The process of getting your loved one into a long-term care facility can often be a long wait. It is important to find a way to entertain and uplift your loved one while waiting. We know that as a caregiver you also have a busy schedule and it can be difficult trying to find ways to go about this. If your loved one is currently waiting to be accepted into a long-term care facility, consider the following list of activities to help yourself keep them busy.

Playing board and card games

Playing board and card games are an excellent way to keep your loved one entertained and engrossed in an activity. Games like Yahtzee, Scrabble, or Solitaire are all fantastic options as they can quickly be learned and the game offers variety each time. As your loved one is still awaiting their spot in a long-term care home, they will have to rely on their household or community to find someone to play with. If you are unable to find someone to play with your loved one, consider downloading these games on a tablet and have them play virtually with a computer-controlled opponent. Playing trivia games and other forms of board games can aid in preventing mental decline as they help warm up the working memory functions. 

Watching old movies & photos

Playing old movies is a great pastime for our senior loved ones as they can evoke old memories from the past while providing entertainment from an era that they know so much about. There are many streaming platforms around that hold an extensive amount of films and shows from every decade. 

In addition to watching movies, you can even play old home-videos and photos from the past to help your loved ones look back on memories they shared with their family and friends. Go through old albums, or find your old sd cards and insert them into a laptop for your loved one to flip through. This activity can be enjoyable for your loved one, along with yourself, your friends, your family, and anyone else who is featured in the photographs.

Reaching out to friends and family

A downside to not being in a long-term care home is that your loved one may feel a lack of connections with their community. Reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors to see how they are doing is a great pastime for your loved one. Simply being around new faces everyday can uplift their mood and give them something to look forward to. If walking around and meeting up in person is taxing for your loved one, consider showing them how to write an email or text, advise them to give them a call, or even have them write a card or letter to send off in the mail. Another great option is to consider using a video-calling platform like FaceTime or Skype to get in contact with others outside of the household. 

Doing light exercise

Encouraging your loved one to partake in some light exercise is always a good idea to keep their physical and mental health in shape. Depending on their level of mobility and health history, there are plenty of different exercising techniques they can partake in. Some common exercises that are advised for seniors who do not live in long-term care homes is doing chair exercises where exercises are performed as they are seated. For more mobile seniors, going for daily walks, riding a stationary bike, doing a yoga or dance class, or even something slower like Tai-Chi are all great ways to get the body moving. All of these options help strengthen their muscles and improve mood and mental acuity by increasing oxygen and blood flow to their brain.

These are all great options to keep your seniors entertained while they are awaiting their place in a long-term care facility. Knowing how busy the schedule of a caregiver can be, these activities are fairly easy to get your senior settled into so that you have more time dedicated to yourself and the other life areas that need your attention.

If you’re looking for a long-term care home in the Lower Mainland, Shaughnessy Seniors Community offers personalized and high-quality nursing care to support your parent or loved one. Located in Port Coquitlam, our boutique-style residence is warm, inviting, and can provide the resources required to keep your loved one comfortable and happy despite age-related health problems. If you’d like to learn more about our facilities and care plans, you can always visit our website or reach out to a member of our team and we’d be happy to help.