As an STNA you will likely work with many patients who are unhappy with their situation. The fact is, most people identify as independent and strong. So, when they grow too ill or frail to care for themselves, they often feel that they have lost a part of their identity. One important way to combat the depression that is so prevalent among these patients is to keep them engaged. Below, you’ll find a list of some tips to keep nursing home patients from growing too bored and, consequently, depressed.
1. Embrace their hobbies
Before moving into your nursing home, your patients lived long, full lives. Chances are, they had a number of hobbies that they enjoyed over the years. The best way to make these patients feel at home is to make it possible for them to continue to enjoy their favorite hobbies at the nursing home. This might mean securing them a free table in the common room for crafts or taking them for walks outside to do some bird watching. Taking the extra time to help your patients to have access to their hobbies will help you to boost their morale and keep them mentally alert.
2. Take a walk together
Nothing shakes off the boredom blues as quickly as a walk. Taking your patients for walks will provide much-needed variety on dreary days, will help them to maintain their physical fitness, and will provide a great opportunity for the two of you to get to know each other better and to form a stronger relationship. On days of good weather, taking a quick stroll outside can do a world of good for bored or dissatisfied patients.
3. Introduce them to new technology
Technology can open up a world of possibilities for patients whose physical condition is poor but whose mental condition is sharp. A few quick lessons on Facebook, email, and Netflix can allow these patients to reconnect with old friends, to stay in touch with family, and to enjoy their favorite programming on demand.
Preventing excessive patient boredom is key to preventing depression. By intervening as soon as you detect frequent boredom and listlessness, you can help to keep your patient’s conditions from deteriorating. As an STNA, we know your priority is the health and happiness of your patients. We hope these tips will help you to keep them engaged!