When you think about caregiving, you may first consider: ensuring they’re eating well, sleeping enough, and taking medications if needed. A full life is more than just the basics. Day activities help get creative juices flowing and improve coping and cognitive and fine motor skills. Recreational activities are fun but also give a sense of belonging. There are MANY meaningful activities for adults with disabilities, and here are a few ideas.
Physical activities keep you healthy, develop coordination, and improve mental health. Physical activities can also be socially engaging when done in groups. Exercise classes, team sports, dancing, and swimming are all great activities that promote good health while interacting with others. Here are a few more physical activity ideas:
- Outdoor Group Activities like picnics and hiking are great activities for bonding with others and enjoying the beauty of nature while getting in some physical activity and soaking up some Vitamin D!
- Nature Walks: Walking on a beach, forest trail, or anywhere with beautiful scenery can be therapeutic. Walking through nature encourages relaxation and physical activity. You can also set up a scavenger hunt to enable them to identify and find natural things, such as birds, plants, and insects.
- Gardening: Maintaining a few plants or a small garden gives one a sense of responsibility and encourages physical activity. Tending, watering, and weeding move the body and helps one feel good when caring for something.
- Bowling is a fun day activity involving many muscles and movements. It helps develop coordination between the brain and other body parts while being fun and socially engaging.
Stimulating brain function, improving recollection skills, and learning about problem-solving are all excellent reasons to do intellectual activities. Our brains are the core of everything we do, and it’s essential to strengthen our cognitive skills.
- Card Matching Games: Difficulty remembering things is common among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Card matching helps increase memory skills and can be played alone or with others.
- Language classes: Practicing a different language is an excellent way for adults with disabilities to practice their ability to recall information, speak, and improve critical thinking.
- Puzzles are a great way to stimulate brain function. A puzzle is a problem-solving activity that requires looking for patterns and paying attention to detail. Search puzzles and crosswords also keep their brain active and stimulate memory.
- Trivia encourages people to use their memory to try and recall past facts or events. Trivia challenges are also significant for improving social skills by interacting with others.
Art and Sensory Activities
Arts and crafts are fun, encourage learning and social interaction, and improve mental health. They can try origami, making jewelry, scrapbooking, educational coloring books, and painting! Here are a couple more ideas for you to try:
- Music and Podcasts: Listening to music is a sensory activity that brings a calming effect. Jazz and classical music are mostly safe options because they have a slow and calming rhythm. Music can help adults with disabilities identify feelings and use coping strategies when overwhelmed. Encouraging the use of instruments like drums can help improve fine motor skills.
- DIY Stress Balls stimulate tactile sensation, relieving stress, improving dexterity, and strengthening hand and forearm muscles. You can find instructions for making a stress ball here.
- Writing is one of the easiest ways a person can express themselves. A good journal will make it easy for adults with disabilities to put their thoughts on paper.
NADHC’s Expressions Program
Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers offers an Expressions Program to teach new skills, boost self-esteem, and encourage social interaction. Our program is three to five hours long and includes sensory therapy, auditory therapy, tactile therapy, and a yummy meal! Give us a call or check out our website to learn more about our Expressions Program today!