Why Nursing Homes are Places to Give Back
SheFactor is a movement sweeping the nation… and, since we have so many kind hearted babes looking to give their time, talent, and treasure to others, we want to write a series that everyone can utilize. Instead of highlighting an organization, we want to highlight places you can give to that does not have to do with geographic location!
When you think about a nursing home, it might give you allll the warm fuzzies. Spending the day doing puzzles with and hear stories from older times? Count us in!
But the reality is, a lot of people in nursing homes struggle with depression from their bodies and mind breaking down and loneliness from being away from friends/family, and simply put: don’t want to be there. Just imagine after living a full, independent life, you suddenly cannot live on your own and are constantly surrounded by strangers.
We just wanted to share this with you so you know that relationships with residences of a nursing home in your area might be the most fruitful ways to spend your time. And, as it turns out, that you can give either your time, talent, or treasure at a local nursing home!
Time is one of the best things you can give to someone who is just lonely. Instead of just popping in for an hour, we see volunteering at a nursing home as an investment in relationships. Even if you just connect with one resident, you may be changing his or her world for the better. Try to go on a regular basis and consistently. Learn names, play card games or do a puzzle with them. Enter into their world and be someone they can count on. Make birthday cards, bring gifts, and write little notes. Like any relationship, show a resident how much you care and be content to just hang out and appreciate who they are.
Many residents will inform you that one of the most grueling parts of living in a nursing home is that every day is the exact same as the last. Use what you are good at to entertain the residence!
Cooking- Good at cooking? It can be as easy as getting ingredients to make a yummy (soft) food. Generally, a home will have all of the equipment you need, so it’s easy as setting up a time with a home in the area and teaching a class. This can break up a residence day and give them something to look forward to!
Fitness- If you’re a fitness guru, creating a “movement matters” class and set up some fun and modified 80’s styled jazzercise, pilates, or yoga. Remember light movements are key!
Music- There’s nothing like music to lighten the atmosphere. If you’re a musician, consider playing or singing a mini concert for the residence. Another thing you could do (that may require more work), is set up a karaoke night so everyone can get involved!
Art- If you like painting, drawing, or writing, share your talent at the nursing home. Host a poetry or reading night, create your own “wine & canvas”, or even make little pictures for the residence to hang up on their walls.
Children- If you’re a mom or you just love kids, there’s nothing better than to see the old and young interacting together. Children can make the elderly feel loved and needed again. Have your kids draw pictures and bake some goodies, and pass them out.
*If you’re wanting to use your talent at a nursing home event-style, check out this website where you can create free posters and flyers.*