After you have completed CNA training and have begun working as a certified nursing assistant, you may be surprised to find that your job does not always entail assisting residents with personal or nursing care. You may also be called up on to help them take part in recreational activities.
These activities, often referred to as recreational therapy, are more than just ways to help the patients pass the time. These services help residents gain the skills they need to enhance their functional independence and improve their quality of life. After CNA training, you may be able to help those you care for with activities that prevent the decline of psychosocial, cognitive, and physical functioning.
After CNA Training: Assisting With Recreational Activities for Residents
If you are asked to assist your residents with recreational activities after CNA training, there are many different activities you might encounter. Here are just a few of the most common, and the cognitive, psychosocial, and physical benefits they provide your patients.
- Games- Many nursing homes and hospitals introduce their patients to a variety of games, depending on the individual’s interests and injuries. They may play cards, board games, or even video games with devices like the Nintendo Wii. Cards and board games allow them to keep their mind sharp and interact with other patients in a relaxed social setting. High tech gaming devices like the Wii provide many therapeutic benefits, such as increasing range of motion, balance, and endurance.
- Cooking- After CNA training, you may be asked to help residents take part in cooking groups. During this type of recreational activity, patients will have the opportunity to work together to create edible dishes, while learning techniques such as meal preparation, safety awareness, and how to manage their homes. This activity is especially helpful to those who will be returning to their home environment, but it is also beneficial to long term residents who need to work on their fine and gross motor skills and increase their self-esteem.
- Art- While art may have not been a class you had to take during your CNA training, assisting your residents with creative art projects can provide many benefits. Art will allow patients to express themselves and their feelings while increasing their fine and gross motor skills by using necessary tools and equipment.
- Sports- Competition and teamwork can be obtained through many adaptive sports, like wheelchair tennis, hand cycling, golf, softball, and wheelchair basketball. Even a simple game of catch using a big rubber ball can be stimulating, fun, and promote social interaction.
- Gardening- If you are working in a facility that promotes gardening activities for your patients, you are in luck. Gardening is more than just a project your patients will enjoy. It is a therapy tool that can be used for many different patients to increase fine and gross motor skills, social interaction, promote self-esteem, and assist in maintaining residual skills. This type of activity is great for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s because it provides sensory experiences without being over stimulating, emphasizes reminiscence, and can be done at the patient’s own pace.
As a CNA training graduate, you may have the opportunity to assist many patients with recreational activities. While these activities may seem like another way to pass the time, they can be extremely beneficial to a patient’s health.