As we age, it becomes easier to slip into comfortable habits, some that may not be healthy for us — like binge-watching our favourite shows for hours. While watching TV is great entertainment, spending hours in front of the television with little other stimulation isn’t good for the body, mind, nor spirit.
Tips to motivate seniors to stay active
Seniors, especially those with cognitive decline and impaired mobility, might be especially reticent to start exercise, try something new, or simply be shy. But regular mental and physical stimulation — staying active — can have so many great benefits, from helping to prevent cognitive decline to improving health, socialization, and overall mood.
Here are a few tips to motivate seniors to stay active:
- Make it fun, make it interesting!
- Incorporate movement into everyday activities
- Make it social
- Track exercise…and reward progress!
Activities that are therapeutic to seniors
- Art therapy! Discover how being creative can help memory and
- Nostalgic tunes are a great way to boost memory and alleviate
- Walking. Simply getting outdoors for a 30-minute walk every day can boost endorphins through low-impact physical exercise and the mental stimulation of the outdoors.
- Animal therapy. Love, socialization and physical activity are all benefits to seniors owning pets.
Activities to keep the mind active
- Brain games. Load up your senior loved one with crossword puzzles, word searches, colouring books, and sudoku. Not only do these boost cognitive function, but they can also boost confidence.
- Book club. Starting a book club with friends is a great way to engage both the mind and spirit and stay socially active.
- Regular visits with family and friends! From a regular phone call to get- togethers that may include getting outdoors for a walk, this is one of the best ways to keep older adults engaged with life and motivated to stay
Activities for seniors with limited mobility
Whether it’s a loss of mobility due to a fall or stroke, the onset of arthritis, or another affliction, loss of physical ability can cause depression. Staying active in the body and mind is especially crucial for these seniors to stay engaged with the world around them and boost their mood.
From art therapy to brain games, any of the above activities are excellent to explore. Other ideas include:
- Cooking & baking
- Planter box gardening
- Knitting & crochet
- Learning a new language
- Playing a musical instrument
- Spa day & self-care
At the end of the day…
When trying to keep a senior loved one active, keep their individual needs and unique interests and capabilities in mind. The more an activity is in tune with their personality, the better their chance for success!
Explore the many Life Enrichment opportunities available at Verve.