Finding enjoyable, therapeutic activities for seniors to participate in can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for older adults to spend hours of the day doing nothing but watching TV.
Seniors, more than younger adults, require consistent mental and physical stimulation. This will aid in the prevention of cognitive decline caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, as well as improve overall health and happiness.
Modern therapy takes many forms, the following therapeutic activities for the elderly help improve your loved one’s overall health and happiness while also providing physical and mental stimulation.
Unfortunately, many older people do not exercise often enough. This is usually due to pain or other physical issues. However, physical activity does not have to involve running a marathon; even something as simple as walking is preferable to doing nothing.
Some ideas for fun exercises include:
- Walks in nature
Do Something Creative
Painting, sketching, and crafting are some creative arts that seniors may enjoy, particularly if they have never tried them before.
This is a simple form of therapy, but it can be very effective for seniors, particularly those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. It enables nonverbal communication by providing a more visual and sensory way of expressing oneself. It also contributes to a general sense of well-being.
While sitting in a chair or in any position that is comfortable for them, older adults can paint an entire portrait, create a scrapbook, design a family photo album, draw, and so on. They could have a lot of fun expressing themselves through art.
Making art has several health benefits in addition to the enjoyment it provides. It can help to reduce negative emotions, stress, and anxiety, as well as improve physical health.
Cooking & Baking
Cooking may be overlooked as a form of therapy, but it is another rewarding recreational activity that can help seniors stay active while engaging all five senses. Older adults have developed distinct tastes and may enjoy passing on their knowledge to others.
Perhaps your loved one is a true foodie. Encourage them to participate in meal planning, preparation, cooking, baking, and serving.
This can include simple recipes for items like cookies or pancakes, as well as more complex menus that require more skill and ingenuity in the kitchen. Cooking and baking, whether alone or with others, has the potential to be a fun and stimulating activity with some pretty yummy results!
Listening to music is one of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve stress. It has been demonstrated that music stimulates cognitive function.
Listening to familiar songs from their youth may help bring back lost memories in dementia patients. Furthermore, listening to some relaxing, nostalgic music can help a senior’s mood while also relieving stress.
You could also take them to see live music, such as a piano recital, which will get them out of the house. Music therapy has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: it’s one of the most effective therapeutic activities for seniors.
Music therapy can help relieve pain and stress by diverting a person’s attention away from their pain. Music, whether played or listened to, helps you breathe rhythmically. This can help you improve your respiratory health, release body tension, and lift your mood, all of which can improve your overall quality of life. Music therapy can be beneficial physically by:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing heart rate
- Improving breath rhythm
- Muscle relaxation
Crossword puzzles, word searches, coloring books, and sudoku are all examples of therapeutic brain games. They can help an elderly person feel less anxious and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Board games, card games, and even online computer games are other options. These can help seniors improve their memory retention, reflexes, and concentration while also reducing stress and providing a fun way to pass the time.
Last but not least, some much-needed self-care can be a very therapeutic experience. Seniors can get haircuts, coloring, styling, manicures, skin treatments, massages, and other services at a salon, barbershop, or spa.
Some senior living communities provide these services or hold special events on-site. This is an excellent opportunity for the senior in your life to be pampered and cared for, as well as to engage socially and in a new setting.
Physical activity and mental stimulation improve cognition in both healthy elderly adults and those with neurological disorders such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Happy seniors who live fulfilling lives can expect to live better and longer lives.
Fox Trail Senior Living’s dedicated staff is committed to providing you with numerous options for therapeutic activities, engagement, and innovative programs. Call us today to learn about the programs and events we offer.