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Encouraging Residents to Participate in Activities and Exercise

Studies have shown that when assisted living residents participate in meaningful activities it can greatly reduce the risk of agitation, and lessen depression. So does exercise, which improves mobility and helps overall health. CNAs have a role in encouraging residents to participate in activities and exercise.  Engaging activities offer cognitive and social stimulation, help vent frustration, and lessen feelings of loss and loneliness. Activities and exercise are critical to the well-being of your residents.

All types of activities can help prevent boredom and loneliness in residents, and promote choice and independence. Recreational activities can not only improve motor skills and social skills it helps with thinking ability, behavior, and communication.

Physical activity is an important part of residents’ care, as it can:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Help with weight control
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Decrease the risk of falls
  • Relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Strengthen the heart and lungs
  • Increase the flexibility of joints and muscles

CNAs can encourage residents to participate in activities and exercise in the following ways:

  • Explain to residents some of the many emotional and mental benefits of socialization and activity.
  • Stress that they may choose the activities they like and that they may stop performing an activity whenever they want.
  • Ask residents what types of activities they like to do. Are there any hobbies that he or she enjoy? What kind of music? What kind of art? Encourage continued involvement in these things as much as possible.
  • Encourage residents to try something new.  Sometimes, people often discover talents they may not have expressed before.
  • Bring residents with similar interests together.

Activities and exercise should make the best use of a person’s remaining strengths and skills, and be based on interests and hobbies developed over a lifetime.

We all know how important it is to stay active. Certified Nursing Assistant should motivate residents to engage in some kind of activity or exercise every day. Follow the residents individualized care plan for activity and assistance levels.  Stop the  exercise  or activity if the resident feels sick or is in pain. If this was to occur, CNAs should report their findings to the charge nurse so he or she can assess the resident for possible treatment.