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March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, Leprechaun, Shamrocks, Green Beer, and all things Irish. If you are an activities director at a nursing home and planning activities around the Irish theme for this month, here are some suggestions for activities to keep in mind.

Trivia games can be in everything green or in Ireland. The theme of a party could be the same and there are also many crafts to do in the spirit of the Irish! Ireland is known for its legendary leprechaun, pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, shamrocks, and beer. Although it is probably advisable not to serve beer to your residents, you can serve many green-colored drinks and use food coloring to change the appearance of many food dishes. Dressing in the spirit of the Irish is a breeze for you and the residents too – just wear green!

Palm Sunday and Easter sometimes fall in this month. If you choose to celebrate these dates or recognize them for your religious residents, you can also find resources for religious crafts and trivia online. Christmas and Easter are often the times when gospel songs are sung that everyone is willing to sing together. So dust off CDs and sing DVDs if you’re not already using them, and get some instruments to go along with it, if that’s your thing.

Is it spring that you would rather focus on rather than Irish as a month’s theme? The activities you can do during the spring are endless. This is a good time to get potting soil and seeds. The smell of the rich compost is a beautiful spring smell and every older person can be a part of planting seeds in the ground for the spring flowers to start. In a few weeks they will be ready to transplant outdoors or into larger pots for everyone to enjoy.

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

In keeping with the spring theme for March activities, there are plenty of outings to do as well. Everyone has been ‘locked in’ indoors for months and needs to get out, stretch, feel the sunlight on their face, and breathe the spring air. Some outdoor activities will depend on where you live. Spring takes longer to get further north, but as it warms up, it can take seniors for a walk through a zoo, open-air market, park, or just go for a walk around the block.

Because it’s the beginning of spring, new changes, and a new birth, March is a great time to consider little makeovers to freshen things up. From hairdos and manicures to moving furniture and adding art and new paintings to many walls, in your common activity areas and in residents’ bedrooms. As everyone’s spirits are soothed by longer days and fresh air, have a group sing or invite a musician to your facility – someone you haven’t had before. Perhaps a new and special talent. Spring is the time to try something new.

A sensory stimulation box might be a good activity for those who are bedridden. This could also be a spring theme, an Irish theme, or in keeping with a religious tone for Easter. The items you can use are stones, candles, flowers, chocolates with coins, clover-shaped or cross-shaped items. Include a CD of the gospel, the Bible, or the promises of scripture in some other way. It is also good to include images of Ireland, the outdoors in general, and different flowers.

After months of soups and stews, perhaps older people would like to eat ice cream or ice cream. Ask them! They may have suggestions for other things that they are just eager to do. Get their feedback and see where it takes you. March could be a great month for everyone.

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