Besides searching for an assisted living facility with exceptional medical and personal care services, it is also essential to consider the appropriate activities it offers to help seniors live healthier and happier lives in their later years. It is crucial to help the elderly keep a routine that stimulates their senses, fosters social connection, and helps them get through the day with a sense of purpose. Thus, the need for fun and engaging activities.
Dr. Tanya Gure, chief of geriatrics at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, reiterates this in her interview with U.S. News. According to her findings, residents of an assisted living facility who are active and engaged socially are less depressed. Moreover, the caregiver website, DailyCaring, emphasized that senior living activities can help seniors with serious illnesses or have dementia or Alzheimer's.
Here are some seven fun activities for assisted living facility residents:
Activity no. 1: Arts and crafts
Let them express their artistic side once again with different crafting activities like painting, sketching, knitting, coloring, creating jewelry, making pottery, sewing, rug hooking, finger painting, and other art projects. This kind of activity gives our older friends and relatives the freedom to express themselves. Besides tapping into their newfound creativity, it promotes manual dexterity and allows them to connect with other seniors in a group setting.
Activity no. 2: Listening to music
Music soothes the soul and mind. Playing a favorite song may help trigger beautiful memories and make them feel good. It is also better to let them attend a live orchestra or concert to enjoy listening to music with others and social settings. This can be an ideal activity for the elderly who are bedridden. Soft, calming music helps uplift their weary mind and body.
Activity no. 3: Exercising
Keep those endorphins flowing by encouraging the elderly to participate in physical activities. You may start with something light like tossing, kicking, and bouncing beach balls. An invigorating workout involves large elastic bands to help them stretch and strengthen their joints and muscles. Get some fresh air by strolling in the garden or courtyard. If there is no suitable outdoor area, try using a Wii gaming system to encourage movement. It is advisable to perform exercises in groups to turn them into a fun social activity.
Activity no. 4: Parties for the foodie
All right, this is the kind of party we can all agree on. Organize small picnics or ice cream parties where all the residents can bond while eating together. The elderly may also get involved in the planning, preparation, and cooking of the meal. Consider having a baking or cooking session where the residents make their specialties and share them with others. This kind of activity is as valuable as other forms of exercise since it requires some hand dexterity. While sharing delicious food, they could also share precious personal stories with others.
Activity no. 5: Gardening
For seniors who enjoy the outdoors, gardening could be a stimulating activity. It could be as simple as growing flowers in a pot or planting herbs in a window garden. In a traditional garden setting, they may volunteer to do basic tasks such as seed placement and watering. Some of them already lack the physical strength of fully tending a traditional garden alone. Ensure that they are supervised at all times and avoid doing this when the sun is too hot.
Activity no. 6: Dancing
Since we've mentioned listening to music, why not include moving those hips along to the beat. Dancing is more than a pastime because it has potential beneficial outcomes for seniors' health and wellbeing. The study published in the journal Gerontology found that salsa dance classes help improve an older adult's strength and balance. It could also stave off dementia, according to a study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Plus, it is good for the heart and excellent cardiovascular exercise. Better yet, seniors can also dance away their anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Just put on lively music and let them get into the groove.
Activity no. 7: Pet therapy
Furry friends can steal anyone's heart, whether young or old. Stroking a dog or cat is a highly therapeutic activity, and we don't need a study to prove this one. Their soft fur and doe eyes are enough to lower the blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels. It is an engaging activity that helps improve the overall physical and mental wellbeing of the elderly. However, some assisted living facilities don't allow pets inside because of health concerns. Luckily there is an alternative solution!
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