Just because you moved to a nursing home doesn’t mean you can’t live an active and healthy lifestyle.

While transitioning from living on your own to an assisted living environment can be overwhelming, making an effort to stay active and social can help combat depression, sharpen your mind, and improve your overall wellbeing. The prospect of going to a nursing home can be intimidating, especially for people who are aware of the stigma surrounding them: there are certainly nursing homes that live up to the stigma, inflicting harm on their patients and requiring the formation of advocacy groups that will take up their cause.

However, moving to a nursing home can be depressing even if your older adult is moving into a good environment, being unfamiliar and somewhat scary. The good thing is there are plenty of engaging activities that allow you to meet new people and help you enjoy your later years. So if you just made the move to a nursing home here are the best ways to stay active and make new friends.

Regular Exercise

Making an effort to stay active is one of the best things you can do for both your body and mind. Low impact exercises such as walking can help you stay physically fit and maintain a healthy weight. According to the CDC, just walking 25 minutes every day can combat disease, boost your mood, and ease your anxiety. Consider making friends with another active member of the nursing home to make exercising more enjoyable.


Another fun way to stay physically active is to go dancing. Many nursing homes offer dance classes where you can learn new moves and meet new people.  Not only will you get a great workout but you will be able to enjoy good music and mingle with other residents.

Look Good to Feel Good

Just because you are living in a nursing home doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel your best. No matter your age, it is essential to make time for relaxation and things that bring you happiness. Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer manicures and pedicures, massages, and other amenities. Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself from time to time.

Develop Hobbies

You are never too old to learn something new. One of the best ways to stay mentally sharp is to pick up a new hobby that challenges your thought process. Consider reading new books, learning to play new board games, knitting, and writing.

Entertain Yourself

On top of trying something new, it is essential to keep yourself entertained. Listen to your favorite music, watch new movies, and keep up with your favorite TV shows.

Arts and Crafts

Another great way to stimulate your mind is by doing arts and crafts. Engaging in creative activities can challenge the mind and encourage innovative thinking. Consider learning how to paint, make scrapbooks, take pictures, and do other types of artistic activities. Not only are arts and crafts fun to do, but they are a great way to maintain and improve cognitive thinking.

Socialize as Much as Possible

Whenever you are staying at a new place, whether it’s a nursing home or an assisted living facility, it is a great opportunity to meet new people and form lasting relationships. Making new friends allows you to interact with like-minded people and share stories, wisdom, and laughter.

Go to Parties

Most nursing homes throw all types of parties and events throughout the year, making it a great place to meet new people and socialize with friends. Whenever there is an activity night, make sure you go and enjoy yourself. If you are feeling up to it, volunteer to help decorate before parties to show off your arts and crafts skills.

Playing Bingo

Another fun activity nursing homes provide is bingo nights. Playing bingo is another fun way to socialize with friends, stimulate your mind and even win some prizes. Playing bingo can also help boost your memory, improve your hand-eye coordination, and decrease the risk of mental illness.

Stay Positive and Have Fun

The most important thing to do when transitioning to a nursing home is to stay positive and have fun as much as possible. As long as you stay active and socialize, living in a nursing home can be an enjoyable next chapter in your life.