Ideas for activities for the older person in Aged Care
Australia’s population is ageing – we all know it. But the unanswered question remains: how to best support this precious demographic of humans through their golden years?
There’s lots of ideas out there, but here’s just one that will make your life a lot easier when it comes to planning and facilitating activities for the older person in your aged care facility:
This is the one principle that you can apply to almost every activity you do in your aged care facility with every older person. Meaningful activity is activity that focuses on the strengths and interests of the older person. Often we focus on what the person can’t do. Meaningful activity focuses on what they can do.
- Get personal: Ask questions about what the older person likes, dislikes, their background, preferences – soon the ideas will start to flow as we make meaningful connections with past experiences.
- Pitch it right: Adjust the activity so the challenge is just right. Too high = frustration; too low = boredom. Both lead to disengagement.
- Achieve something: Use activities to facilitate a sense of accomplishment for the older person…this won’t happen if you do it all for them! Allow the person to ‘fail’ safely sometimes so accomplishment holds real significance.
- Do it on purpose: Create for a purpose, e.g. If you’re cooking, cook for afternoon tea; if you’re gardening, make it for a special event.
- Social factor: We’re all created for community. Not everyone wants a party, but keep the environment fun and provide opportunities for genuine connection. Involve other community stakeholders in your activities. Schools, Daycares, Art and Drama groups can all have something to offer.
The aged care tide is turning. Make sure your facility stays on the cutting edge of quality service, original ideas and genuine connectedness through meaningful activity.