If you are taking care of an elderly person your main focus is probably if they have taken their meds, if they are fed, bathed and so on. But have you stopped to consider that besides taking care of his physical needs one has to take care of his emotional needs as well. More often than not, these can be things that take minimum effort but will surely bring a smile to an elder’s face.
All of the things we will mention in this article are very easy to do but will bring immense joy to your person in care.
If exercise isn’t a part of the daily life of your elder, now is the time to make it. After all, exercise provides not only physical but psychological benefits as well. And with age it is extremely important to remain active. The old saying about a “healthy body, healthy mind” has some truth to it. We don’t mean hard physical exercise but rather some light stretches, yoga or maybe even a nice walk in the park. Some fresh air will surely be nice for your elder.
Is there a better feeling than being engulfed by a good book and forgetting about your problems? Reading is a great pastime for elders, which keeps them entertained and engages their imagination. Besides it’s a good way to improve their memory, decrease stress and even better their sleep. However, if the elder person has eyesight problems a good alternative is if you read to them. The elder will surely be overjoyed if you offer to read them a few chapters of their favorite book. You can even make it your little daily ritual – to set aside half an hour a day to read to them. We are sure the senior citizen will look forward to these moments.
There are so many arts and crafts projects that are suitable for elders. Some of the activities which do not require too much physical movement include cooking, baking, knitting, in-door gardening and why not even learning a new language (personally I’ve helped my 80-year-old grandpa learn a new language). Making jewelry, greeting cards for the family, compiling a cookbook with family recipes…the possibilities are endless.
This is the perfect time to teach them something new – maybe the elder has some interests they have never had the chance to pursue. After all, learning is a great way to keep the mind engaged and keep boredom away.
If you want to encourage the fine motor skills of the elderly this is a great way to do so. Even if the elder is no Van Gogh there are so many coloring books for adults and paintings by numbers that you will surely find something the elder will enjoy. Plus, creativity offers certain health benefits as well. Studies show that creative activities can help people dealing with chronic diseases feel happier, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
Whether you have a big yard or just a balcony you can always makeshift a small garden, even with a couple of flowerpots. Gardening is a great therapy for elderly people which will provide them with a daily activity, plus it is extremely satisfying to watch their work bloom. Growing even a single flower in a flowerpot will give the elder a sense of accomplishment.
Watching TV the whole day isn’t healthy entertainment but a good movie or series can be a nice part of the day or the week. Having a movie night once a week won’t demand much effort on your part but will make the week of the elderly person. Listening to music is also another great activity. It is proven that music can reduce stress and anxiety. It can also improve immunity and sleep as well as memory.
If the health of your elderly person allows it, maybe consider getting a pet. A cat or a dog will provide hours of fun and much-needed companionship to the elder. Plus, the benefits of pets for the elderly are undeniable. A pet requires care, which will definitely bring variety to the daily life of the elder but will also help him feel needed. It is important to note that if you are thinking of getting a dog, it is recommended that it is a smaller breed and an adult, not a puppy full of energy. Walking a dog every day will certainly provide exercise for the elder, but if this is not an option, you can never go wrong with a cat. The recommendation for getting an older cat, not a little impish kitten also applies.
If you’ve read our previous articles, you already know why games are extremely important and even beneficial for an elder. We will not repeat ourselves, but we will just say that they are a good way to entertain and make your elderly person happy while also contributing to his good mental state.
As you can see, these are basic activities that do not require much time and preparation but will bring a lot of happiness to your elderly person. Even by doing them only once a week you are sure to bring color to their life.