7 of the Best Nursing Home Activities


No one plans to spend their golden years in a nursing home. Just because you have a higher level of care required for your wellbeing doesn’t mean you should stay bored in your room all day.

Here are some of the best nursing home activities that you can propose to your facility to further improve your days there.

Ways to Have Fun in a Nursing Home

#1. Aromatherapy

Burning essential oils in your room, or in the community area, creates different types of energy. Lavender oils can be used for relaxation. Citrus scents can help you to feel energetic.

#2. Happy Hour

Every day should have a happy hour, just like a restaurant, bar, or pub would do. If your facility can only swing this activity once per week, then that’s still better than nothing. Bring in some popcorn, have some favorite beverages, and bring in an entertainer. If you have alcohol present, make sure it won’t interfere with medications that are being taken.

#3. Faith-Based Activities

Speak with your local churches about coming in to provide services or a time of worship if you are unable to leave the nursing home. Many will come to provide communion or spend time in prayer. Many nursing homes setup a church rotation to let everyone have some time in worship with their preferred denomination.

#4. Cheese Parties

Did you know cheese creates a similar reaction in the brain to your favorite activities? If your doctor allows it, have a weekly cheese party where you can try different kinds from around the world. It can be a lot of fun watching someone experience the scent of limburger cheese for the first time!

#5. Auctions

Many facilities host Bingo events, crafting competitions, and other weekly events to keep everyone entertained. Institute a system where facility money (not real cash) is awarded during these events. Then, once per week, host an auction for tangible items that can be used in your room. It is a lot of fun to bid on the items, plus it promotes added value to the other activities run by the facility.

#6. Sing-Alongs

Some folks enjoy a good hymn. Others might prefer something from Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Dean Martin, or Elvis. You can create theme nights where a certain type of music will be played for sing-alongs too. If you held a Hawaiian night, for example, you could have everyone come in a themed shirt while playing music from Don Ho.

#7. Basic Chores

Although it might seem contrary to the purpose of a fun activity, there is a certain pride a person takes in being able to help in some way. Having some time where you can fold the towels of the facility or do other chores can make you feel like your old self once again.

Seasonal Activities Are Always Fun Too

Make sure you take advantage of the seasons and holidays to create activities as well. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all good times to celebrate, even if some residents don’t see their family stop for a visit very often.

What are some activities you have found to be fun to do at a nursing home that weren’t featured here?