4 fun things to keep seniors physically and mentally active

A board game does wonders in keeping the elderly mentally sharp.

There comes a time in everyone’s lives when they start ageing and eventually are forced to retire whether by choice or from the lack of characteristics they once had.

When the time comes though, most tend to have more free time on their hands to carry out daily activities.

However, even with all that free time, many may no longer possess the physical or mental strength they once enjoyed in their younger years for such activities anymore.

As you age your health may start to decline and many illnesses or conditions may present themselves and affect your body.

Most families that face this problem tend to hire a caregiver to take care of their loved one while other family members go out to work or carry out their daily responsibilities.

With that said, some elderly citizens do not have illnesses or conditions that leave them bedridden and are just in need of some company while they continue being independent.

Therefore, a certain level of cooperation is required from both the caregiver and the one being cared for to ensure both parties are satisfied and happy with each other in doing what they want.

Here are some fun things caregivers can do with the elderly to keep their bodies and minds active while maintaining a healthy relationship with each other.

A little physical activity with good friends is an uplifting experience.

1. Outdoor activities. Staying cooped up at home for long periods without much to do is not a healthy choice of life and may lead to depression in some severe cases.

Whether your loved one is a physically active person or not, it is good to enjoy the great outdoors once in a while and breathe some fresh air for a change.

They do not necessarily have to do any heavy duty activities like hiking or cycling but simple activities like taking a walk, doing some tai chi or gardening.

Although some people are worried that their elderly loved ones will be more prone to injuries in the outdoors, outdoor activities can actually strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of falling.

In addition to that, the caregiver can assist or keep an eye on your loved one to ensure they are not harmed in any way.

2. Socialising. As you get older you tend to reminisce about the good times in your life, and more often than not you start to wonder about your friends or relatives that you were once close to, but rarely keep in touch with now.

Free time from either retirement or recovery periods can be used to re-establish friendships with former acquaintances. Your loved one can be encouraged to get in touch with their old friends and have meet-ups over tea or meals with the aid of a caregiver.

This helps to make them feel less isolated, from being left with a caregiver, as well as improves their morale and self-esteem.

3. Arts and crafts. Most senior citizens in this era usually come from a generation that has either lived with less technology or have gone through a period of technological transition over the years.

This eventually has led them to cultivate hobbies such as gardening, drawing, sewing, knitting and many more. Motivating your loved ones to try arts and crafts will promote creativity and bring back the nostalgia of their childhood days.

Even if arts and crafts were not part of their childhood years, it is a good time to start learning or trying new things.

This new learning adventure could lead them to make presents during the festive seasons, or even better still, initiate a new business opportunity during their golden years.

4. Games and puzzles. Caregivers can engage senior citizens by challenging them to a few board games or puzzles to keep their minds active.

Most board games or puzzles are usually user-friendly and have relatively simple rules or game instructions that are not difficult for the elderly to follow.

Another plus point would be that most are pretty portable and can be played anywhere and with anyone.

This article was written by Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder and CEO of Pillar (www.pillarcare.com) and reviewed by Dr Lim Geng Yan (M.D). Pillar provides a range of elderly home caregiving services, sending trained and certified professional caregivers and nurses to clients’ homes. For more information please visit https://care.pillarcare.com/fmtpromo