46 Fun and Entertaining Activities For Bedridden Seniors

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Being stuck in bed on a permanent or even temporary basis can drain the life out of people. Here are lots of activities for bed bound seniors that are fun, entertaining, and engaging as well.

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It’s easy to lose interest in life when you’re bedridden.

Many seniors feel that their life is over if they’re bedridden, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are still many great ways that caregivers and family members can help bed bound seniors to pass the time by sharing in some great activities with bedridden seniors.

Here are a few great ideas to help to get you started.

  1. Read together. Read them a book or allow them to read the book to you if they’re able. Either way you’re sharing time together and encouraging them.
  2. Work out a riddle or quiz together. Two heads are always better than one and you’ll be amazed at how sharp their mind still is for solving riddles and quizzes.
  3. Work on a word search or crossword puzzle together. Again, what one of you doesn’t know the other one may well know.
  4. Help them to write letters to friends and family. Encourage friends and family to write them back as well.
  5. Peruse old recipes together and ask them for their favorite recipes. You could even go a step further and make a few of the recipes for them so that they can enjoy them again.
  6. Ensure that they have a great picture window in their room and plant some flowers outside of the window for them to enjoy. Add a birdfeeder or squirrel feeder to the view for even more entertainment. You could also add in some windchimes if they enjoy listening to them (some will prefer to not have windchimes while others may really enjoy them).
  7. Watch a movie or program together with them on television. You could also bring in a DVD player and binge-watch their favorite old-time television programs or movies.
  8. Pamper them. Give a manicure or pedicure (or both as time allows) and paint their nails. Do their hair and maybe bring a nicely scented lotion that they will enjoy using at their leisure. It’s amazing how just a few minutes of pampering can lift up the spirits of a bedridden senior.
  9. Peruse an old photo album and ask them about the pictures. You may want to jot down a few notes on this one so that you can remember later on who is who.
  10. Invite a friend over to visit and serve them tea and cookies while they’re visiting.
  11. Have a tea party with them and make their favorite tea and cookies.
  12. Ask them to share a favorite memory with you of their childhood or young adult life. Again, you may wish to take notes or record this for enjoying later on.
  13. For men you could make paper airplanes and discuss the dynamics of various designs.
  14. Have the kids of grandkids do a skit for them. Make sure it’s funny and will keep their interest.
  15. Use an online music platform and play their favorite oldies. You could go a step further and dress the part as well.
  16. Skype with a special friend or loved one and let them visit for awhile.
  17. Give them a massage with a nicely scented lotion. Even just a hand massage can make a huge impact on uplifting their mood.
  18. Read a book series to them.
  19. Play a card game.
  20. Give them some play dough to work with. This can help exercise the hands too!
  21. Play board games (Yahtzee, scrabble, etc.).
  22. Play Dominoes.
  23. Set up a puzzle board and work on a puzzle together.
  24. Get them a tablet and teach them a fun video game.
  25. Play Bingo.
  26. Play audiobooks for them to listen to.
  27. Set up a fairy garden in a corner of the room for them to enjoy.
  28. Get them a game console if they enjoy games and find some games they enjoy.
  29. Work on a craft project together.
  30. Knitting or crocheting.
  31. Work on an embroidery project with them if they’re able.
  32. Help them to write a memoir. If they aren’t able to write you could write it out as they tell you and self-publish it for family members.
  33. Have the grandkids write to them and help them to write back to their grandchildren.
  34. Play them some music and sing to them.
  35. Learn a new language together.
  36. Learn sign language together.
  37. Read them poetry.
  38. Help them to write poetry or write poetry together.
  39. Write a story together. They tell you a sentence, you tell them a sentence, and then back to them. By taking turns you write the story together. It’s a fun way to pass an afternoon. Who knows, you may just write a great novel together.
  40. Tell each other jokes. Laughter is good medicine.
  41. Have a funny hat day and wear a different hat each time you go into their room. You could even offer them some funny hats to wear.
  42. Have a party day and make it a fun day by celebrating something such as “the sun is shining”, flowers are blooming, new pets, etc. You could also do this on their birthday or a holiday. Make sure to make them a special dessert with a candle to blow out (cupcakes are ideal for this purpose).
  43. Play on a whiteboard. Take turns drawing something and set an egg timer or something to see who can identify the most pictures.
  44. Unravel an old yarn project to upcycle it. They may enjoy helping do this for a fun future project.
  45. Go with a theme day and decorate the room. The beach, a mountain stream, fishing, etc. are all great ways to celebrate something unique and fun.
  46. Have a holiday every day. There are many great ways to do this, create your own special topic for the day, or look some up.

These are just a few of the many great ways that you can help to pass the time for someone who is bedridden. How about bringing a gift along with you? Here are some of the best gifts for bedridden seniors.


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