There are more than 6 million Canadians who are 65 or older. If you happen to be providing some type of care for a senior loved one in this age group, one of the ways to boost his or her physical and mental health is with fun and engaging activities that can be enjoyed on a daily basis. Here are six suggestions to consider.
1. Going on Walks
In addition to being a safe and effective form of exercise for older adults, walking is an excellent way to be more social. This daily activity can involve walking a cherished pet—which is always a great way to meet new people—or partnering with friends or other family members for regular strolls.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Oakville respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Gardening is a highly adaptable activity that allows seniors to literally see the fruits of their labor with beautiful flowers or healthy veggies and spices. Plus, your loved one’s garden can be easily tailored to his or her capabilities and preferences. For instance, if a traditional backyard garden is a bit too much work, a smaller garden can be made using elevated boxes or even windowsill containers.
3. Working on Puzzles
Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation for seniors, and a fun way to help your loved one remain mentally focused is with puzzles. From traditional jigsaw puzzles to word and logic puzzles, there are many different options for your loved one to explore. There’s also evidence suggesting solving puzzles can boost cognitive health by stimulating parts of the brain responsible for memory, recall, language, and pattern recognition.
Whether it involves traditional books or e-books, reading has the power to help seniors enjoy a much-appreciated cognitive boost. If your loved one has visual or cognitive issues, audiobooks can provide similar benefits.
A related activity is storytelling, which can simply involve sharing favorite family memories with your loved one. As your loved one’s memory is jogged, he or she can chime in with his or her own stories.
Reading and storytelling could contribute to:
• A delay in the onset of dementia
• Reduced stress and anxiety
• Enhanced memory recall abilities
• Sharper decision-making skills
• Better sleep because of the relaxing effects of reading or sharing familiar stories
5. Playing Board Games or Video Games
Increased dexterity and coordination, enhanced reasoning and logic skills, and bonding with family members and friends are just some of the many benefits seniors can enjoy when playing traditional board games. But did you know video games can be equally beneficial for aging adults? Research suggests playing appropriate video games could contribute to an increase in the brain’s ability to change and adapt (brain plasticity).
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing partner for your loved one. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
It’s fairly common for seniors to reach a point where they don’t feel as needed as they once were. Fortunately, volunteering presents plenty of opportunities for aging adults to feel appreciated and involved. Local schools, libraries, charities, and animal shelters tend to warmly welcome helping hands.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Oakville families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200.