As we age, it’s an ordinary, expected and a disappointing reality that we could gradually fall into a slump, losing interest in favorite hobbies and becoming idle. Unfortunately, this tendency can also seriously jeopardize our overall wellness. Research demonstrates that older adults who don’t exercise their brains and bodies regularly are more likely to experience a dangerous decline than those who do.
Thankfully, you can tap into a number of simple ways to retain intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual health. By encouraging participation in these opportunities on a daily basis, you could help the individual do all this and more:
- Improve cognitive functions and concentration.
- Preserve motor skills and physical stamina.
- Forge positive, emotional bonds.
- Reduce depression, anxiety and loneliness.
- Foster feelings of independence and ownership.
- Develop a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
- Potentially increase longevity.
Explore our list showing some of the most engaging activities for elderly people, designed to occupy their whole beings. Then, incorporate them into a new, enriched routine that makes life truly extraordinary.
- Games and Entertainment
Too mature for playtime? Never! Here’s the deal: By playing games, watching films and enjoying other styles of entertainment, seniors can gain mental stimulation, critical socialization and (depending on the activity) improved hand and finger dexterity. At Stoney Brook senior living communities, residents laugh daily over card games, board games, parlor games, bingo, puzzles, dominoes and more. They can even expect Casino Nights, Movie Nights and Scrabble and billiards tournaments.
- Arts and Crafts
Unleash that imaginative spirit through any number of DIY activities. Make charming craft projects. Draw, sketch or paint. Design jewelry or pottery. Sew, knit or crochet. Do needlework. Merely decorate their living spaces. Encouraging them to wear, gift or sell their creations infuses an added sense of achievement. Because they’re a great way to connect with others in a group setting, Stoney Brook offers arts and crafts to its senior living community residents.
- Physical Exercise
By incorporating a little physical activity each day, you can help guarantee that the individual receives sufficient exercise, which gains importance in our senior years. Benefit from walking or working out to home exercise videos. Join a senior-oriented fitness center or group exercise classes and wellness programs, like those at Stoney Brook’s senior living communities – Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Sit & Fit Aerobics, Dance and more.
- Music and Dancing
Music-centered activities, music therapy and various forms of musical stimulation positively affect seniors, including those experiencing advanced cognitive impairments or dementia. They could attend performances, such as a live concert, orchestra, opera or ballet, or sharpen their singing voice, or return to or try out an instrument. Dancers can hit the floor with group dance lessons or community dances. At Stoney Brook, residents can even join the community choir and swing band.
- Going Outdoors
Invite them to unwind outdoors, to dine alfresco with a picnic or barbecue, or to just savor refreshments and snacks on the porch, patio or deck. Revel in backyard splendor, botanical gardens and local parks and forests. Stroll sidewalks and gentle trails. Glorious nature beckons and benefits everyone, especially seniors!
For elderly people who really adore The Great Outdoors, gardening promises to be an ideal activity. In the backyard or community plot, on the patio, or in a senior gardening class, personal pride blossoms alongside flowers, plants, shrubs, vegetables, fruits and herbs. Ranging from basic tasks like seed placement and watering, to advanced tasks such as potting, digging, weeding and raking, seniors of varying physical strength and agility can take part.
Open a book, and you’ll possess an open mind. If reading has been a beloved hobby, always keep a stack of books, magazines and other reading materials within reach. Delight in this activity individually, as a duo or in a bigger group. Seniors who prefer to chat about their recent reads with other enthusiasts will appreciate being a member of a book club.
When storytelling is a passion, get it all down in writing. By becoming authors themselves, seniors can sharpen their mental dexterity, and instill a deepened feeling of purpose. They can select from myriad genres, spanning family history, personal memoir or autobiography, poetry, fiction, how-to articles and more – any way they desire to express themselves.
- Continuing Education
Academic types can stay students forever. Keep pursuing lifelong learning, an excellent way to maintain mental alertness and engagement. Take advantage of continuing education classes, intriguing lectures and workshops teaching new skills and hobbies – at senior living residences, local community centers and nearby educational institutions. Watch for free or reduced-tuition courses and online degrees, sometimes offered exclusively to seniors.
- Cooking and Baking
Does the senior know their way around a kitchen? If his or her heart lies in the culinary arts, warm up to gourmet-based activities, including meal planning, preparation and serving. Whether concocting simple recipes or elaborate menus, they’ll relish the engagement it entails, the fun they have and the appealing outcomes – both in deliciousness and in the smiles of anyone who shares their dishes.
- Visiting Local Landmarks
Discover new local landmarks, and rediscover new favorites. Chat as you dine out at restaurants. Sip tasty brews at coffee houses or tearooms. Browse shopping centers or mom-and-pop shops. Tour museums, historic sites, parks, gardens and other attractions. Hit the library, or catch a film at a movie theater. Search for a senior living community with calendars featuring organized off-site trips and outings to all these places and more, complemented by chauffeured transportation.
- Spiritual Endeavors
Whether religious or spiritual, devote gratifying moments to activities suited to personal beliefs. They can aid with concentration and evoke memories, a greater sense of purpose and serene peace of mind.
Read passages or poems from a book of faith. Listen to hymns and sacred music, and sing or hum along. Create and decorate a small altar or shrine. Attend worship services and Bible study groups. Take part in meditation practices and relaxation workshops, or soothe the soul by connecting with nature. Volunteer, fundraise or devote talents toward helping a good cause or someone in need.
- Self-Care Treatments
With well-deserved pampering sessions, both men and women will feel amazing, regain confidence and look their vibrant finest. By indulging at home, or in a beauty parlor, barbershop or spa – or in a senior living community that offers these services on-site – they can also socialize in a different situation. The uplifting options include a haircut, coloring and/or style, skin treatment, facial and/or body massage, manicure, pedicure and more – which grant much-needed physical and/or mental health benefits.
- Pet Therapy
For animal lovers, pets can brighten every day – and guarantee the precious bonds and overall physical and mental wellbeing they bring. From dogs and cats to fish and birds, there’s lots to be gained! If you’re interested in an assisted living or memory care community, check to see if they welcome pets, to ensure a beloved companion can join the senior in their next home.
Who knew that engaging in daily social interactions ensures instant enrichment of a senior’s life? Conversation and companionship are, of course, pleasant for the individual. But research further demonstrates that real-world social circles are essential to our whole health – and as valuable as a nutritious diet and an exercise regimen. Fortunately for seniors who reside in a community, they automatically spend lots of hours alongside neighbors and staff, and they can establish new friendships more easily.
Trust a Central Texas Senior Living Leader
Researchers in gerontological science continue to accumulate evidence that an active, engaging lifestyle is directly linked to healthy longevity. Frequent mental and physical stimulation can aid in minimizing hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and much more. Plus, it positively impacts cognition both for older adults who are free from neurological disorders and those with conditions such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson's disease.
To sum up: Happy, elderly folks enjoying daily, rewarding experiences can expect to live better – and longer!
An expert in assisted living and memory care, Stoney Brook designed its senior living communities to help residents flourish. Through a fun, sociable environment and ample, stimulating activities including those listed above, you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest. To learn more, schedule a complimentary visit, or subscribe to our blog now.