Elderly daycare: Keeping the elderly active and alert

Light activities like gardening are an excellent way to keep the elderly mentally active and alert. (Rawpixel.com pic)

Malaysia is, without doubt, emerging towards an ageing society. However, advancements in our healthcare scene has led to the nation being ranked first in the work category of “best healthcare” in the 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index.

Better healthcare has progressively lowered the mortality rate of the nation’s ageing population, and this is projected to gradually increase each year.

However, the question of who is to care for the nation’s senior citizens is becoming a clear concern among the younger generation.

It is ingrained in the minds of many Asians that the responsibility to care for the elderly falls squarely on the shoulders of children and close relatives.

However, with millennials having become more educated and career-driven, juggling one’s own family and the demands of a challenging job has left many wondering if they really have the time to care for their elderly parents as well.

It has thus become a common practice to hire a domestic worker to help with chores, while keeping an eye on the children and the elderly in the household.

But how effective are domestic workers in keeping one’s elderly parent healthy and occupied with activities that ensure they stay alert and active?

A domestic helper can only do so much in managing the chores, but the elderly require around the clock care.

Sometimes the best alternative for caregivers to consider is elderly daycare centres.

An elderly daycare centre gives the elderly a chance to socialise with others of the same age. (Rawpixel.com pic)

Elderly daycare centres

Although the idea of elderly daycare is relatively new in Malaysia, there are many private nursing homes especially in urban areas like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru that offer professional daycare services for the elderly.

These daycare centres provide supervision and assistance for the elderly during the day while offering various activities to keep them occupied and alert.

For example, Jasper Lodge in Petaling Jaya offers daycare services for the elderly complete with daily activities such as group physiotherapy in the morning, sudoku and simple games sessions, and also mini gardening activities in the afternoons.

These of course, come with timely breaks for snacks and beverages.

The elderly tend to avoid exercises or ordinary activities that may result in body aches. This is why it is important to encourage them to do light exercises on a daily basis so they can manage the pain more effectively.

And undeniably, an exercise session with friends is more enjoyable than exercising alone.

A daycare centre is also a great way to keep the elderly in contact with society as it gives them a chance to socialise with others of the same age.

Social interaction with others is proven to keep loneliness at bay, and improve an elderly’s mental and emotional health.

Caregivers should give this solution due consideration, knowing that their loved one is safe in the hands of professional nurses and trained caretakers.

This article was written by Fariza Kasani, a Care Manager with Care Express, and reviewed by Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder and CEO of Care Express, a company that  provides a range of elderly at-home caregiving services, sending trained and certified professional caregivers and nurses to clients’ homes. For more information go to Care Express.