Staying active and social is essential for a healthy ageing mind. Researchers have found that even those with a significant decline from dementia have improved symptoms after engaging in activities that stimulate the body and mind.
The study concluded that an exercise regimen combined with social activities resulted in meaningful improvements in daily life activities. For example, long-term care residents showed improved memory by recalling phone numbers faster.
However, some find it challenging to organise aged care activities because of cognitive and physical capability differences. But there are many invigorating options that work for everyone. Keep reading for a variety of activities for the elderly.
Reawaken Their Inner Artist
When your loved ones create art, they use both sides of their brain. As a result, art therapy is one of the most fulfilling group therapy activities for seniors. Art therapy also encourages expression in those who are non-verbal or with cognitive decline.
Lack of communication is both frustrating and isolating and often leads to further withdrawal. However, while painting or crafting, the brain is in a focused state, during which Alzheimer’s or dementia patients have access to moments of clarity. Family members are often surprised at what painting unlocks in their loved ones.
Schedule Spa Days
Everyone feels special during a spa day. Pampering our elders is one way to give them individual attention while showing them how much they’re loved. To start, set the stage for a spa day with relaxing music and aromatherapy.
Physical touch is therapeutic, so a simple “spa treatment” for seniors might be gentle hand and face massages with lotion. When possible, hire professional nail artists for a round of manicures.
Start a Gardening Club
Researchers at Parks Victoria have found that mental health improves when people have access to nature. Their study involved national parks, but the same response is seen when people create nature by gardening.
After spending time in nature, seniors enjoy lower stress levels and better overall well-being. Raise flatbeds or used potted plants and tables so that seniors don’t have to bend.
Gardening is one of the best lifestyle activities for aged care facilities because it combines the benefits of exercise and nature.
Have a Park Day
Park days are simple and accessible summer activities for seniors in nursing homes. Turn it into a picnic by packing a healthy lunch. Don’t forget plenty of beverages to keep everyone well hydrated.
Other Stimulating Day Trips
A day trip is not always possible in the winter or during inclement weather. Fortunately, there are many other senior accessible trips. For example, consider trips to the art museum, the botanical gardens, and the theatre.
Make the journey enjoyable and comfortable with music or simple games to play. Consider the length of the trip when planning any excursion.
Keep Them Moving
Physical activity stimulates cognitive function, releases endorphins, and prevents physical decline. Scientists believe these benefits occur after 30 minutes of moderate exercise when blood rushes oxygen to the brain, stimulating healthy brain cells.
Yet, many seniors report that they are inactive most of the time. Others interested in exercise might feel limited by mobility issues. Luckily, many activities can be completed while seated or in a wheelchair.
Seated yoga is often a class favourite. Weight lifting and aerobics are also great options that seniors can do in a chair.
And if ability permits, don’t forget the best exercise that’s easy and free: walking! Seniors who walk, strengthen muscles and have lower rates of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Seniors who take part in a combination of strength training, stretching, and walking have lower fall rates than their sedentary peers.
Organise a Book Club
Social activities are an essential part of maintaining brain health. Book clubs are one way to keep senior minds active by providing a social place to engage in discussion and analysation. Honing these skills keeps ageing minds sharp.
Home care residents know what they want to read, so make sure to ask them. Then, rotate titles so that everyone’s suggestion may be put forth.
Keep Them Connected with Music
Scientists have proven that music has significant cognitive function benefits. This may be because of how intricately connected to music humans are. Even those with severe cognitive decline will dance or smile when familiar favourites are played.
Some people living with dementia and Alzheimers can recall memories associated with the songs. Some might even speak or sing even though they only use limited language in their daily lives.
As a result, many doctors believe that music is more than an extracurricular; it’s a necessity for aged care.
Aged Care Activities Help Enrich Our Elder’s Lives
Aged care activities are an essential part of elder care because they keep minds busy and bodies nimble. But knowing how to organise activities for the elderly is only one part of providing an excellent quality of life for ageing loved ones.
In care homes, elder residents have access to expert staff who work to slow the progression of memory loss. At Heritage Care, we offer quality residential options in Melbourne and Sydney that provide different support ranges. Every location has a team of warm and attentive elder care professionals.
Seeking elderly care is a big decision. When you’re ready, contact us to learn more about the care we provide in our homes.