By HomeCare Assistance, ALCA Corporate Partner
As our family members and friends reach their later years in life we glean the opportunity to slow down and appreciate our time with them. There are a variety of activities that they can do in that offer the opportunity to stimulate and exercise them physically, mentally and emotionally to ensure a holistic approach to maintain overall health and happiness.
In this article, we’ll go over 5 enjoyable activities seniors can partake in that’ll help inspire them to keep loving and learning.
#1 – Exercise
Exercise is one of the best activities someone in their later years can do. Of course, the types of exercises one can do will depend on their state of health, mobility and flexibility. Exercise has a variety of benefits which include increased blood flow to vital organs, cardiovascular (heart benefits), maintenance of muscle mass, cognitive improvement and overall flexibility and mobility of limbs and joints.
Depending on mobility and energy levels, some great exercises including walking, swimming, biking, chair exercises, leg raises, arm circles and body weight air squats.
Exercise (along with diet) serves as the foundation for a healthy body and mind and should always be a priority even in a senior’s later years!
#2 – Puzzles or Board Games
As you age, it’s normal to experience some level of cognitive decline including processing speeds or reduction in attention span, which makes it important to actively engage in various types of mentally stimulating activities to help keep sharp.
Games and puzzles are a great way to mentally stimulate your brain to help maintain cognition such as memory, attention and processing speed. Games and puzzles also make learning fun and at times exciting which is a great way seniors can engage while learning and maintaining their brain’s health.
Some studies have shown that doing crosswords or puzzles may help maintain cognitive health and prevent further memory loss. Reading can also be a part of this activity as it also helps stimulate verbal fluency and imagination.
#3 – Arts and Crafts
Creating art, whether it be in the form of paintings, sculptures, jewelry or even knitting can be a great activity as it allows for creativity and stimulation of the senses including sight, touch and sound. In addition, it’s nice to play music while engaging in making art as it helps provide a soothing and relaxing touch which helps you really get in the moment and engaged with what you’re doing.
For many, making art is a form of meditation so this can be a great way for seniors to relax and enjoy their time.
#4 – Visit a Pet Shop
Many studies have shown that animals like cats and dogs can help induce calmness, relaxation and feelings of well-being for seniors. Visiting a pet store every so often and being around some happy felines and pups can be a great way for seniors to stay in touch with their furry friends while getting a dose of happiness and comfort.
Even better, many seniors choose to have a (usually small) dog of their own. Dogs are a great companion to have around the house which helps prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation. It also helps induce feelings of responsibility and provides some routine and structure since you have to stay on top of taking care of them.
#5 – Movie Night!
Movie nights can be a great way to bring family and friends together to enjoy a classic film and entertainment for a couple hours. They provide the opportunity to have discussion before and after the movie to build excitement and “recap” parts of the film everyone enjoyed which is mentally stimulating.
If possible and nutritional guidelines allow it, prepare some popcorn or Ice cream for everyone to enjoy during the movie to make things more fun.
Picking a classic or favorite that your senior friend or family member loves is a great way to help remember old times while bringing up good memories and feelings.
HomeCare Assistance is an ALCA Corporate Partner. Thousands of families across the nation trust Home Care Assistance for their warm, welcoming and family-style assistance programs which help improve the quality of life and comfort of seniors across the nation! You can find more information at homecareassistance.com.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association™ and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.