggling to choose the right service to take care of an aging beloved with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, an important aspect of the decision is understanding the differences between nursing homes and assisted living. It is a dilemma Mitzi McFatrich deals with every day as the executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a non-profit advocacy organization assisting elderly care service residents and or their family members. “There are so many of us that are aging and a large number of those individuals are going to have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” she said. “How are we going to fulfill their care needs?”

nursing_homesPeople often mix up nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but the two are not exactly the same. A nursing home provides health care to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, with RNs on-site eight hours a day. In Missouri and Kansas, assisted living facilities employ RNs on a limited basis. Because assisted living facilities receive health insurance funding, there are strict state and government regulations on staff training, the number of employees required per shift and the level of cleanliness. There is zero government oversight for assisted living centers; very few state rules. Medicare often pays most of a patient’s elderly care service bill. In assisted living facilities, a resident’s family must shoulder the whole cost.

While a nursing home service agrees to become a permanent residence for individuals no matter their disease, a person who’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia worsens can be discharged from an assisted living service. The director of education, programs and public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, Heart of America chapter, Michelle Niedens says these care facilities can evict a resident in as little as 30 days. “There’s often an over promising; ‘We can handle your mom and dad, through the whole disease course,’ that is, until some major bump occurs and then the game gets changed,” Niedens said. According to McFatrich, facilities will say, “We can no longer fulfill this person’s needs. And that’s what they use in order to release someone.” That release or eviction can affect a family’s ability to find their loved one a new house.