Comparing Entertainment and Activities in Senior Communities
Senior care communities provide various types of activities to ensure each day is different and seniors can look forward to new experiences. These types include: creative, memory, physical, outings, daily living, sensory, and special events. Many are offered as clubs or groups that seniors can plan for on a weekly or monthly basis and activities often change according to holidays or seasons.
No matter which type of senior care you choose, each week seniors have the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Activity coordinators and senior care staff work carefully to create a schedule that appeals to all their residents. Many activities are organized to accommodate the preferences of the residents that live there. Each community approaches senior care differently, these differences are also reflected in the entertainment they have to offer.
Activities in assisted living are extremely diverse and often depend on the time of year, community, and even geographic region. Assisted living communities often feature several activities to choose from at any given time. Active residents can enjoy dance classes or swimming while quiet residents can enjoy book club or gardening. For a sample activity calendar, click here.
- Creative- Many activities focus on engaging creativity and self-expression while promoting social interactions. The staff encourages building relationships with other residents by using art to connect experiences and talents. Many communities offer dance classes, arts/crafts, cooking groups, wine nights, barbeque weekends, and much more.
- Memory– Preserving and enhancing memory is an important goal in assisted living. Seniors can often choose from trivia nights, puzzle games, music groups, and more. Some communities even feature memory walls or boxes in individual rooms.
- Physical – Activities that focus on stimulating the body and mind are the most common. Each community offers their own schedule of exercise and aerobics throughout the day. Communities that feature extensive amenities allow for swimming, gardening, and even walking trails.
- Outing – Community engagement is also an attractive feature for many seniors. Assisted living provides seniors with access to their community with transportation services and volunteer opportunities. This can include shopping trips, volunteer companions, and even trips to the voting polls.
- Daily Living– Just because seniors are in residential care doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty to take care of. Assisted living schedules also make time for regular health services, care planning, and personal services. This can include regular blood pressure checks, beauty services, benefit counseling, and even post office days for packages and letters.
- Sensory- Research has shown that focusing on sensory experiences helps slow the physical effects of aging. Activities often include pet assisted therapy, aromatherapy, massage, music therapy, or conversation with snacks.
- Special Events- Holidays and special occasions usually encourage festive activities. Seniors can enjoy Popsicle making in the summer, caroling for Christmas, flower planting in the spring, and pumpkin carving for Halloween.
Nursing home activity schedules are often very similar to assisted living. Nursing homes strive to offer diverse entertainment and social activities while accommodating the physical needs of their residents. Creative and physical activities tend to be less frequent and require less physical effort but still fit into the common types of activities.
Nursing homes typically prioritize health and safety over entertainment. Many nursing home activity schedules feature only 3-5 activities a day and tend to offer them one-at-a-time. Although this may seem less appealing, limiting activities ensures time and attention remains focused on essential care. Nursing home residents typically enjoy board games, television time, special meals, worship services, arts-crafts groups, and more. For a sample activity calendar, click here.
The activities in memory care are often even more simplified. While assisted living and nursing homes offer schedules with similar structures, memory care is very different. Unlike memory care, other facilities offer a number of activities in order to accommodate numerous interests. Memory care simplifies their schedules by offering one type of activity at a time to avoid overwhelming residents. These schedules are also less diverse and change less frequently to prevent confusion or frustration.
Memory care often provides specialized memory-enhancing activities. The activities offered are easy to perform and minimal in terms of sound or effort. Examples may include daily exercise, television time, snack time, music enjoyment, conversation groups, and trivia. For a sample activity calendar, click here.
Impressively, the options for entertainment are endless regardless of which of type of care you choose. The staff and directors for senior care communities work tirelessly to improve the lives of all their residents. Whether its location, services, or entertainment, each type of senior care offers something that can appeal to you.
A special thank you to Wesley Glen Retirement Community and Rockville Nursing Home for providing helpful information and reliable resources for this article. Explore their services to further to see if any care options work for you.
About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.