At Home Games/Recreation Nursing Home

Art Card Game for Mental Stimulation

Image of Renaissance Art Card GameWhen a person’s ability to interact with the broader physical world is limited, creating intellectually and visually stimulating moments can become becomes much more difficult. At the same time, quality of life may depend even more on that kind of stimulation.

At Home DIY Everyday Gear Nursing Home

DIY Non-Slip Coating for Everyday Objects

Image of a Plasti Dip CanMy favorite sets of pliers all have a rubbery surface on the handles, making them easy to hold onto while saying rude things to hardware. Ours came that way, but you can use Plasti Dip to add that same grippy surface to nearly any object you want.

Tools are an obvious choice for coating, since holding firmly on to them is critical no matter you’re doing. But a host of other possibilities come to mind if grasp impairment is an issue. Silverware a little slippery? Dip the handles. Juice glass hard to hold? Dip the lower half. Plates a challenge? Dip the edges (and the bottom, to keep them from sliding). Coffee mug inclined to slide? Dip the bottom. Pencils, Pens? Paint a strip of Plasti Dip where fingers go. Dip the handles of scissors, paint the undersides of rulers, dip the handles on crochet hooks, knitting needles and other craft tools. And so on.

The can says it can be used on virtually any surface: “metal, wood, glass, rubber, concrete, fabic, fiberglass, rope” etc.. The directions call for tying the object to a string, and then dipping it into the can, but the fluid can be brushed on as well. There’s a spray version, too.

Plasti Dip comes in blue, yellow, red, black, white, and (wonderfully) clear. Caswell carries all the colors online. Your local big box probably doesn’t — ours only had the red and black, which I found in the paint department at Home Depot.

At Home Books DIY Everyday Gear Gifts Nursing Home

Handmade Helps for Disabled Living

Image of Cover of Handmade Helps BookThe other night when my husband was searching our bookshelves for a copy of Eros and Magic in the Renaissance (don’t ask), he found a copy of a marvelous book I’d picked up years ago. Handmade Helps for Disabled Living (by Stuart Grainger) is a compendium of ideas and projects designed to make living with various disabilities easier.

At Home Nursing Home

When Food Is More Than Mere Nutrition

Carmen Miranda at the BuffetA few weeks ago, in celebration of National Nutrition Month (that would be March), one of the dietitians at my dad’s nursing home hosted a informational get-together for residents, staff and family members. I wasn’t sure what to expect — probably I had in mind some kind of a part-lecture, part-seminar type of thing — but it turned out to be more like a party than anything else. A party with a message — no, a party with several messages, only some of which turned out to be about nutrition alone.

At Home Games/Recreation Gifts Nursing Home

Stimulating Imagination – Storytelling Images

Image of Endless Landscape Laid OutVisits to a nursing home are a critical component of caring for a resident, and rewarding for everyone involved. There’s no denying, though, that they can be difficult as well. If the visits are daily, the difficulties compound — how do you make the time interesting rather than dull and repetitious? Conversation can falter, imagination fail. How do you make interactions mentally stimulating?

At Home DIY Games/Recreation Gifts Nursing Home

Marble Run for Dexterity and Better Hand Coordination

Image of Wooden Marble Run GamesWhen coordination is difficult, whether from age, injury, surgery or a disability, playing can be the best medicine. These marble run sets are made of wooden blocks with grooves or holes. You stack and arrange the blocks so that marbles roll through them, practicing dexterity all the while.

At Home Everyday Gear Nursing Home

Walker That Folds Compactly

Pilot WalkerAt some point during the time when my dad used a cane, it became essential to get a walker to use when we went out. Sometimes he had to walk a little further than he comfortably could with his cane, and sometimes we were in situations when he really needed to sit for a while. Having the walker made that possible.

Nursing Home Reflections

Therapeutic Recreation For Those Who Will Not Play

Image of Interlocked HandsMy dad is gradually recovering from his recent hospital stay, and the recreation department at his nursing home and I are once again frantically trying to figure out what we can do to keep him engaged both in social activities and in anything that will keep him using, in particular, his hands and his mind in ways he’s not used to.

At Home Home Modifications Nursing Home

Anti-Slip Traction Strips to Prevent Falls

Commercial Traction StripsMy dad has a serious problem with falling, and a worse one with recognizing how much danger this represents to him. Because he doesn’t acknowledge his physical difficulties in this area, working around this limitation is a high priority for everyone who cares for him.

At Home Clothing Nursing Home

Easy Dressing and Adaptive Clothing for Women

One-Piece JumperIt’s tempting to settle for nightgown-type dresses for women when self-dressing isn’t possible, or when buttons or zippers are difficult to manage. Seeking comfort is a laudable goal, but living in pajamas or nighties can be pretty demoralizing, unless you’re choosing to do so as a special treat.