Activity directors are always seeking new ideas for residents limited by cognition and mobility. Leisure activities are important because they give residents a sense of independence and positive self-image.

Nursing home residents with dementia are particularly limited in continuing their favorite leisure activities because of their cognitive and functional limitations and their institutionalized environment.

Senior living can be enriched by bringing life and a renewed sense of wonder back to residents. Raising butterflies indoors where residents can monitor and check on their growth makes for a unique and community- orientated experience.

Insect Lore’ Senior Living Kit includes everything needed to grow and feed 20 baby caterpillars into vibrant Painted Lady butterflies. Anyone watching the growth process will feel invested as the caterpillars make their metamorphic journey from tiny larvae to chrysalis and will feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement when the butterflies spread their wings and fly for the first time.

Once metamorphosis is complete and the butterflies have emerged, observe them for a day for two, watch them sip sugar water and flutter about. The Kit includes a butterfly feeder, sugar packets and everything you need to feed the Butterflies.

Then comes the magical moment of release! Gather the residents together in an outdoor green space or garden and release your Painted Lady butterflies!

Planning a celebratory release allows seniors to interact with one another and regain a sense of self and pride, improving their quality of life. Timing a butterfly release for a special event such as a birthday, Easter, or community party makes it even more special.

Residents will find it satisfying to release their butterflies after raising them. Each time, a group can designate a Butterfly Caretaker to lead the butterflies’ minimal care needs. There’s something joyous and gratifying about caring for and nurturing another living, growing creature.

Painted Lady butterflies are found everywhere on earth, including all 50 states. They can be released anywhere and are environmentally beneficial pollinators, they may even stick around and pollinate your garden.

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Amy Mikahil is Insect Lore’s Marketing Coordinator.

Missy White

Missy White is Insect Lore’s Digital Marketing Manager.