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Facility weekends

March 13, 2010
by Kathleen Mears
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Some residents get visitors on the weekends and some go on family outings. But many do not get to go out on weekends and some feel there is little to do, even with an activity aide here on both days. Saturday's major activity is bingo. On Sunday mornings there is Catholic Communion, and afternoon Protestant services are held in the front lobby.

Residents who do their own activities probably do all right. There is plenty of time to read, watch TV, or play games on their own. But if residents would like to go on an outing, that is not an option.

It is clear that in the future this will have to change. I think a sunroom or atrium is needed so residents can feel like they are outdoors. If there were gardens and wheelchair trails around this facility, it would help to occupy the residents’ time when the weather is good.

Some residents just like to watch what is going on outdoors and then follow their own routine the rest of the day. If there were other alternatives, weekends would not seem to last so long for some.

During the summer the public park behind our facility has little league baseball games. But residents cannot attend unaccompanied. I do understand why. There are times, however, where I would like to go to the park alone and ride around, see what is going on, or just sit and think.

This morning I rode around the facility and saw a few residents wistfully looking out the large windows up front. It is raining, and they cannot go outside and enjoy today's little bit of early spring.

Residents who are able might like to plan weekend options to entertain themselves. Otherwise, they can only contemplate next weekend; that even with different staff, it will be just as uneventful and long.

Kathleen Mears



Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is...



This sounds so sad. Stuck inside all the time without even a nice window area to look out? Good grief. That would affect just about anyone's mood.

I don't know where you live, but you need more activities on the weekend because that is when residents have the most free time. Where I work as recreation therapy director we have Friday and Saturday night programs and average eight choices on the weekends for residents. Your administration should make sure your home has enough activity staff and volunteers available so you have the programs you deserve.