Just like anyone else, senior citizens like to stay active. Having a list of activities for your elderly relatives to do will keep them active and alert. Both mental and physical stimulation are proven to be healthy for senior citizens, it’s only a matter of finding the activities that they enjoy the most. This goes for any activity; make sure they are happy with the choice they have made. It’s never too late to switch activities if they become frustrated or unhappy.
Crafts, puzzles, and board games are a good place to start. Crafts especially allow for mental exercise and abstract thinking and they will have created something-with or without your help-that they can be proud of. Whether it is a painting, a drawing, a collage, or something more difficult like a sculpture, both they and their families will love the final product. What’s more, art can be therapeutic, especially for folks with Alzheimer’s.
Cooking is another activity with a great final product. Who doesn’t love eating freshly baked bread, or home-made candies? With a little encouragement, the senior citizen under your care can even go on to having meals ready for their family when they get home. The important thing here is that they are keeping active and stimulating their brain cells. This is a great way to preserve memory in older folks.
Physical exercise requires a bit of caution. While it is true that a daily jog can help with mood and memory, this is not really an option for most senior citizens. Finding alternative ways to exercise can be a great way to keep them feeling and thinking young. Start with their interests. If the person you care for is a fan of watching professional bowling on television, take them to the local bowling alley. Make sure that they use the lighter balls at first, though, as this will reduce the risk of injury. Start small and then see how things go. You want to make sure that the person under your care is enjoying themselves while they get their exercise. Otherwise, they will begin to dread your visits-this will only hinder the progress you hope to make.
Finally, you can consider storytelling. Everyone has a great life story to tell, especially senior citizens. Whether they want a written record of their lives to preserve for future generations, or just want to tell you some stories from their childhood, this activity is a great stimulator as it requires folks under your care to search their brains for memories. If they can’t remember actual events from their lives, fiction is okay too. Every day you can together come up with a short, interesting, story. Whether you want to write it down or not is up to you and those under your care. Either way, telling a story requires brain activity that might otherwise go unaccounted for.
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