Put some Elvis Presley (or other music) on and take out a coloring book! Talk to the elderly and make it a relaxing setting. They love that for those who do early shifts and who are doing activities.
The elderly also loved it when I take out a white board and put a word at the top. Like say I wrote “birthday party,” for example. Then I ask what is something at a kid’s birthday party, whether it be balloons, all the way down to the piñata.
They had a great time guessing things that went with the word on the white board. And you may need to remind them if it’s already on the board and give them another chance go around. Everyone gets a guess until they start struggling. Then you just remind them of their answers and erase the board. And start new with another word.
Or play hang man on the white board. Another activity is to read them a poem. For a challenge, get out a dictionary and look up really long words. See how many words you can make out of just that one word. These are things that will have their minds going and keep active and engaged in what you are doing.
And of course conversation between the residents and yourself is always a plus. When you start to hear things they are into, take self-notes if you need too, so that you know what those who participate in activities are interested in and doing. It will help to know what you can do later, even if it ends up in trivia. I’m sure it would help you out.
Editor’s note – Thanks so much for all of your interesting ideas! These will work for both the elderly and also anyone who may be experiencing some memory challenges. White boards are great tools to have around for all sorts of activities! And coloring is a favorite activity in many senior groups, because you can get either simple or sophisticated and detailed pages, as desired. Be sure to see our other elderly activities too.