You may have spent extra time with elderly family members over the holidays – and now you have to ‘get back into your routine.’ When you’re not around, here are 4 fun activities for seniors and their caregivers that will not only improve their health but mental outlook as well.
Physical activity is good for everybody, including the elderly. Strength, stretching, and balance are particularly beneficial as we age. Before embarking on an exercise regimen, we recommend that you ask a physical therapist or doctor to create a customized plan. If you are employing an in-home caregiver, that person can help your senior loved one follow the customized plan, thereby mitigating the risk of injuries or falls.
They can even share in the exercise routine – which benefits client and caregiver alike!
Many Seniors In Place caregivers provide needed stimulation to clients with a lively game of cards, checkers, mahjong, or a jigsaw puzzle.
“Fitting in the pieces” of a jigsaw puzzle has innumerable mental, physical, and emotional benefits for the elderly, including enhanced memory, better cognitive skills, enhanced concentration, and improved social collaboration. Finding just the right piece can sometimes feel like a breakthrough, relieving stress, and lifting the mood.
If jigsaws aren’t the right match, try crosswords, sudoku, trivia, or riddles.
Cooking & baking
Encouraging seniors to help plan menus and even prepare food can be fun. Depending upon their cognitive ability, it may be wise to have a caregiver share in the activity with them.
We even encourage our senior clients to teach their caregivers how to prepare a favorite dish or cooking technique – like pounding a chicken properly and then sauteing it so that the cutlet arrives on the plate just the way they like it.
Being part of the meal preparation process – even as simple as peeling potatoes for a stew while the caregiver chops the rest of the vegetables – can provide valuable moments of companionship.
Social interaction, like visiting with friends … staying in touch with family … hearing and seeing the latest from kids, grandkids, and friends are extremely beneficial for the elderly. In order to continue to enjoy these connections, social media and other digital platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype What’s App, Zoom, Snapchat, etc) are becoming increasingly popular for seniors.
If these are a little too complicated, there is a wonderful new app cal led GrandPad for grandparents, which includes facetime access, unlimited data, internet browsing, and ad-free streaming music. It is made just for seniors and features large icons and easy recharging.
So share some facetime until it’s safe to be together again.