5 Activity Programs for Short Term Rehab Patients

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5 Activity Programs for Short Term Rehab Patients

Posted on March 21, 2013

All Activity directors that serve short term rehab residents know how challenging and difficult it can be getting them involved activities outside of therapy. The question is can you blame them? These residents’ primary goals are to participate in the rehabilitating services offered in hopes to regain their strength so that they can quickly return home.  Many residents admitted for rehab are there due to falls, joint replacements, or other medical issues such as stroke.

Without verbalizing anything out loud, many of them fear that they may become permanent residents at the facility if their attempts at rehab are not met victoriously. Therefore welcoming these new residents and introducing them to new friends and new programs could add anxiety to their fear of not returning home.

The best way to assist these residents is to engage them in Activity programs that help foster a sense of independence and activities that focus more on comfort and wellness.

Try implementing some of these program ideas to get your Short Term Rehab residents engaged!


  1. Fresh Air: Try offering a stroll outside, or even suggest sitting outside to get some fresh air and feel the sun on their face. It’s amazing how rejuvenating just being outdoors for a little while can be.
  2. Think Outside of the Calendar: Rehab residents are often times not interested in the daily planned activities. Try offering some individualized in room activities such as movies, cross word puzzles, art supplies, or puzzle books.
  3. Foster feelings of being useful: Encourage them to attend programs that would highlight their strengths and suggest they lead the program or help others during those activities. You could also encourage them to write letters to soldiers or participate in charitable events in the community.
  4. Get them Cooking: Have them take part in a cooking demonstration for other residents to encourage them in using the skills they will need when they return home.
  5. Magazines/Books and Reading materials: Offer them a variety of things to read that could either keep them up to date on what’s going on in the world, or offer them books that will help them grow and learn something new.


Remember, any form of engagement from a Short term Rehab resident, whether in room or in a group setting, is adding to their quality of life and is keeping them engaged.