As people grow older and age begins robbing them of their strength and independence, they can become very easily agitated in different situations. They are also prone to depression and can begin to lose the will to enjoy their lives. There is this pervasive idea that the elderly should rest and sit quietly and avoid doing any activities that require a lot of movement and thought. But this is a dangerous thing to do to someone who has lived a lifetime of accomplishment and activity.
Finding mentally and physically stimulating activities for the elderly people under your care to do is essential to helping them maintain their motor skills, avoid mental decline, and regain their sense of independence. The emotional and social connections that seniors gain in assisted living facilities are strengthened by consistent exposure to others and doing activities in groups.
The brain needs to be exercised in all the different areas for it to keep functioning at its best ability. While a persons body may look fragile, their mental faculties can be as sharp as ever. It is a kindness to help them maintain this mental well-being. There are several types of activities that can be carried out by someone with lowered motor abilities and still have fun and enjoyment.
There are many types of crafting activities that can be fun and accessible for the elderly. Painting, knitting, sketching, pottery, and many others all have different forms that can appeal to different tastes.
People can paint with watercolors, but if the brushes require more dexterity than they have, they can switch to oil-based crayons or chalk or even charcoal.
If knitting is not interesting enough, there is embroidery for those with good eyesight or crochet for those who prefer complex patterns.
This is a great activity because it gets people outside in the sun and moving around. The fresh air and sunlight are ideal for soothing old bones and renewing their zest for life.
Being surrounded by green growing plants that are thriving under their care will give them a much-needed sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities.
They can even donate the fruits of their labor to the kitchen and enjoy a hearty meal prepared with the very vegetable sand herbs they grew.
Forming a bird-watching club is a great way to get a group of elderly people together and interested in an activity that combines focus, attention to detail, and consistent exercise.
Bird-watching trips require a lot of walking but with frequent stops which will reduce their fatigue. They must also move slowly so as not to disturb the birds so anyone who feels self-conscious about their educed mobility does not have to feel bad.
Additionally, logging and making notes about the birds they see, reading manuals, and having discussions about the birds they viewed are all great activities for cognitive stimulation.
Wii Sports League
Form a Wii sports league at your elderly care facility. It will become very popular and you can organize championship tournaments for people to participate in as a group or as individuals.
Just because someone is old does not mean that the very human desire to compete and win has left their spirit. A Wii sports league is a great way to allow people with limited mobility to continue enjoying their beloved hobbies like tennis, bowling, and even golf.
Look into starting a storytelling club for your seniors. This kind of club brings together many elements that are all very helpful. People will have to practice their handwriting, they will be forced to think hard and imaginatively to come up with stories to write, and they will improve their ability to recall and retain information.
You can have different themes monthly so that they can focus on different things. One month could require them to go out in nature and write a story about a plant or flower or cloud and present it to the group. Another month can invite them to reflect on their lives and write a story about a real life incident that has always stayed with them. It can be a very rewarding experience for the seniors as well as the person conducting the class.
It might be best to run more than one kind of activity concurrently as there will be different ability levels among your elderly residents. Some may be able to take on college classes and field trips to places while others may need a more structured and guided art class and supervised walks on the grounds.
That said, catering to the individual needs of the residents is better than forming blanket decisions for everyone. This is something to keep in mind if you are a relative wanting to help an elderly loved one as well. Get a feel for their actual abilities and do not make assumptions about what they can do as this will only cause hurt and stress to someone you love very much.