Are you wondering what type of fun activity is best for hospice patients? If YES, here are 20 best fun ideas for hospice patients in 2021. Note that being involved in a patient’s health journey while they are receiving palliative care enables caregivers to help with improving the patient’s quality of life and offering spiritual and psycho-social support.

There are numerous activities and fun ideas for hospice patients, and these activities which can be an important avenue to make them comfortable may also have implications for work, social life relationships, and the home environment.

Involving patients and their family members or caregivers in constructive conversations in terms of care planning can help handle functional decline and the feeling of helplessness. As a caregiver for a hospice patient, it is your duty to make sure that your patient or loved one is able to enjoy this time of life as much as possible.

Have it in mind that fun activities can help distract a person from annoying medical procedures or troubling physical symptoms, as well as the pains of boredom and loneliness. Additionally, getting involved in fun and happy activities can help lift the feeling of powerlessness, loss of control, or lack of choice, and also help to grow self worth, morale, and consequently, quality of life.

As a caregiver with a hospice patient, finding fun ideas or activities for them can be very challenging, especially if a patient has limited mobility, intellectual disability, or other exceptionalities. However, there are numerous activities family, friends, and caregivers can do to stimulate memory, focus attention, and offer social interaction for hospice patients.

Caregivers who are not so experienced with the patient should learn as much as possible about the patient’s daily routine, preferences, and life experiences. Always remember that the more the caregiver knows, the easier it is to adequately respond to the patient’s needs.

It is also imperative that everyone involved with the patient tries to respect the patient’s preferences, even if the patient prefers to be left alone. Regardless of the activity you plan to do with the patient, always remember the importance of communication. Here are a few of the many fun ideas and activities you can do with hospice patients.

What are the Best Fun ideas for Hospice Patients in 2021?

  1. Put Together A Collection Of Favourite Things

Are there special recipes, books, movies, or collectibles the dying person enjoys? You only have to clear a special area for them and arrange them together. You can also add notes to any books or recipes to keep a record of your memories about the collection. Put collectibles, such as small souvenirs from trips, seashells, or handicrafts in a special shadow box.

2. Learn Words From Another Language

Even if learning an entire language isn’t feasible at that stage of life, it may interest your patient to learn a few words from the language of their choice. Also note that this serves as a great mental exercise as well! You can start by getting vocabulary booklets and dictionaries for many different languages at a local bookstore.

Note that you can also find lists of words in other languages online. You only have to do a Google search for “Most common words in Spanish” (or whichever language you prefer) and print out a list of words to share with your loved one. Ensure to give them as much independence as they are capable of and with which they are comfortable. Learn with him and quiz each other!

  1. Cut Pictures From Old Magazines or Calendars

Have it in mind that older people tend to enjoy leafing through old magazines or calendars and cutting out the images they like. It is fun to use magazines that reflect their hobbies or interests. For hospice patients who’d enjoy it, they could also paste the pictures into a notebook, creating a fun “scrapbook.”

  1. Assist in Writing a Letter

According to experts, written correspondence more or less carries a significant importance to older individuals than to younger people primarily because it was a part of their lives before the boom of the digital age. You can tailor-make this activity to suit the needs of your patient.

If he or she can write the letter himself, let them do so—you only have to make paper, pens, envelopes, greeting cards, and stamps available. If he or she requires more assistance in writing letters, ensure to help do the things they are unable to do themselves. Make it a priority to mail the letters as soon as they are written and addressed.

  1. Pet Therapy

For patients that are confined to beds, it can be a challenge for them to get to hold and pet their beloved animal. Owing to that, depending on the size and type of pet, it may be fun if you help them hold their pet. A good number of patients benefit emotionally from having their pets around, and continuing to have their pets near them even as their mobility declines can prove beneficial in many respects.

  1. Create a Box of Fun Fabrics

Note that this is fun for everyone, but primarily for someone who used to enjoy sewing or fabric crafts. To do this, simply get a box and put dozens of pieces of assorted fabrics inside. Ensure to get different colors and a variety of textures like lace, felt, silk, velvet, wool, cotton, etc. Your hospice patient can enjoy touching, folding, and sorting the fabrics.

  1. Enjoy Other Brain Games and Word Games

Consider getting workbooks of riddles, anagrams, quizzes, word searches, etc, and make them available to your patients. Coupled with these workbooks, you can also get pens, pencils, and markers as well. If your hospice patient is unable to hold a book or pencil because of a disability, take some time to help him with the word games. Ensure to customize the experience to meet their needs.

  1. Fold Towels

Note that asking a patient to help you fold laundry is one unique way to keep them occupied, give them an activity they can feel successful at, and help them feel like they’re contributing to the household. Always remember that the aim is just to keep them happily engaged. It’s ideal to use hand towels because they’re small and easily folded. Regardless of how well or poorly the towels are folded; the point is that the patient feels good about the activity.

  1. Talk

Even though this might sound quite simple and common, but talking can be very therapeutic for both of you. You can go on about topics that they enjoy, ones that trigger happy memories. Consider including family and loved ones in this fun idea. If any of them have heartaches with each other, now is the time to confess and pronounce forgiveness. They can release each other from the heaviness of bitterness.

  1. Reminisce

First and foremost, you may need pictures or old movies for this. Reminiscing about wonderful memories can be uplifting to someone with a terminal illness. Note that they may feel that their lives have been cut short, but with good memories to look back to, they can see that they have lived their lives with joy.

  1. Create a Memory Box

Have it in mind that a memory or rummage box can help any older adult feel connected to their past career and previous hobbies. To do this, simply get any kind of box and fill it with things they would have used at work, copies of photos and non-important keepsakes, or objects from hobbies.

If the patient used to do handy work, put nuts, bolts, PVC pipe pieces and fittings, a piece of wood (no splinters), fine grit sandpaper, and twine in their box. Someone who enjoyed cooking or baking might enjoy measuring spoons, a whisk, a spatula, and other related items.

  1. Music

  • Play their favorite songs or albums, especially music from their youth
  • Tune the radio to a station that plays the type of music they like
  • Look for ways to encourage them to sing along to songs they know
  • Leverage their favorite songs as a fun way to help them reminisce over fond memories
  • Play or experiment with a simple musical instrument like a harmonica or musical shaker
  1. Bring in a Favourite Meal

If your patient is often confined to his bed, cooking a favorite meal for them is no longer achievable. And it’s not possible for them also to visit a restaurant to enjoy a favorite meal. However, you can put a smile to his or her face by cooking his favorite meal or by picking up a to-go order at their favorite restaurant. However, right before doing that, ensure that your patient has no dietary restrictions.

  1. Reading Aloud, Audio Books, and Radio Shows

Have it in mind that hearing the newspaper, books, magazines, or even old letters read aloud is a lovely pastime for many older adults. Owing to that, you can find things that capture their interest, but aren’t too complex to follow.

Reading aloud is an easy way for visitors to interact with someone with dementia, especially children. Audiobooks also let that patient listen to almost any book they like. You can get them from the local library, buy them from a retailer, use the free National Library Service home delivery, or find them online for free.

A good number of patients who use to be sports fans may enjoy listening to sports games on the radio. Others may enjoy listening to radio talk shows, spiritual broadcasts, science talks, and other such programs – many radio stations even make these programs available online for free.

  1. Hold Hands

When they give you permission, hold the hands of your patient even if you don’t say anything. Especially if they are receiving treatments or medications, your touch can assure them that there is comfort for them.

  1. Adaptive (modified) Games

  • For patients with some vision, large print playing cards are a great way to enjoy simple games like go fish, blackjack (21), war, or just sorting cards by color or suit
  • Giant-size dominoes can also be used to play a variety of games, regular dominoes or matching type games your older adult invents
  • Special dominoes with raised dots could be leveraged by people with little to no vision
  • Matching shapes game with a larger template for low vision
  • Fun matching game with oversized cards showing various occupations
  1. Write A Journal Together

To do this, simply get a special book with blank pages. Together, write down stories, recollections, and thoughts about your time together. Also note that you can add pressed flowers, photos, even small mementos, anything that will help you memorialize the life that is passing.

  1. Videos and TV programs

Also, note that you can listen to musicals, operas, concerts, or other types of performances with music from TV, DVDs, YouTube, or on-demand streaming services. Also, consider nature videos or shows – they more or less describe the animals and narrate the action so it can still be an enjoyable experience even without the visuals

  1. Plant A Memory Garden

If you have enough space in your establishment, then you can make a living memorial: plant a tree or garden. Together, you can pick the plants you will use and where they will go. As the plants grow each year, you will be reminded of those lovely souls.

  1. Movement and Exercise

Note that you can play their favorite music and encourage them to dance with you, sway in their seat, or tap hands and feet along with the beat. You can boost mood, circulation, and overall health by guiding them through chair yoga exercises or chair-based exercises designed for people with dementia.

Caregivers who are experienced and place special emphasis on a patient’s changing needs will be able to assist them to prioritize goals and plans. Have it in mind that care should be continually analyzed and quickly assessed to see to these changes. Planning ahead with patients and relatives when needed will also enable care contingencies to be easily adapted, also allowing for a smooth transition in changing circumstances.

Joy Nwokoro