Fun and social activities are integral to having a fulfilling life in any care environment. While patients may be limited sometimes through lack of physical strength, cognitive function challenges, or health in general, getting together for some entertainment with those around them is an ideal way to stimulate senses and keep everyone happy and mentally and physically active.
Here are some of the best, and safest, games to help to bring fun and laughter into the care home environment.
Charades is a great way to work memory skills, recognition and visual stimulation. Whether it’s portraying famous people from the past like Elvis Presley or Charlie Chaplin, films, books or television programmes, charades can promote camaraderie, teamwork, and a healthy sense of competition among the players. It’s a perfect form of light physical activity too.
Building puzzles can help with the ability to think, create, and strategise all at the same time. Puzzle building can be done either by an individual or as a team activity.
The puzzles need not be complicated but rather fun, colourful, and enticing. Providing inputs such as ‘clues’ may add to the fun, challenge and excitement. Examples of puzzles are jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, patterns, sudoku, and trivia.
3. Parlour or Party Games
Parlour games or party games are great for encouraging physical movement and socialisation. They bring out the competitive spirit too! Perfect examples of these type of games include "Bring Me," musical chairs (trip to Jerusalem), stop dance, and "The Boat is Sinking.” You may want to tweak the games to fit in with the requirements of the residents but there are lots of ideas that you can adapt and create new versions of your own!
4. Bingo and Card Games
Bingo and card games never go out of style. These games are universal and can be played by people of all ages. They bring out the competitive urges in everyone!
Check out this video of Top 10 card games
5. Board games
Classic board games are loved by all generations and you can often purchase them at reduced prices via websites or charity shops. While the physical challenges of Twister may be a little bit much for some of the residents, the rational thinking and motor skills of games such as Monopoly, Ludo or Connect Four may be a perfect way to stimulate and entertain!
6. Adapt a TV gameshow
Many quiz and game shows have board game versions available that you can adapt – perhaps you can try ‘Who Wants to be a Millioniare’ ‘Catchphrase’ or ‘Countdown’. Residents will remember classics like ‘Family Fortunes’, ‘Bullseye’, ‘Crackerjack’ and ‘The Generation Game’ – adapt your own version of these shows and perhaps even nominate a member of staff to do a Bob Monkhouse, Jim Bowen or Bruce Forsyth impression! Keep any questions relatable to the audience but above all make it fun!
The feel good factor is essential in creating a positive mental attitude and the stimulation and challenge of games is an ideal way to develop strong friendships and relationships across the care environment between residents and with staff. The physical aspect of some games is a perfect way to get everyone up and moving around too. Games are ideal for limiting loneliness, making friends and stimulating the brain – so let’s play!