Dec 15, 2017 by Clark Bongaardt
Home Care Assistance: Elderly Activities that Benefits Their Health
Don’t we all dread getting old? Elderly people seem to be always struggling with issues like declining physical health, slower cognitive processes, loneliness, and depression. Thinking positively while dealing with these changes is not always possible for the elderly. It is up to us to help our seniors lead healthier and more productive lives.
It’s amazing how one simple activity added to a senior’s daily routine can have a positive effect on his or her health. Take for example a 2002 study by Mireles and Charness which reveals that playing games like chess or bridge or having them solve crossword puzzles helps the elderly in maintaining their cognitive ability. Mental stimulation, physical activity and social engagement in old age contribute to better emotional and mental health. Whether seniors are living at home or at a residential care facility, the people taking care of them can introduce them to various kinds of fun activities that are easy to carry out.
The following activities can be tried out by family members, in-home caregivers or caregiving staff at assisted living centers for the elderly. The activities can be selected depending on the interests, inclinations, and abilities of the seniors under their care.
Arts and crafts: Some of the best activities for the elderly involve creating a piece of art or craft. Making handmade cards or bookmarks with simple art techniques like puddle painting or ink blots can be a fun activity that can be conducted with individual seniors or in groups as well.
Music: Whenever possible, play music that the seniors enjoy listening to. You could dig out music albums from when they were young. Music can do wonders in uplifting someone’s mood. If the senior under your care is physically capable of playing an instrument, you could arrange basic lessons for an instrument of their choice, like the piano for example.
Movies and TV: Organize movie nights and screen old movies or TV shows. Make sure that the movies are light and funny. Don’t play something too serious since it could have a negative effect on the seniors’ mood. The seniors can take a trip down memory lane while watching classics.
Visits from children: Being around children gives the elderly a joy like no other. You could organize for visits from young schoolchildren or from a local troop of Boy or Girl Scouts. It will be a beneficial exercise for both the seniors as well as the children. For seniors getting in-home care, visits from family including children could be arranged.
Conversations: A stimulating conversation on different topics helps keep the brain cells active. It is one of the easiest activities to carry out, one that requires no props or materials, just a heart to heart chat over a cup of coffee. For seniors under home care assistance, engaging conversations help ward off loneliness.
Memoirs and photo albums: The elderly have led lives rich with experience and have so many stories to share. Documenting these experiences in the form of a journal or a memoir would be a great activity to engage them in. You could also make photo albums or collages with old photos.
Hobbies and new skills: Many seniors wish to continue learning and developing new skills. You can help by finding hobbies that the seniors could cultivate or skills they could pick up. For example, many seniors wish to learn how to use a computer, send emails or use social networks.
Books: If seniors are unable to read, you could read aloud to them. Get them involved in a story by reading a chapter every day. The curiosity of knowing what will happen next will be a great form of mental stimulation for them.
Exercise: Apart from mental activity, physical exercise is very important as well. Have your senior do simple exercises like strolls in the park or basic yoga and breathing exercises. Be sure to check with their doctor before starting any of these activities.
Contact A Caregiver Today
With a little creativity, you can come up with many ideas to keep the elderly involved in enjoyable activities and see the resulting positive changes in them. Looking for more activity ideas to keep the elderly busy? Contact Comfort Keepers at 610-543-6300; we would be more than happy to help.