Susan Berg's Activity Ideas Galore
By Susan Berg, CDP, AD,  BS(COTA/L)
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Susan Berg
Author, Activity Director
Activities Director Blog
Alzheimers Ideas
About Susan

Susan Berg has been a
healthcare professional and
educator for over 20 years. She
is the, activity director, of
many years, at Hunt Nursing
and Rehabilitation Center in
Danvers. While there, she has
gained much dementia care
and activity experience and
knowledge. She has had
special training in dementia
care and dementia activities
through the Alzheimer’s
Association and other
educational forums. Berg is the
author of Adorable
Photographs of Our Baby-
Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating
Activities and More for the
Memory Challenged, Their
Loved Ones, and Involved
Professionals, a book for those
with dementia and an
excellent resource for
caregivers and healthcare
Take a look
at Susan's book
Flash Cards are
available  to use
with Susan's Book
Note:  They can also be
used without the book
and are ideal for group
March Ideas for Activity Directors

DJ Hughes of
Guest author for Susan Berg

March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun, shamrocks, green beer and all
things Irish. If you are an activity director in a nursing home and are planning activities
around the Irish theme for this month, here are some activity suggestions to keep in

Trivia games can be on all things green or on Ireland. A party theme could be the same
and there are many crafts to be made in the spirit of the Irish too! Ireland is well known
for its fabled leprechaun, shamrocks, and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. You
can serve many green coloured drinks and use food coloring to change the looks of
many food dishes. Dressing in the spirit of the Irish is also very easy for you and the
residents, you just wear green!

March 2010 is also the month for Palm Sunday and Passover. If you choose to
celebrate these dates or acknowledge them for your religious residents, it is also
possible to find resources for religious crafts, and trivia online. Christmas and Easter
are usually the times to break out the gospel songs that everyone is willing to sing
together. So dust those off if you don’t already use them, and get some instruments to
accompany, if that’s what you like.

Is it Spring you’d prefer to focus on rather than the Irish as a month long them? There is
no end to the activities you can do for Spring. It’s a great time to get some potting soil
and seeds. The smell of the rich compost is a beautiful smell of spring and every
senior can be a part of planting the seeds in the soil for spring flowers to begin. In a few
weeks, these will be ready for transplanting outdoors or into larger pots for everyone to

Spring crafts could focus on butterflies, flowers, birdhouses and bird feeders. These
can be relatively simply or more complex for those who require less help and
supervision. From glitter and pom poms to sunflower seeds and wood, you can be
pretty creative with the crafts you choose to make. The great thing about crafts is that
you can have several different ones for seniors to choose their preference. Not all men
want to make butterflies and flowers.

In keeping with the Spring theme for March activities, there are also many outings to do.
Everyone has been ‘cooped up’ for many months indoors and needs to get out, stretch,
feel the sunshine on their faces and breathe in the spring air. Some outdoor activities
will be dependant on where you live. I am further north and spring takes longer to arrive
here, but as it warms you can take seniors out to walk around a zoo, or just get outside
for a walk around the block.

Because it is the beginning of Spring, new changes and new birth, March is a great
time to consider small makeovers to freshen things up. From hairdos and manicures to
moving furniture around and adding new pictures and art to many walls, in your
activities common areas and in residents rooms. As everyone’s spirits are lightened
with the longer days and fresh air, have a group sing along or invite in a musician to
your facility, someone you haven’t had before, maybe a new and special talent. Spring
is the time to try something new.

A sensory stimulating box might be a good activity for those that are bed bound. This
could also be a spring theme, an Irish theme or in keeping with a religious tone for
Passover. Items you can use are stones, candles, flowers, coin chocolates, items that
are shamrock shaped or shaped like a cross. Include a gospel CD, Bible or scripture
promises in some other form. Pictures of Ireland, the general outdoors, and different
flowers are good to include as well.

Whatever theme you decide to use for March you will have many creative opportunities
to tailor it specific to your facility and your residents. Please check the Nursing Home
Activities Resource website for more ideas.

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