Just because you are getting older and have moved into an assisted living home, does not mean you need to have less quality of life. There are many activities people in assisted living can participate in, that those in nursing homes might not be able to do anymore. Activities for the elderly are extremely important! Here are some reasons that you should participate in activities:
- Increases cognitive function. Which basically means that it keeps our minds sharp! Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s can really benefit from this.
- It improves our physical health. Studies show that the elderly who participate in more activities, are more likely to eat better and exercise more.
- Helps keep away depression. Those who are socially and physically engaged in activities are less likely to get the blues. Physical activities also decrease the risk of stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia.
- It helps you make friends. Becoming a part of a new social circle can feel overwhelming. Participating in activities can help you connect with people that you probably never thought you would be able to connect with before. Having a sense of community is important.
Here are some ideas of different activities that you might find fun to participate in:
- Nature walks are a great way to get exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Enjoy the beautiful trees and flowers.
- Some assisted living communities have areas for a community garden. This is a great way to get outdoors, get your hands in the dirt, and feel like you have a purpose by nurturing something. And if you need help, you can always ask an employee to help you.
- Dancing is another great way that the elderly can be active. Not only does it get you moving physically, it helps you connect with others.
- Virtual bowling is now a thing... A lot of times you can do it on a Nintendo Wii. And since you are just holding a remote instead of an actual bowling ball, it’s good exercise for those who don’t have a lot of strength. Any activity to keep you moving is good. What do you like to do?
Social and Cognitive Activities
- How about joining a book club? This is a great way to help your mind stay active while reading; And make new friends along the way.
- Get involved in a bible study group, prayer group or ministry. You still have a lot to contribute to the world. One way you will be blessed is by blessing others.
- Why not take a class? I do not believe that the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is true for one minute. As long as you have a teachable heart, you can learn new things. Some awesome classes you could participate in are art classes, language classes, a class where you learn about different cultures from around the world, jewelry making class, basic computer and cell phone operation, etc. Many of these classes help you to maintain fine motor skills and allow your brain to be active.
- Participate in life story exercises. You can make this fun in many different ways. Sharing pictures, making scrapbooks together, or even doing some type of show and tell where you share an item from your past are great ways to tell people your life story. It is also a great way to practice your memory skills and help prevent memory loss.
It doesn’t matter what type of activities you choose to participate in. As long as it’s beneficial to your emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health it is going to be good for you.