We Find that the Fun Doesn’t End With Aging
Many people assume there’s nothing to look forward to in growing older. At Alvita Care, we try to stay positive and make the best out of the situations we encounter. Aging might prevent us from performing certain activities we used to enjoy, but it certainly does not prevent us from taking up new hobbies and keeping ourselves busy and stimulated! Finding the right activity for a senior is very dependent on what activities they find enjoyable, as well as their mental and physical state. Here are some strategies on how to find the right activity that can best suit and enhance the life of your senior loved one.
Consider Interests and Abilities
First, it’s important to be realistic about the interests and abilities of your loved one. Hobbies that might have previously been easy and enjoyable might no longer seem exciting to an older person who has begun experiencing physical difficulties. Similarly, as one grows older, personal interests and drives begin to change. One might no longer have the patience or motivation to perform certain activities that were once appropriate. You must therefore consider activities that are both physically and mentally feasible and enjoyable. You don’t want to over exert our loved ones, because pushing them to do activities that are physically or mentally challenging to them can be detrimental to their health and their self-esteem. Similarly, pushing our loved ones to continue activities they no longer enjoy might lead them into a more depressed and frustrated state. It is therefore crucial to find an activity that will keep our loved ones feeling lively, healthy, and happy.
Take Another Look at Past Hobbies
A good way to find an appropriate activity is to consider the hobbies your loved one previously enjoyed. Are certain hobbies still feasible for them to continue? Many times seniors will feel as if a certain activity is no longer appropriate for their age. But if they are still physically capable of carrying out this activity, you should encourage them to stick to it as it will keep them active and occupied. Are there any hobbies that they enjoyed when they were younger and for which their passion could be rekindled? As adults, we often get wrapped up in our busy lives and forget the activities that once made us smile. This might be a good time to look back at the interests our loved ones held during their youth and see if some of them can be taken off the shelf and revitalized.
Encourage Social Interaction
A common complaint among seniors is that they are lonely. Encourage your loved one to join a group of like-minded individuals. Senior centers and library all around the country offer many free or low-cost discussion groups and classes. Perhaps your senior loved one may enjoy joining an art class or a book group? Seniors are eligible for discounts in several museums and galleries—encouraging them to join tour groups and courses can allow them to interact with others while learning about a subject that is of interest to them.
Encourage a Healthy Dose of Physical Activity
Staying active is important to staying healthy at any age. A regular exercise regime can stave off heart disease and diabetes, amongst other ailments. It can also reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. Encourage your loved one to do whatever they can to keep their muscles active- walking, swimming and light cycling provide great, low impact exercise. It is also important for the elderly to try to incorporate resistance training into a routine. This can help increase bone density, speed up metabolism and keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check.
Need some ideas of new hobbies to suggest to your loved one? Call Alvita Care and one of our specialty trained Care Managers can make some suggestions.
Links to services that our caregivers supplement senior home care with: