Fun Ideas for Hospice Patients

Hospice patients, facing life's end, deserve moments of joy and fun, offering comfort, dignity, and embracing the richness of their remaining days.

Fun Ideas for Hospice Patients

Hospice patients deserve to have enjoyable experiences during their time. Here are some fun ideas for hospice patients to bring joy and comfort to their lives.

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Arts and Crafts

Bringing arts and crafts into healthcare settings can have a profound impact on patients' well being and overall experience. When looking for fun ideas for hospice patients, arts and crafts should often be one of the first ideas considered. Engaging patients in simple art projects like painting or coloring can provide them with a creative outlet, an opportunity for self-expression, and a sense of accomplishment. For this, a company called Artist is U provides self contained painting sets. They can serve as a way to distract patients from their medical conditions and appointments, allowing them to focus on something more positive and enjoyable.

When patients are provided with materials to create personalized crafts, it allows them to tap into their creativity and individuality. By making something with their own hands, patients can enhance their self-esteem and regain a sense of control over their lives. It can also serve as a meaningful way to connect with others, whether it be fellow patients, healthcare providers, or even their own families.

One of the benefits of arts and crafts in healthcare settings is its versatility. It can be adapted to suit patients of all ages and abilities. For children, art can be a playful and interactive activity that helps reduce anxiety and makes the healthcare environment feel less intimidating. It can also encourage cognitive and motor skill development. For adults, arts and crafts can provide a much-needed break from the stresses of their illness, allowing them to focus on the present moment and find joy in the creative process.

Music Therapy

Music can sometimes be forgotten when thinking of fun ideas for hospice patients. But it is important to remember that music therapy is a powerful tool that can help create a calming and soothing atmosphere for individuals in need. Whether it's in a hospital, a nursing home, or a therapy setting, playing soothing music has the ability to uplift spirits, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

Creating a Calming Atmosphere

One of the key aspects of music therapy is the ability to create a calming atmosphere through the power of music. Soft, melodic tunes have a way of transporting individuals to a serene state of mind, helping to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. Whether it's the gentle strumming of a guitar or the soothing tones of a piano, playing music can evoke a sense of peace and tranquility.

Live Music Performances

In addition to playing pre-recorded music, music therapy can also involve organizing live music performances. There are many providers of such a service, one such company we have found is Tuned In Music Therapy, a company based in Sydney. This form of music therapy can range from inviting professional musicians to perform, to encouraging patients to participate in musical activities themselves.

Live music performances have a unique ability to engage and connect with individuals on a deeper level. The energy and emotion conveyed through live music can evoke powerful emotions and provide a sense of unity and community. It can be a form of expression and communication, allowing individuals to connect with their own emotions and with others around them.

Benefits of Music Therapy

Music therapy offers a wide range of benefits for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve emotional well-being. Listening to music can also have a positive impact on physical health, such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate.Music therapy has also been found to enhance cognitive abilities, improve memory, and promote overall brain health. It can stimulate neural connections and improve concentration and focus.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy, is a widely recognized and effective method of providing support and comfort to individuals who are undergoing various forms of medical treatment or therapy. Often placed on lists that document fun ideas for hospice patients, this holistic approach incorporates gentle and well-trained therapy animals that visit healthcare facilities to interact with patients.

Arranging Visits from Therapy Animals

One of the key components of pet therapy is arranging regular visits from therapy animals to healthcare facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Delta Therapy Dogs is a non-profit organization we have found which provides such a service. These therapy animals, which can include dogs, cats, rabbits, and even horses, are specifically trained to provide companionship and comfort to patients.

Healthcare professionals work closely with animal therapy organizations to schedule these visits, ensuring that the animals and their handlers are properly trained and certified. The therapy animals are selected based on their temperament and ability to interact calmly and gently with individuals of all ages and medical conditions.

During the visits, therapy animals are carefully supervised by their handlers to ensure the safety and well-being of both the patients and the animals. Patients have the opportunity to pet, cuddle, and interact with these gentle and well-trained pets, which can significantly boost their emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

Benefits of Pet Therapy

The benefits of pet therapy are vast and wide-ranging. Interacting with therapy animals can have a positive impact on both the physical and emotional well-being of patients. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety levels
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased levels of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin (feel-good hormones)
  • Improved mood and overall mental well-being
  • Enhanced socialization and communication skills
  • Increased motivation and engagement in therapy
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness and depression

Pet therapy has been shown to be particularly effective in healthcare settings with patients who are experiencing chronic pain, undergoing long-term treatments, or facing end-of-life care. The presence of therapy animals provides a welcome distraction and a source of comfort during these challenging times.


When thinking of fun ideas for hospice patients, it is useful to remember that storytelling is a powerful tool that can help patients connect with their past, express their emotions, and create meaningful connections with others. By encouraging patients to share their life stories and memories, we can provide them with a sense of purpose and validation.

Encourage patients to share their life stories and memories

As caregivers, it is crucial to create a safe and supportive environment where patients feel comfortable sharing their life stories and memories. By actively listening and showing genuine interest, we can help them feel valued and understood. The British Journal of Community Nursing has an article about storytelling in palliative care, an excellent read which goes in depth into the topic.

One effective way to encourage storytelling is by asking open-ended questions. Instead of simply asking about specific events or experiences, try to explore the emotional significance behind them. For example, you could ask, "What was the happiest moment of your life and why?" or "Can you tell me about a time when you felt truly proud?" These types of questions allow patients to reflect on their lives and share meaningful stories.

Read aloud books or listen to audiobooks together

Incorporating books and audiobooks into the storytelling process can enhance the experience for patients. Reading aloud together allows patients to engage their imaginations and bring stories to life. It can also stimulate memories and spark conversations.

Choose books that align with patients' interests and preferences. Whether it's a classic novel, a collection of short stories, or a non-fiction book about a topic of interest, the key is to select material that resonates with them. Make sure to have a variety of options available, so patients can choose what they would like to explore.


Gardening can be a therapeutic and fulfilling activity for patients. Not only does it provide a connection to nature, but it also offers a sense of accomplishment and purpose. WaterUps is an organization which we have found which provides gardening equipment while being mindful of the healing power of gardening. Here are some ways to incorporate gardening into healthcare settings:

Create a Small Garden Area

One way to promote gardening as a therapeutic activity is to create a small garden area where patients can plant and tend to flowers or herbs.There is no shortage of fun ideas for hospice patients, but often a simple garden area can be very effective. This dedicated space can serve as a peaceful oasis where patients can escape from the clinical environment and reconnect with nature.Consider designing the garden area with raised beds or containers to make it easily accessible for patients with mobility limitations. Choose a variety of plants that are visually appealing and easy to maintain, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Provide Gardening Tools and Guidance

In order to fully engage in therapeutic gardening, patients will need access to the necessary tools and guidance. Provide gardening tools such as shovels, trowels, watering cans, and gloves for patients to use. These tools will allow patients to actively participate in gardening activities and experience the joy of nurturing plants.

Legacy Content Creation – Evaheld

Oftentimes, hospice patients are incredibly stressed and confused. They are uneasy, and it's understandable why. It has been shown that creating legacy content can reduce stress and anxiety among patients with terminal illnesses as they leave behind words and wisdom for their families. Evaheld provides the ability for hospice patients to create memorialisation content, as well as care planning content such as the lifestyle and social history questionnaire, which have been shown to reduce depression and improve emotional well being. The creation of legacy content can be an avenue explored in trying to provide the care patients deserve.


Incorporating gardening into healthcare settings can have numerous therapeutic benefits for patients, it is usually often one of the most effective fun ideas for hospice patients. By creating a small garden area, patients can enjoy planting and tending to flowers or herbs, allowing them to reconnect with nature and find a sense of purpose. Music therapy and arts and crafts also serve as fun ideas for hospice patients, as they have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve emotional well-being. The most important thing to remember when brainstorming fun ideas for hospice patients though is to not go overboard with complex ideas, often simple is best.

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