Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

Copyright 2007-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved

The Gentleman's Club
Sandra Stimson, ADC, CALA, CDP Executive Director,
Alternative Solutions in

One important activity is for the men to stay connected to the
community in a variety of ways.

  • First meet with your residents and ask what ideas and
    interests they have.  You will be amazed at the wide range
    of ideas from volunteering to visiting restaurants.

  • Plan seasonal programs such as sporting events at area
    arenas as well as local schools. Many ice skating rinks
    allow people to observe the practice session.  Many
    leagues have games at night and pools hold the
    competition on the weekends.  So lots of sporting events
    to choose from throughout the year.

  • Go to your town library and ask the resource desk to
    provide the contact names for the local Jaycees, Lions
    club,VFW and other men's groups and call to see when
    meetings are and if your residents can attend or if they
    would be willing to meet monthly with your men.

  • Another great program is Habitat for Humanity.  They
    always need volunteers and countless ways to volunteer
    with this great organization.

  • Bottom line is that men want to feel useful and a vital part
    of the community. If you have not begun a men's club you
    should look into beginning a monthly group as the
    benefits are enormous.
"Just for the Boys"- Mens Group
By Gina Salazar,A.D., Site Owner of Activity Ideas that Work

Let me start by saying that Men's Activities are hard. Thats no lie.  
Anyone that has worked in Long term care or any setting with
senior men knows that they are a challenge.  Here are a few
ideas that have worked for me.

  • Party Poker Night-  This works well with higher
    functioning men.  Serve beer and pretzels (with a Dr.s
    order) and play poker.I give each of the men a plastic
    baggie with $2.00 worth of nickels and pennies and we
    bet like real poker and win like real poker. We usually put
    a limit of $.25 per game,per bet,but you can do as your
    folks like.I have had so much fun with this activity and the
    men that I have worked with really love our Party Poker
  • "Romeo Club"-(Retired old men eating out)- A mens
    version of the "Red Hat Society"- for more information go
    to: http://www.romeoguys.com/
  • Real Horse Races- I use do this a lot when I lived near the
    Hollywood race track,but if you have cable or Direct T.V.
    you can do it as well. You will need to record the Horse
    Race in advance,then make up fake betting tickets and let
    the men bet on the race before you play it the race for
    them. Then the men will watch the race and you will pay
    the winner of the bet (double his bet).This is a lot of pre-
    work but so much fun for the men!
  • Mens Spa Day- My Men loved this.I give them shoulder
    rubs, head massages,hand massages, hot face towels,
    cologne, Girly Mags (I used the Bathing Suit Sports
    Illustrated,and the car mags with the girls on the cars in
    bathing suits).
  • Annual Fishing Trip- We go once a year to a nearby spot,
    only a few can go but we have a blast.
  • Car Shows- Most larger cities have a yearly car show that
    you can take your men to or you can call local car groups
    and have them come to your facility a few times a year and
    set up their cars in the parking lot of your facility.

NOTE:  One way to plan activities for your men.
Take an interest form and make a survey of the interests of your men.  You do not
need their names.  Survey their interests by using hash marks beside the interest
items on you form.  Those items with the most hash marks beside them are idea
nuggets for planning your group activities for the men.  The greater the number of
hash marks beside the item of interest, the more likely your chances for a
successful activity.  Go ahead…give it a try.
 Linda Lucas, Activity Director Today


NOTE:  Arts and crafts programs separate from occupational therapy frequently
are offered by the activities coordinator. A volunteer, resident, or family member
may lead this program.

One of the simplest activities that I do with the men is
woodworking.  I work with
the Alzheimer’s group so finding decent activities is difficult and for the men, it is
even more so.  I will make a pattern of a simple shape, usually fitting to upcoming
holidays or seasons and simple to paint (shamrocks, hearts, butterflies etc.).  
Have someone with a scroll saw cut the shape out of 1 - 1 1/2" pine. Ask them to
drill a hole in the top of each one.  Purchase sanding sponges for the clients to
use.  They are the easiest to hold on to.  Then let the fellows start sanding.  This
activity makes use of the senses:  the smell, the feel but also it provides exercise,  
The great thing is, it doesn't matter how well the job is done because you can
always use the article again.  Once the objects are well sanded, they can be
painted and hung by cord with 3 in each bunch. -
Nancy D.

Birdhouses:  You will need:/1 empty, clean milk carton (1/2 gallon size) for each
resident/paints/popsicle sticks/glue/small wooden dowel/birdseed/wire
hanger/Directions:/Cut openings on each side of the milk carton./Paint the milk
cartons and let dry. Then glue the Popsicle sticks on top of the milk carton like
shingles, one by one. Paint if you like. Let dry. For the perch, make a small hole
under the openings and slip a wooden dowel through the hole./  Open up the wire
hanger and slip through the top of the milk carton so that you can hang your
birdhouse up./  Fill the bottom of the birdhouse with birdseed and put out in a nice
spot for your residents to watch the birds.

Painting model planes, trains, cars,

Coat Hanger:  you will need ...thin branches.(hardwood)..the FREE kind that fall off
trees..thick enough to fit a coat hook through. cut to about 1.5 foot lengths. Be a bit
choosy about the wood....pick pieces that are full of character. maybe a bit of a
knot in the wood etc../sand paper and lacquer./coat hook.. /and some nuts and
little leaves of the hard kind for decoration./the men can sand the timber back to a
smooth round shape. simple enough for some...difficult for others. one idea is to
have the handy man make up a board with two bits of flat wood nailed to it with
just enough thickness to hold the branch bit it so it doesn’t move around...kind of
like a vice./then....lacquer with clear lacquer so the grain shows through.  Lacquer
a couple of times to give it a nice glassy sheen./then....ask the handy man to put a
hole in it so that the hook can go in then, if you want it to be a communal effort. The
women can decorate it with the nuts and leaves..gluing them on.....and then the
men can lacquer them again. And WAHLAHHH...!! you have a decorative and
useful piece of work ..that validates there is still something that the men can do!....

We have had a youth group come in to do activities with the men's group. That
too included the birdfeeders and houses that they painted and hung on the many
trees at the facility.

Wood crafting is big with some of our group and then the items are sold to
purchase more materials.

Handy Tasks in my new facility- i am now working in a men dominated dementia
unit. very challenging as not many are high functioning at all and i am being
challenged by most staff from all angles. Oh they couldn't do that and they wouldn't
like that etc etc. ....geez..tis like they just want them to just sit and do nothing ..well
actually that is how it is.!!

Crafts day and i am going to try the sanding the wood coat hangers idea.  But they
may turn into wind chimes with shells something like that ..we will see how it
pans out.

Sanding on blocks for a painting project or I find old cheap appliances (toasters,
irons, etc) either at garage sales or used places. I cut the cords off of course and
give the men a couple screwdrivers (philips and regular) and let them take them
apart. Sometimes for some of them I tell them I need a part to fix mine and they
can spend a lot of time doing this.

We had the men do models like an airplane, ship, small truck.  They were bought
as model kits. They had a ball!  It took two visits to finish.  We entered them in the
county fair.  The airplane won first place and the ship and truck got honorable
mention.  But this gave the men a real good feeling about themselves.  –
Park Nursing Home in Hazlet.


Rake leaves

Use the carpet sweeper

Plant seeds indoors or out

Weed the flower bed

Water house plants

Plant a tree

Take care of fish tank

Put bird feed out for the birds

Wipe off patio furniture

Nursing home newsletter, especially if published by residents. This is an
especially valuable method of expression and uses resident talent that otherwise
may lie idle. Poetry, history, birthdays, and resident and staff personality profiles
are all topics that can be included.

The men in our facility assist wheel chair residents to the dining room, for meals
and serve coffee I have gentlemen who goes to all of our bus tour and he helps
me load the res. and assist with walking them to the sitting areas. I also have
another gentleman who puts out bibs in the dining room and feed the bird
feeders, another helps by keeping the small patio clean, our men are shy when it
comes to activities but they are good sports I have one that dresses up for special
holidays, for example: Santa Claus, St. Patrick, Easter and I do have the suits.  I
would like new ideas and I love your site its the best. -
Sylvia Molina


NOTE:  Games foster both one-to-one relationships and group activity. Bingo is a
favorite for many, but bridge, chess, and other games for smaller groups usually
are available. Volunteers and families often are the ones to stimulate resident
interest in a game and they may be able to help arrange suitable opponents.
Contests sometimes are run with work games, and tournaments are arranged for
bridge or game players.

checkers etc. The AD served "apple cider" or beer.

Yahtzee Club-

Dominoes was always a hit with our men residents, Tournaments, playoffs,
award ceremonies, write up in the news etc... our men residents loved their
dominoes with the same passion as Bingo for the ladies... it may be the
competition, some of our tourney’s were fierce competition... this might be the
avenue to bring the men out of their rooms, another spark I found was they like to
talk about the passed, we had volunteer high school students start a journal, a
collection of stories from the passed... the war, the depression,






Gin rummy,

Blackjack Night-

Poker night.
Also, they make non alcoholic beer, so you could serve pretzels and
"beer" and it would be just like they were used to.

Table games: Poker (no money involved), Loteria (Mexican Bingo-call it in Eng.
and Sp.), Bango (everyone gets at least 4 cards face up use another deck to "call"-
as people's cards are called they turn that card face down. The first one to have all
their cards face down wins), etc.

Poker run - everyone meets in the dining room i have 7 decks of cards i go
around to each person and they get to pick a card from each of the 7 decks so
everyone has 7 cards then i spread out another deck on the table and draw a card
this card is our wild card then who ever has the best hand wins. we also have a
pot (money) just like if you were really playing poker since the residents can not
put in money i get a cup and go around to the staff and ask for there spare change
the day of the game this is the money the winner gets usually there’s anywhere
from 7 to 10 dollars in it our men really love this some ladies too.



Bets (with fake money) then payout fake money to the winners.

Pitching washers (and Quarters)!! We use the washers in place of pitching

Dice game called "6, 5, 4". Really simple, only need five dice & a cup to shake
them in & a table for them to sit around. They shake the dice & must get a 6, 5, &
then a 4 (in that order) w/in 3 shakes. If they get a 6, 5, or a 4, they leave those dice
out & keep shaking the others. The remaining 2 dice are the "points" they get.
They play for a determined length of time or for however many rounds & the player
w/ the most points is deemed the winner. If they get the 6,5,4 right away, they can
choose to keep shaking for more points or pass it to the next player, remember,
only 3 shakes allowed. This is something that they can do on their own or w/ a
volunteer or staff person. It's familiar to them, as many of them shook dice when
they went for afternoon coffee in our rural, local cafe. Simple game, simple rules &
they can do it on their own! We also have women that enjoy this game as well - but
it works good for the men who don't want to have it known that they might actually
participate in a GROUP activity!

Cars, Plants, Magazines

Bird watching
and not just the feathered variety



NOTE:  Resident discussion groups. Sometimes a resident is an expert on a
particular subject and will be the group leader. Other times a volunteer may offer
to lead a discussion group. Topics may include current events, literature, and
religion. The residents choose the topics and those interested attend.

At the
Men’s Club they are served a dessert in the morning, then they watch war
movies that they couldn’t watch with the other residents present (too much
violence and blood).  But, the ones who fought in the war can relate to this. –
Regency Park Nursing Home in Hazlet

Car talk -get different car magazines and chat about the new cars vs. the old cars.

Daily themes for discussions - whatever they retired from - slide shows of
different jobs, etc.

Laughs and a lot of reminiscing

(Retired Old Men Eating Out), who wear a red baseball hat emblazoned
with the word ROMEO. Their website is
www.romeoguys.com A friend in another
facility just started this with her men's group and has had a huge success. They
do breakfast and the guys are usually waiting at the Activity Room door with their
red baseball hats before she gets there at 5 or so in the morning.

Red Suspenders Club (The Red Hat club for men) I also have a men's group
called R.O.M.E.O "Retired Old Men Eat Out" we meet once a month at a local

Plaid Flannel Shirt Society. It is a club just for men. It is a spin off of the Red Hat;
men are to dress of course in plaid shirts, house shoes very causal. There are no
rules except that it is for men only & to have fun. I did a search on the internet &
came up with a link from Day Care Service by Louise Whitney. I was unable to find
the one spoken about in the book. However Louise has already set this up so
check it out. You just might be able to use this in your facility. Men's Plaid Flannel
Shirt Society

Men’s Red Cap Club - When we developed our Red Hat Society Club for our
women, some of our men started coming to the program. We told them that this
was just for women, so I developed a Men’s Red Cap Club. I went to Wal-mart
and purchased red ball caps that were $1.00 and printed “Red Cap Club” in
Metallic Gold puffy paint. We had a gathering once a month and they wore their red
hats. They mainly liked to come and eat the snacks but we also reminisced about
the good ole days of fishing, hunting, farming, etc… I am in the process of looking
for a small wooden pull-along type wagon that the men can make. Then I was
going to get a set of ABC wooden blocks to put in it and donate it to a local daycare
center in their honor. -
Patrice Melton, CTRS, Colonial Springs Healthcare Center,
Buffalo, MO

Talking about the war

Talk politics,

Listen to talk radio.
They sit around listening to the program and talking about
what was just said. They have coffee and doughnuts or home baked crumb cake
that the ladies baked that morning for them ...it's a great time and I think that word
of mouth works well, although sending an invitation around might help as well.

Automobile Club- pictures, stories, trips to shows or car lots

Walking Group

Bowling League

Collector's Club- coins, stamps, antiques

Investment Club

Cooking Club Just For Men- pizza, hotdogs, chili Science Projects

Show & Tell

Discussion Groups

Read out loud

Read the daily paper out loud

Read from the Reader's Digest

Sing old songs

Reminisce about the first kiss

Identify states and capitals

"Tell me more"
when they talk about a memory

Men's activity- held in the beauty salon.  Reminisce about the good old days,
serve coffee, play soft background music.  Tape pictures on the mirror.  Get a
large cardboard tube that the calendars come in or create your own; then wrap
red, white and blue party ribbon around the tube and tape it then blow up a white
balloon for the top of the tube and tape it (this is the light bulb)  Ask a staff person
to dress up as a barber, I used a wig, mustache, white pants, black shoes, blue
collar shirt w/ pockets.  This was a big hit and lots of fun for everyone, staff too!  
Most importantly, it got a few good men together to talk about their past and the
good old days.  For those of you who want to know if I cut their hair, I snipped a
small amount but did use hair tonic and styled their hair the way they wanted.  
They really enjoyed it!  This idea came to me from a resident who only left his
room to get a haircut, so I put things together and tried it- sometimes the best
ideas come from our residents.  PS  The ladies really liked my mustache!! –


Men’s Luncheon - Once a month we have a Men’s Lunch Group, were we gather
in our conference room and dietary will set up for and meal as well as serve it.  
We will have a discussion topic and this gives the guys an opportunity to get
together and talk over a topic, which could be, the war, famous quotes, famous
leaders, travel and so on.  Recreation prepares for the program but also enjoy
lunch with the residents.

I have a
Men's Lunch, which is done 2 different ways.  In my building I only usually
have between 6-10 men so I order lunch out for them once a month and set them
up to eat in the activity room.  I set the table and bring them lunch in and a few
days before I give them a menu to circle what they would like to order.  In the ALZ
bldg there are a lot more men (14-16) so there we set them in a different area and
serve the regular meal and buy them something extra like soda, cake, or chips.  
I've also done the Men's Club where the men only and I get together and play
poker and blackjack with pennies.  Hope these help  -  
Rachael Williams,
Chesapeake Place

Men’s pie of the month club.   Meets once a month, male volunteers and nurses
are invited as are other male staff in the building.  We have a certain kind of pie,
(usually seasonal) coffee, and tall glasses of cold milk available.  Good bonding
activity for all the guys.  -
Kathleen “Mimi” Taylor, ADC, Good Shepherd Rehab &
Nursing Center, Jaffrey, NH

Breakfast once a month: Nothing brings them together like food. The activity is
"men only." You personally (or with the assistance of your volunteers) cook their
meal to order. Try fried eggs, sausage links and fried potatoes. They will love you
for it. It seems that most of the elderly are big breakfast eaters. This will remind
them of those early mornings at home. It also provides a personal touch.  (Not
only is this a good activity for the men...you may have to do it for the women, too.
I've done it for both and even once for the staff. Great results every time - By the
way, let them SEE you cooking their breakfast.) –
Linda Lucas, Activity Director

Breakfast for Men once a month. Find a male volunteer that would enjoy a men’s
discussion group. Home depot has very inexpensive craft projects it uses for the
kids workshop. They are very nice and the male residents really enjoy the hands

Coffee klatch, reminiscing about past experiences about fishing and their

Happy Hour. We bring a bar on wheels down to the dining room, complete with
disco lights and music from the World War 2 era. We serve non-alcoholic beer,
virgin Bloody Marys and Shirley Temples for the ladies. We also have snacks such
as: pretzels, cheese and crackers and popcorn. This tends to be a favorite of the
family members too..

Happy Hour: We have a portable bar that we bring into the dining room and we
serve N/A beer, Shirley temples for the ladies complete with WW2 era music and
snacks, we also do karaoke as well. -
Christy Baughman A.D.P.C., Tennessee
State Veterans' Home

Cocktail Hour – mix grape juice and Seven Up and it tastes like cocktails.

Beer and Chips (check resident diet order)

Coffee or cocktail hours. Policies vary from home to home, but social hours
provide a time of resident interaction. It is a particularly nice time for volunteers,
family, and friends to join the residents.

weekly men's group is very popular also. I usually serve puffed corn or a
cookie and juice. Sometimes I bring in a few visuals like an old beer glass, fishing
reels, pocket watch. They love it.

Pop popcorn

Make peanut butter sandwiches

Cook hot dogs outside


Fire Dept. visits complete with giant truck.

Monthly visits from one or more of the
military recruiters - they bring videos of
their marching and promo videos, etc.




I work at a men’s long term care facility on a dementia unit.  I have 60 veterans.  
We have found a few ideas that are working.
1.        We show old
Hee Haw shows.
2.        We also show
wrestling and the men love

Watch a
cowboy movie or the stooges

Classic sporting events
on TV. The only thing that consistently has worked is
food. Something involving meat and potatoes, or an old fashioned treat like cotton
candy, or something they just can't get every day like McDonalds or KFC.

Watching the old sitcoms such as Bonanza, Andy Griffith Show, and The Hee
Haw Show

Men’s movie night, the women make pizza in the cooking club that day, and @
night the men eat it while watching old movies of their choice, and drink near beer.
Let me tell you they love it.  

Men's Movie and Pizza Party. The guys always love this because we usually
show some action movie that our ladies would never watch. We also serve the
root beer in the brown bottles and set up the room to look like a bar. We have
actually offered to serve them beer but none of my guys are interested in actually
drinking. They just like the atmosphere of the setting.

Friday night movie with all the popcorn/soda and a treat they vote on, this past
week it was chicken wings and non-alcohol beer.

Watching an
old boxing match on video,


Kid's science experiments (so they're safe) that are fun for the guys to set up and
watch the results.

For men with dementia, we have had a
shoe polishing activity.  It is good for them
to smell the shoe polish scent to help them reminisce, but for some who may put
it in their mouths, I make a food safe polish with Crisco and paste food coloring.  
We have gathered lots of shoes, especially those oxfords and wing tips.  The
whole pile goes on the table, and newspapers are spread out. The men have to
first find a matching pair of shoes, then we hand out soft cloths, brushes, pieces
of old t-shirts, and scraps of flannel.  The men go to town, polishing their shoes,
some even to the ‘spit shine’.  We inspect them and let them know that they are
great! -
Kathleen “Mimi” Taylor, ADC, Good Shepherd Rehab & Nursing Center,
Jaffrey, NH

Once a year we have a showgirl come and entertain the fellows along with dance
and music, the guys look forward to this every year! --
Christy Baughman A.D.P.C.,
Tennessee State Veterans' Home

Wet T-Shirt Contest:  Pass out invitations (very important) that state simply:  Wet T-
shirt Contest; Time; Place; Date; and NO WOMEN!!!  Then keep it a secret (pass
out early so they can all talk and upset the women - haha),  You'll need a hoop of
some sort (hula hoop or old tire) and some haines t-shirts.  Get them wet, let the
men throw the wet shirts through the hoop for some friendly competition.  :)~ -
Shelly Lovett, AD, Columbia Basin Care Facility

Tool boxes stuffed full - guys can identify the tools and what they're used for,
sparking discussions

Co-activities with the ladies, such as cutting things out (fabric strips for braided
rugs), making something for their wives or kids

Anything with props or other stuff that is as much hands-on as much as possible

Games of chance (such as poker, bunco, pokeno, high rollers, horse racing, etc),
any group where food is served, luncheons, outings to restaurants, casino's,
sports events, woodshop or metal pressing.

Fix broken items

Service projects?
Our men's group does one service project each month. We
have painted birdhouses for a local park, stained banks which were donated to a
local summer school's math class, made dog biscuits for the Humane Society,
assembled welcome bags for the local Cub Scout summer camp. We also do a
monthly men's only breakfast outing which is very popular!

Try a campout. OK, not as crazy as it sounds. Do it during the day. Pitch a small
inexpensive tent (even if you do it inside) have hot dog's, chip's, smores, tell ghost
stories or talk of the times of old. You can get sleeping bag's, a cooler, brown
paper bag it. You don't actually have to camp out, but you can simulate it. Good
luck to us all, and hope this idea has given you some help. You may need to
modify a little, I had to because I work in an Alzheimer's specialty facility.

Cigars, beer, and pretzels. .

Showing pictures,
(check out FLICKR.COM .  You can search for any type of
pictures you want for your men.  Their are literally hundreds of thousands.)

Fix" or "organize" something. For instance, a fisherman is given a tackle box
with bobbers, sinkers, lures (with hooks removed) all tossed in the bottom of the
box in a really disorganized way, and I ask him to put the bobbers in one drawer
and the sinkers in another. A retired carpenter gets an assortment of nails, nuts,
bolts and screws to sort/organize

Tournaments & Contests

Quizzes & Trivia- men's themes

Make Birdhouses or Dollhouses

Look at family photographs

Toss a ball

Sort objects by shape or color

Some of my guys love to sit and sort screws and nuts etc.

Play horse shoes


Force bulbs for winter blooming

Write a letter to a family member

Feed the ducks

Read classic short stories

Put coins in a jar

Clean out a pumpkin

Monthly birthday parties
to which all residents are invited. Families and friends
may be invited to participate. Volunteers often help to bring residents to the party
and join in the fun.

Celebrations of various holidays, both secular and religious. Holidays are
particularly difficult times for those away from their own homes, families, and
friends. Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, and Memorial
Day are a few examples.

Musical events can be enjoyed actively or passively depending on the abilities of
the residents. Many homes have sing-alongs in which the residents request their
favorite songs and sing along with a leader. Again, the involvement of volunteers,
families, and friends is crucial to the success of such a program. Sometimes
concerts are given by a church or school group or friend of the nursing home.
Hopefully, the public is invited to attend, for this allows the residents to provide a
source of pleasure to their community.

Outdoor activities include gardening, cookouts, or just enjoying time in the sun
alone or with a friend. Often the staff does not have the time to take the immobile
residents outside. Family and volunteers are relied upon to make this possible.

Books. Volunteers may run a book service, taking a cart of books to the room of
immobile residents. There may be a central library or small bookcases on each
floor. Talking books for the blind may be part of the service. Families, friends, and
volunteers can buy, bring, and hand out books. Many people help with reading to
those unable to see well.

Car Races: we have remote control cars and each Resident gets a shot at racing
their car, whoever wins gets a prize, you can use obstacles for the higher
functioning as well. (For low functioning residents you can pair them up with a
higher functioning resident.) -
Christy Baughman A.D.P.C., Tennessee State
Veterans' Home

Our men like to sort, count, and wrap change.  I usually save up a big jar and
bring it in for them to work on.  If there is extra change-we hit the vending machine!
Nancy Enick


Our men were taken to the park.  Just the men who were in the Men’s Club.  They
really enjoyed this.  They are planning a picnic in the near future. –
Regency Park
Nursing Home in Hazlet

Shopping trip-Take the men out to Wal-Mart or other store to get toiletries and
other private stuff

Great Idea if men have been farmer's or are from a farm area.  Go on a van
outing, and come back with different samples of grains.  Also, collect seeds from
the different grains for a sensory program( place them in air tight containers), also
collect pictures of grains, and pictures of fields of the different crops.  If you want to
go one step further, collect pictures of machinery new and old.  Also, go to
machinery dealerships and get the brochures of the new line of equipment. - J
E. Martin Anderson  BS., ACC, MEPAP Home Study Course Instructor, Consultant

Trips to Home Depot or Lowe’s

Once or twice a month short field trips in the county to light industrial factories.

Hooters for lunch and had a great time. We had no problem finding volunteers to
go with them either.

Van rides. With no ladies but myself. They seem to enjoy this. While we were out
we stop by the local ice cream shop and get shakes or sundaes. When we are out
driving I leave it up to them where they want to go. We have went to the park, past
their home, out to look at this corn or just around town to see the changes.

Trips and tours to community events. Some homes have a special resident fund
from the sale of arts and crafts made and sold by the residents to finance
transportation rentals and ticket purchases. Friends or volunteers may donate to
the fund or sometimes the nursing home sets aside money. Transportation can
be a problem for those in wheelchairs, but the activities coordinator usually can
find volunteer drivers who are taught to cope with the special needs of disabled
people. Some communities have special vans that transport residents in
wheelchairs. Trips outside the home offer variety and mental stimulation.

We do men’s trips – So far we have been to Lowe’s, a tractor company, an airport,
and a boat company.  The men have all loved it – even those who are not totally
alert.  Just getting some of them out of the building and around things that are
familiar from their past perks them up.  
•        I had a 102 year old (normally in a Merry Walker) go to the tractor company.  
He is usually napping most of the time.  He started toward the ATV and with help
from the men at the tractor company; we got him onto the ATV and took his
picture.  We submitted it to the newspaper and it was a wonderful keepsake for
the family and his friends.  
Debbie A. Wilkins, ADC, The Orchard of Warsaw



NOTE:  Religious services. Every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home
must, by federal regulation, provide the opportunity for residents to attend religious
services of their preference. Many nursing homes welcome denominational
groups to provide religious services in the home for those who wish to attend.
Again, this often provides an opportunity for families and friends to join the
resident in worship. The organization of such services is usually handled by the
activities coordinator.

chaplain attends the Men’s Group and the male residents all identify with
him.  He brings articles in of yesteryear to talk about with the men.  They always
have a nice time and lots of interest.  -
Debbie A. Wilkins, ADC, The Orchard of

Bible Study & Bible Trivia groups

men's Bible Study

Men’s hymns sing
– easy enough.  The men get together and sing hymns and
have time to share spiritual thoughts or concerns, without the ladies around. -
Kathleen “Mimi” Taylor, ADC, Good Shepherd Rehab & Nursing Center, Jaffrey, NJ


Golf- if possible install a small putting green on a portion of your outside area.

Horse shoes: We play horse shoes quite often, whoever wins gets a prize and
then every year during Nursing Home Week we have the championships
complete with trophies and awards! -
Christy Baughman A.D.P.C., Tennessee
State Veterans' Home

Horseracing-Get an old racing form from an old race and find out the winners and
have residents place

Basketball-get a swimming pool basketball hoop game, it works well indoors on
the floor.

Bowling-Get a bowling set (pins and ball) and set at the end of a hallway in the
facility, then have a men against women bowling game, from the other end of the

Ping Pong –

Exercise club
-Get some small weights (2-5 lbs) and let men work out

Sports Trivia

Watch sports and discuss them.

- Hula Hoop, short Fishing Rod & Reel, plastic fish & stick on magnets. I
placed the magnets at the fishes mouth and a larger metal weight that the magnet
would cling to at the end of the fishing rod. I made sure the fish line was cut to be
not too long. The Hula hoop was secured to the floor with Oh my! I can't think what
you call it but it's white and sticky on both sides you can by it in the craft
department at Wal-Mart and it comes in a roll or strips. The plastic fish were
placed in the middle of the Hula hoop and the residents sat in a circle and took
turns fishing. After our fishing trip we had bowls of chocolate pudding with gummy
worms sticking out & a nice cool drink  I put the fishes in a large metal tub(like the
old washing tubs) and put water in it so that the fish float and look pretty real.

Fishing.  I think maybe if you had some volunteers or staff to help …as long as it is
well thought out. well planned. and well organized...it would be great for the men
who are interested. one up side is...most places don't have that many men so
there for it isn't such a HUGE endeavor.  As to the getting hooked at fishing etc...
and falling into the water...well i think....hmmmm we do cooking activities..and no
one has ever chopped a finger off etc....and THAT is because....we..the activity
people..think these things through and plan and organize. WHO these activities
suit...not everyone is suited to chopping up vegetables...just as not every man is
suited to going fishing...good luck..please keep us posted if your men do take that
fishing trip!

Football parties during football season and you could use the non-alcoholic beer

Do a couple of
fishing trips a year and everyone loves them. We go to a lake close
by that has a dock with safety rails that we can roll residents out on and they sit
and fish then we have a picnic. We only take four at a time as we travel in a
minivan so space is limited. I have never had anyone hook themselves or fall in
the water. Just don't forget the sun block, hats and a first aid kit just in case.

I looked up on a site devoted to football and printed off
bios of famous players
from the past, coaches, teams, etc. - have props: football, decorations and a
bloopers tape - also provide non-alcoholic beer, peanuts and pretzels. - This will
work with any sport.

Men's spa day - shoulder rubs, head massages, hot face towels, cologne,
newspapers (like the barber shop, except no girly magazines!)

Exercises with Thera-band flex bars, tai chi, dance music, etc.

The usual
bowling, fishing, golf (we have golf clubs and balls and duct tape
plastic cups to the carpet for the "holes"

Balloon volleyball, kickball with beach ball, parachute with handles and a ball in
the middle for flipping up and down and trying to roll it off onto the people across
from you

Soccer -- this would be a great intergenerational! You can have your residents go
to a local kids’ soccer club, that would really be nice.

Stanly cup, Olympics, Grey Cup, World Cup, big sports events.

Large screen TV
with cable sports channels!!

Sports....football, baseball, NASCAR and serve beer and hot dogs.....the men
watch the game and the ladies do crafts....just like being at home!
This may not be new to you, but we had a "Hunting" day.  We used a child rifle with
rubber darts to shoot down our prey (stuffed rabbits, squirrel and teddy bears).  
The guys had a great time, and we were very surprised at how good a shot some
of them were.

Exercise fun and physical fitness. Community leaders often volunteer to lead
yoga or other exercise sessions. Even wheelchair-bound residents find
satisfaction in exercising on a regular basis.


Men Are Just Happier People-

  • What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last
    name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take
    care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You
    can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear
    a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a
    water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is
    your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station
    restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to
    stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same
    work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress
    $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest
    when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or
    mangle your feet. One mood all the time. !

  • Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know
    stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one
    suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit
    for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to
    invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

  • Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of
    shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap
    problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your
    clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The
    same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only
    have to shave your face and neck.

  • You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of
    shoes -- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no
    matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a
    pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning
    growing a mustache.

  • You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on
    December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier!
Activities from Mary Rhodes LTC ADC

Make Your Own Race Track Game

Items Needed:

  • Large Roll of Paper (wide enough for several lanes )
  • clear contact paper
  • Markers
  • white cardboard(for horses)
  • Styrofoam cones or squares
  • (to use as holders to stick your horses in)
  • Pair Of Dice
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


  • Roll out the paper and cut it the size of one of your activity
  • Measure and mark off lanes horses will race in then add
    squares large enough for horses to fit in
  • Draw Stables for each horse at The Start Gate and a finish
    line at the end.
  • In some of the boxes I put:
          > Horse Kicks In Gear Move Ahead 3 Space
          > Jockey Fell Off Back To The Stable
          > Jockey Just Gave Horse A Mountain Dew Move Ahead
          > I then covered our track with clear contact paper.
          > Use Your Imagination
  • I drew and cut horses out of white cardboard
  • And Let the residents decorate and name their horse.  Some
    of the residents even kept their horses in their room and
    brought them race day.
  • You can even make a standing finish line using dowel rods
    & Styrofoam
  • Just roll dice to see who goes 1st and the race is on.
  • We had a large table so while others waited to race they sat
    around the table and helped move the horses to the finish
  • Of course the winner gets in on the next race.

Target Shoot
Submitted By Mary Rhodes LTC ADC


  • Rubber Dart Gun That Shoots Several Darts  (Can Be
    Purchased at Wal-Mart)

Description: Great Mens Activity

I purchased a dart gun from Walmart that had a cartridge you loaded
with 4 darts. I think they cost around $3.00. I took 3 empty 2 liter
soda bottles and placed pictures of animals on the front of them. At
Thanksgiving I would place pictures of Turkeys and we'd have a
"Turkey Shoot". We had hunting trips for rabbit, squirrels, deer etc. I
then would place the bottles on a bedside table towards the very
back (they fell off better). The bedside table worked great because I
could set the height for those standing to shoot or those sitting, in
wheel chairs Plus I could wheel the table to the resident. The group
of residents would take turns trying to shoot and knock the bottles
down. They got to use all 4 darts to try. What the men loved about
this was you actually cocked the gun like a real one. I even had one
little lady who never married and went squirrel hunting with her
brother who loved it. She would cock that gun hold it up to her
shoulder, squint her eye and bam! and she usually  didn't miss. I
kept score of who our best hunter was and they received a prize and
a ribbon made of construction paper. I also placed an award on our
bulletin board of who our hunter of the week was which they also

Indoor Fishing Trip
Submitted By: Mary Rhodes LTC ADC


  • Fishing Rod
  • Tie On Magnet
  • Plastic Fish
  • Hula Hoop


I purchased a Hula Hoop, short Fishing Rod & Reel, plastic fish &
stick on magnets. I placed the magnets at the fishes mouth and a
larger metal weight that the magnet would cling to at the end of the
fishing rod. I made sure the fish line was cut to be not too long. The
Hula hoop was secured to the floor with Oh my! I can't think what you
call it but it's white and sticky on both sides you can by it in the craft
department at Walmart and it comes in a roll or strips. The plastic
fish were placed in the middle of the Hula hoop and the residents
sat in a circle and took turns fishing. After our fishing trip we had
bowls of chocolate pudding with gummy worms sticking out & a nice
cool drink.
Activity Ideas from Holly Harmon, ADC

  • Men's Club (let them meet monthly to plan the types of
    activities they would like to do).

  • Wood Working Shop (S & S sanding projects, etc)

  • DVD's of antique trains, etc.

  • Card Games.

  • Sporting Events (watch on TV with non alcoholic beer and

  • Recreational Activities such as adapted basket ball,
    shuffleboard, golf, bowling, etc.

  • Antique Automobile discussion group.

  • Lot's of hunting, fishing sporting magazines, pictures, slide
    shows, videos.

  • Flag House and S & S have male oriented activity supplies
    such as masculine activity pillows, pipes and manipulatives
    for the severely demented.  Shape sorters, bean counters,
    adapted tool kits.

  • A coffee shop provides a great place to socialize.

  • Consider occupations.  Ex:  The police office may find
    purpose "patrolling" the facility in his electric wheel chair,
    checking in at nursing stations and offices to see how
    everything is.  The salesman may enjoy tending to the gift
    shop, the auto mechanic may enjoy putting together models
    (or playing with them), the house painter may now enjoy art
    work or painting the items made at the wood working shop

  • Set up a train set.

  • Fuse ball, joker poker machine, pool table, pin ball machine

  • Web TV, computer,

  • Country western music

  • Talent Show.

  • Just off the top of my head.  Hope it helps,

Holly Harmon, ADC  www.ActivityResources.org
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