Oftentimes, seniors in nursing homes feel bored and lonely as they adapt their social schedules and exercise routines to meet their body’s needs. The loss of their physical capacity in their senior years can be attributed to their brittle bones, putting them at risk for chronic pain and illnesses. However, studies have shown that seniors who lead an active lifestyle tend to be happier.
Since the key to healthy ageing is living a fulfilling life, it’s important to incorporate activities that are mentally and physically stimulating into their daily routine to keep them from feeling bored. We’ve rounded up a list of engaging activities that you can do with your ageing parents on your next visit to the senior day care:
1. Spa days – manicure, hair cut, massage
Spending time with your ageing parents while they’re in elderly day care doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as encouraging them to partake in self-care activities such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair and getting dressed. Even if they aren’t physically able to stand up, you can provide them with just enough assistance or have them perform these tasks in a seated position. Occasionally, you may want to take them out for a spa day. They could use a break by going for a massage therapy as it can help ease their joints and muscle pains. Massage for elders can also improve blood circulation and improve their quality of sleep.
One of the best ways to get your ageing parents to stay active is by involving them in preparing their own meals and cooking together. Not only does this encourage them to stay active, but it gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with them as well. You can start by taking them out for grocery shopping, this is a great opportunity for them to clock in their daily steps. If you’re stumped for ideas on what to cook, you can try preparing their favourite meals and tweaking the recipe to suit their nutritional needs. When cooking, involve them by getting them to do simple tasks like stirring a pot of soup, peeling vegetables or even measuring the right amount of ingredients. Your elderly can be physically and mentally stimulated by cooking together: touch, smell, sight, and taste – cooking unlocks all of their senses!
3. Spend time outdoors
Having elderly parents in a nursing home doesn’t mean all family activities need to be indoors. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors improves mood and emotion. Try switching things up from time to time and take them out for a walk in the park. This way, they get to exercise while taking in some fresh air. If your elderly have green fingers, get them to engage in simple gardening activities such as watering plants and potting plants. Even if your seniors can only get to the porch or sit next to a large window due to their limited mobility, getting some fresh air or soaking in the surroundings is a wonderful daily activity.
4. Enjoy watching tv shows and listening to music
Even though watching tv all day isn’t a healthy pastime, enjoying a movie or a couple of tv shows sparingly can be a fun activity to do with your ageing loved one. To make it even more fun and engaging, tune in to their favourite documentary or cooking show so that they are able to learn about new travel destinations or even pick up new recipes to try for your next cooking session!
Listening to music your elderly parents enjoy is another great activity for keeping them occupied at the senior day care centre. Research has shown that music can reduce stress and help with memory!
5. Teach them how to use technology
Last but not least, keep their minds engaged by teaching them how to use technology. While technology cannot replace face-to-face interaction, internet-based communication channels like social media can amplify your seniors’ social interaction when nursing home visits aren’t feasible or become infrequent. Apart from that, learning how to use a smartphone gives them access to a myriad of fun games online which can help in getting their minds moving. For mental exercise, your seniors can try games like Solitaire, Scrabble and Treasure Hunt.
Keeping Your Elders Occupied In Senior Day Care
As we care for our ageing parents, it’s important that we provide them with engaging activities that will prevent them from spiralling into a pit of depression and boredom that’s hard to climb out of. It’s always a good idea to consider your elderly’s favourite pastime and think of ways to involve them in fun activities that will stimulate their minds and bodies.
For those who don’t have the privilege of time due to other commitments, consider a nursing home that organises social recreational activities for your ageing loved ones. At Orange Valley nursing home in Singapore, our team of passionate caregivers are able to keep your seniors busy with fun weekly activities like calligraphy, line dancing and board games. Find out more about our senior activity centre services, call at 6499 4699 or email us at [email protected] today.