Recent studies by AARP indicate that roughly 90% of all seniors over age 65 want to continue aging in place at home for as long as possible. When you’re serving as a caregiver for an aging loved one, keeping them mentally and physically active is important towards helping them accomplish that goal.
Experts on aging have found that when a senior participates in activities while positively interacting with others, it typically results in a longer, healthier and happier life. For many caregivers, entertaining aging loved ones is also rewarding when it comes to their own health and wellbeing. If you’re currently serving as a caregiver, here are 5 fun activities you can do with seniors guaranteed to make them smile.
We’re never too old to learn new things, and research has found that although a senior’s physical mobility may be slowing down, their mental acuity typically stays sharp well into their 80s. When you’re serving as a caregiver, exposing a senior to new hobbies is a great way to keep them active, focused and entertained. Here are some fun ones to try:
- Cooking and baking
- Playing a musical instrument
- Writing stories or letters
- Learning a new language
- Knitting or crocheting
- Puzzles like crossword, Sudoku, or jigsaw
Regular exercise benefits persons of all ages, including seniors, as it increases flexibility, balance, burns calories, boosts energy and self-confidence, helps one sleep, and reduces stress. If your loved one suffers from diminished mobility, there are chair exercises they can do, and even ones involving a walker. If they can still get around fairly well, here are some low impact exercises you can do together that won’t place a lot of stress on joints and tissue:
- Water aerobics
- Tai Cheng
- Golf (Walk, don’t ride)
Getting outside the home to experience fresh air and nature’s beauty is good for seniors, whether it’s just sitting on the front porch or in the backyard. Take them for a walk when spring flowers are in bloom, or fall’s colorful foliage is in full force. Here are some other caregiving ways to get your senior out enjoying Mother Nature:
- Visit a local park
- Fishing at a nearby lake
- Hiking through the woods (Avoid hilly terrain)
- Play a game outside like croquet or bocce ball
Speaking of games, there are many available that can be played one-on-one, with groups, solo, or even on the computer. If the local senior center offers game days or nights, take your loved one their for some fun social interaction time. Games are not only a great opportunity to share some laughs and memories, but they also help keep a senior’s mind sharp. These are some popular games that people over age 65 enjoy:
- Board games like Trouble, Sorry, Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit
- Card games including solitaire, bridge, euchre, and pinochle
- Chess, checkers and Chinese checkers
- Wii (Which is a great form of exercise, too!)
Nothing makes a person feel good quite like helping others, and seniors are no exception. Encourage the one you’re caring for to give back to the community, even if their health isn’t the best. Contact local organizations to find out if they need some assistance with projects that a senior could do from home, like assembling care packages, knitting or crocheting items, or calling for donations over the phone. Senior volunteers are usually needed at:
- Cancer centers
- Community centers and playhouses
- Homeless shelters
We Love Involving Seniors in Activities!
When you’re serving as a caregiver, keeping a senior engaged in activities typically helps them age in place longer. When you need a break or live too far away, an experienced caregiver from Cranberry Home Care can step in and lend a hand. Our reliable home care aids are carefully-screened, highly-trained, and available when and where you need them. They love participating in activities with seniors, and providing other expert in-home services like light housekeeping, personal hygiene, meal preparation, transportation and companionship, all delivered in an affordable package to put your mind at-ease. To schedule a free initial consultation, or to learn more about how Cranberry Home Care helps at-home seniors in the Middleboro, MA area continue aging comfortably in place, visit: www.cranberryhomecare.com now!