What to Expect of Nursing Home Activities Calendars

Nursing Home Activities are Important

Get Involved

Adjusting to a new environment is a challenge that everyone faces. For nursing home residents, the adjustment is especially challenging. Because their lifestyle requires significant dependence on others, many of them strangers, nursing home residents may experience a period uneasiness during their first few weeks after being admitted. To facilitate this transition, encourage your loved one to get involved.

“Activities” refer to any endeavor, other than routine ADLs, in which a resident participates that is intended to enhance his/her sense of well-being and to promote or enhance physical, cognitive, and emotional health. These include, but are not limited to, activities that promote self-esteem, pleasure, comfort, education, creativity, success, and independence. See Nursing Home Federal Requirements, §483.1(f)(1).
In a large-scale study performed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 160 residents in 40 nursing homes were interviewed about what quality of life meant to them. The study found that residents “overwhelmingly assigned priority to dignity.” The researchers determined that one underlying component of dignity was having a choice of activities. Residents most appreciated activities that produce or teach something; activities that use skills from residents’ former work; and religious activities. See Overview of Nursing Home Federal Requirements, F 248: Activities.

Look at Activities Calendar

Before selecting a nursing home, request an activities calendar from the Activities Director.  If the activities listed do not meet the needs of your loved one, inform the director of the deficiency. Ask for a new activity to be added to the calendar that does best serve your loved one’s interests. Nursing Home Federal Requirements §483.15(f)(1) states: “Facility must provide for an ongoing program of activities designed to meet, in accordance with the comprehensive assessment, the interests and the physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.”
The program of activities should be created after sincere thought and consideration of every resident admitted. These activities can and should be both communal and individualized. When a resident can do something he or she loves, the emotional stimulation will ease the transition to the unfamiliar environment.