7 Fun Activities for Seniors and Caregivers to enjoy
5 minutes read
Being a caregiver at senior living is no easy task. Apart from ensuring that all the needs of the seniors are met, you also need to make sure that they stay physically, mentally and emotionally fit and active. This can be done by incorporating some fun activities that both caregivers and elderly residents can participate in. These fun activities help in making a lite, stress-free and active environment in the senior living space that is beneficial to you as well as the residents.
So, here are seven terrific activities for residents to keep them engaged socially, simulated cognitively and healthy physically whether they are physically active or dealing with limited mobility. Check them out:
1. Complete a Puzzle
This is a fun mental exercise that you could enjoy doing with the residents. Solving puzzles do not have any age limit.
Especially, seniors get even more benefits out of dusting off that old jigsaw. Studies show that solving jigsaw puzzles can keep seniors’ minds sharp and can target the parts of the brain that deteriorate through neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. So, if you have seniors with Alzheimer’s in your senior living then this game will help with exercising their mind.
Plus, they’re quite affordable, so you can pick up several at a time and stow them away for later.
2. Learn a Skill Together
There is never an age limit to learn a new skill. This activity will be beneficial to both senior people and caregivers. In fact, continuous learning is extremely important to most of the seniors as they are every bit as sharp as they were when they were young. To keep those cognitive abilities up and to get some great bonding time, try learning something new together.
There are thousands of tutorials on sites like YouTube that teach everything from knitting to basic home repair.
If you’re interested in something a bit more academic, you can even take free classes online together. In case, your elderly resident has limited mobility, you can opt for a skill that does not require them to move a lot like painting, singing or artwork.
3. Word Puzzles
Word puzzles are an enjoyable challenge that can get the brain buzzing and give the mind a workout. Even if not all of the conundrums in a puzzle are solved, simply trying to figure out the answer, working with other people and putting in the effort, is what makes the difference to brain health. You can make this into a team challenge and get a group of residents and try to resolve a word puzzle along with them.
Challenge yourself with the example below, or find many more word puzzles online or in word puzzle books available from most stationery and book stores.
Connections game: The aim of this puzzle is to help stimulate the brain and allow it to make connections. Here’s how to play. In the left column, there are a pair of words. Your goal is to find a third word that is connected to or associated with both of these two words. Let’s take the first pair as an example: PIANO and LOCK. The answer is KEY. The word key is connected with both the word piano and the word lock: there are KEYS on a piano and you use a KEY to lock doors. Now it is your turn, try out the next five:
LOCK – PIANO
SHIP – CARD
TREE – CAR
SCHOOL – EYE
PILLOW – COURT
RIVER – MONEY
4. Share Stories
We sometimes forget that the elders have had rich and full of life experiences before us. Take this opportunity to get some wisdom from them. For this activity, you could choose a topic on which the elders can share a story. These topics can be anything that you wish to listen from them like
The most adventurous experience
Or a breathtaking incident that you have witnessed.
You’ll be amazed at how much just sitting and listening to them means.
Nutrition matters more and more as people get older. According to the World Health Organization, seniors are especially at risk of malnutrition. While it’s difficult to keep them on a strict diet always, you could use this opportunity to cook to establish healthy habits. You can get various healthy recipes from the internet and make them understand the nutritious values of it while learning to prepare it.
This activity helps you as well as your residents to learn new, quick and fun recipes while adopting healthy eating habits.
There is no reason why volunteering should only be reserved for young people. No matter how old an individual, or how capable they are, there are volunteering activities for everyone – from reading with children to caring for animals, and helping in charity shops. You could join them in these volunteering activities and assist them with their work. Not only does volunteering allow individuals to make a difference in the world – but it also changes them in surprising ways!
In addition to this, volunteering helps caregivers and seniors with:
Building a good bond
Working towards a great cause
Reducing social isolation
Developing new skills
You can make a quick search online which will highlight many volunteering opportunities that are available for older people.
7. Art and Crafts
Who doesn’t like making beautiful things by themselves? Again this makes for great bonding and fun activity for you and the residents. For them, making things is not only a brilliant way to use imagination, but it can also help to maintain dexterity in hands and fingers whilst creating bespoke items for the home, or gifts for friends and family. Arts and crafts don’t have to be elaborate or expensive either. Why not try upcycling old photo frames with paper collage, making greeting cards from magazines or knitting items for new babies?
Published on Tue Jan 28 2020