51 Fun Ideas for Hospice Patients

This article explores 51 enjoyable suggestions for hospice patients, all aimed at brightening their days. Remember to download our PDF guide as a handy tool for future reference.

Navigating the seas of hospice and palliative care can be an emotional and heart-wrenching voyage for patients and their loved ones. While tending to medical needs and providing a nurturing shoulder to lean on are crucial elements of this journey, sprinkling in joy and fulfillment is just as important. 

51 Fun Ideas for Hospice Patients

Consider sharing these fun ideas with your IDG hospice team, or creating a resource in your online hospice training solution for your team to easily access. Ok, let’s jump into the meaningful activities!

Fun Ideas for Hospice Patients

Creative Projects

  1. Art Therapy: Encourage patients to express themselves through painting, drawing, or sculpting. Art can be a therapeutic way to release emotions and create something beautiful for the terminally ill.
  2. Crafts: Simple crafts like knitting, beading, or making collages can provide a sense of accomplishment and creativity.
  3. Journaling: Writing can be an excellent outlet for patients to share their thoughts, feelings, and memories.

Social Activities

These hospice activities, including art therapy and game nights, are also suitable for palliative care patients, providing relaxation and enjoyment

  1. Game Nights: Organize game nights with board games, card games, or puzzles to provide patients a fun and interactive experience.
  2. Movie Nights: Create a cozy atmosphere with blankets and pillows, and enjoy a favorite movie or TV show together.
  3. Musical Entertainment: Arrange live musical performances or create personalized playlists for patients to enjoy.
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Outdoor Experiences

  1. Gardening: If patients can, gardening can be rewarding and therapeutic. Plant flowers or herbs in pots or accessible garden beds.
  2. Nature Walks: Take patients on gentle walks through a park or nature reserve, allowing them to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.
  3. Picnics: Set up a picnic in a tranquil outdoor location for a special meal and quality time together.

Memory-Making Activities

  1. Creating Memory Boxes: Encourage patients to fill a box with sentimental items, photos, and letters to leave a lasting legacy for their loved ones.
  2. Storytelling: Record or write down patients’ life stories and memories, creating a lasting keepsake for their family and friends.
  3. Family Time: Organize family gatherings or visits, ensuring patients can spend precious time with their loved ones.
  4. Travelogue Nights: Organize travelogue nights where patients can share stories and photos from their past travels, creating opportunities for reminiscing and connection with others.
  5. Family Tree: Assist patients in creating a family tree, documenting their ancestry, and preserving their family history for future generations.
fun ideas for hospice patients - Enhancing the Experience with Technology

Enhancing the Experience with Technology

In the modern age, technology can be a helpful tool in providing fun ideas for hospice patients. Virtual reality and video calls are excellent activities to do with terminally ill patients, offering them a window to the world and a way to connect with loved ones. Here are a few suggestions:

Virtual Reality

  1. Relive Memories: Help patients revisit cherished memories by recreating special moments or locations using virtual reality.
  2. Virtual Tours: Utilize technology to offer virtual tours of famous landmarks, museums, or art galleries, allowing patients to explore new places without leaving their rooms.

Video Calls

  1. Connecting with Loved Ones: Facilitate video calls with family and friends who cannot visit in person, providing patients with much-needed connection and support.
  2. Joining Events Virtually: Allow patients to virtually attend important events like weddings or graduations so they don’t miss out on life’s milestones.

Pet Therapy

  1. Animal Visits: Arrange for therapy animals or well-behaved pets to visit the hospice, providing comfort and companionship to patients.
  2. Pet Care: If a patient has a pet, help them care for their furry friend, allowing them to maintain a sense of responsibility and connection.
fun ideas for hospice patients - memory activities

Cognitive Stimulation

  1. Brain Games: Encourage mental stimulation with activities such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or trivia games, helping patients maintain cognitive function.
  2. Reading and Storytelling: Share stories, articles, or books with patients, either by reading aloud or providing audiobooks for them to enjoy.

Physical Movement and Exercise

  1. Gentle Yoga or Tai Chi: Guide patients through gentle, low-impact exercises like yoga or Tai Chi, promoting relaxation and improved mobility.
  2. Stretching and Range of Motion: Assist patients with gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to help maintain muscle strength and flexibility.
  3. Dance and Movement Therapy: Encourage patients to express themselves through dance or movement, providing a creative and enjoyable form of exercise.
  4. Breathing Exercises: Teach patients deep breathing and relaxation techniques, promoting a sense of calm and stress relief.

Mindfulness and Meditation

  1. Guided Meditation: Introduce patients to guided meditation sessions, helping them find inner peace and relaxation during their hospice journey.
  2. Mindful Coloring: Provide adult coloring books or pages with intricate designs for patients to color, promoting a sense of calm and mindfulness.
  3. Gratitude Practice: Encourage patients to reflect on the things they are grateful for by sharing their thoughts aloud or writing them down, fostering a positive mindset.
fun ideas for hospice patients - sensory experiences

Aromatherapy and Sensory Experiences

  1. Essential Oils: Utilize essential oils with a diffuser or through gentle massage, offering patients the benefits of aromatherapy for relaxation and stress relief.
  2. Soothing Textures: Provide patients with soft, comforting items like plush blankets or weighted lap pads, creating a relaxing sensory experience.
  3. Nature Sounds: Play recordings of calming nature sounds, such as birdsong, ocean waves, or a babbling brook, to create a serene atmosphere for patients to relax.

Celebrations and Special Occasions

  1. Birthday Parties: Organize a small birthday celebration for patients, complete with cake, decorations, and a special gift to make their day memorable.
  2. Holiday Celebrations: Acknowledge and celebrate various holidays with patients, incorporating their traditions, favorite foods, or festive activities.
  3. Theme Days: Plan special theme days based on the patient’s interests, such as a “spa day” with pampering treatments, a “sports day” with sports-related activities, or a “nostalgia day” to reminisce about their past.

Culinary Experiences

  1. Cooking or Baking: Involve patients in simple cooking or baking activities, allowing them to create and enjoy their favorite dishes or treats.
  2. Taste Testing: Organize a taste-testing event featuring a variety of foods or beverages, encouraging patients to explore new flavors and culinary experiences.
  3. Themed Meals: Plan themed meals based on different cultures or periods, allowing patients to enjoy diverse culinary experiences and learn about new traditions.
fun ideas for hospice patients - outdoor activities

Spiritual Connection

  1. Prayer or Reflection: Offer patients the opportunity for quiet prayer or reflection based on their spiritual beliefs, helping them find comfort and solace during their hospice journey.
  2. Spiritual Discussions: Engage patients in conversations about their beliefs, values, and life experiences, providing an opportunity for deeper connection and understanding.
  3. Inspirational Readings: Share inspirational or spiritual readings with patients, offering encouragement, wisdom, and hope.

Laughter and Humor

  1. Comedy Nights: Arrange a comedy night featuring stand-up comedians, humorous movies, or funny videos to help patients find joy and laughter during their time in hospice care.
  2. Laughter Yoga: Introduce patients to laughter yoga, a unique exercise that combines laughter and deep breathing to promote overall well-being and stress relief.
  3. Humorous Books or Podcasts: Provide patients with humorous books or podcasts, offering them entertainment and laughter.

Therapeutic Touch

  1. Massage Therapy: Arrange for a licensed massage therapist to provide gentle massages to patients, helping them relax and relieve discomfort.
  2. Hand or Foot Massage: Offer patients a soothing hand or foot massage using calming essential oils, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Creative Expression

  1. Poetry Writing: Encourage patients to express themselves through poetry, providing a creative outlet for their emotions and experiences.
  2. Photography: Provide patients with a camera or smartphone to capture moments, people, or things that bring them joy or hold special meaning.

Group Activities

  1. Group Sing-Alongs: Organize group sing-alongs with patients and their loved ones, creating a joyful and uplifting atmosphere through the power of music.
  2. Support Circles: Facilitate support circles where patients can share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings, fostering community and connection.

Personalized Playlists

  1. Music Memories: Create personalized playlists for patients featuring their favorite songs or music from significant moments, providing comfort and nostalgia.
  2. Guided Imagery: Offer patients access to guided imagery audio tracks to help them visualize calming scenes, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Multisensory Experiences

  1. Sensory Garden: Create a sensory garden with plants with varying textures, colors, and fragrances, offering patients an immersive and therapeutic outdoor experience.
  2. Water Features: Introduce soothing water features like small fountains or tabletop waterfalls to create a calming atmosphere and provide a gentle source of white noise for relaxation.

Hobbies and Interests

  1. Model Building: Provide patients with model kits, such as cars, airplanes, or ships, allowing them to engage in a focused and rewarding hobby.
  2. Puzzles: Offer patients a selection of jigsaw puzzles or 3D puzzles to challenge their minds and provide a sense of accomplishment upon completion.
fun ideas for hospice patients - caregivers

Caring for the Caregivers

Recognizing that caregivers also need support during this challenging time is essential. Consider the following to help reduce your hospice aide and caregiver turnover:

  1. Respite Care: Arrange for respite care to give caregivers a break and some time for themselves.
  2. Support Groups: Encourage caregivers to join support groups or seek therapy to help them process their emotions and share their experiences with others in similar situations.
  3. Self-Care: Remind caregivers to prioritize their well-being by practicing self-care, including exercise, relaxation techniques, and hobbies that bring them joy.

Wrapping it Up

In the emotional journey of hospice care, infusing joy is vital. Our 51 fun ideas for hospice patients, ranging from creative projects to sensory experiences, will help you enhance a patients’ quality of life. Download our PDF guide and remember to tailor activities to individual needs, ensuring connection, happiness, and fulfillment.


What is the primary goal of incorporating fun ideas for hospice patients?

The primary goal is to improve the quality of life for hospice patients by providing enjoyable and engaging activities that can help create a sense of purpose, happiness, and connection.

Can fun ideas for hospice patients be tailored to individual needs and abilities?

Absolutely! It’s essential to consider each patient’s unique needs, interests, and abilities when planning activities. This may require modifying or adapting activities to ensure they are enjoyable and appropriate for each patient.

How can I involve the patient’s family in these fun ideas for hospice patients?

Family involvement can make activities more meaningful and enjoyable for hospice patients. Encourage family members to participate in activities, help plan events, or suggest ideas based on the patient’s interests.

Are there any safety considerations when planning fun ideas for hospice patients?

Yes, safety should always be a top priority. Consider the patient’s physical abilities and limitations and ensure that activities are appropriate for their mobility and overall health.

Can fun ideas for hospice patients be incorporated into their daily routines?

Definitely! Incorporating enjoyable activities into a patient’s daily routine can help create a more positive and engaging environment. Work with the hospice care team to develop a schedule including medical care and fun activities.

What to do for someone in hospice?

Engage hospice patients with various activities like art therapy, music sessions, reminiscing, gentle exercise, and social interaction. Tailor the activities to their individual needs and preferences, focusing on comfort, safety, and well-being to enhance their quality of life.

What to do when visiting someone in hospice?

When supporting someone in hospice, focus on emotional connection, engaging activities, and comfort. Spend quality time together, sharing stories and memories. Offer enjoyable activities like art projects, music, or games. Ensure their physical comfort and address any concerns they may have. Ultimately, be present, empathetic, and attentive to their needs.

What to write in a card for someone in hospice?

When writing a card for someone in hospice, it’s important to express your care and support. Messages of love, fond memories, and comforting thoughts can be deeply meaningful.

What to do for someone on hospice?

Spending quality time, engaging in gentle activities, and providing emotional support are some of the nicest things you can do for someone in hospice. These actions help create a comforting and caring environment during their hospice journey.

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Laura Patrick

🏠👩‍⚕️ I'm a 25yr experienced senior care nurse who writes about home health, home care & hospice. In my free time, I enjoy painting & photography. 🎨📸