The most important factor in maintaining physical and mental health is to stay active always.
If we really have a sense of purpose in our lives, we try to keep ourselves occupied and avoid boredom. This idea carries right through into old age too, with physical and mental stimulus becoming ever more important as a means to improve and preserve general health and wellbeing.
Following are some ideas to get you started:
Exercises done outdoors in fresh air helps with joint mobility and checks the cardiological problems too. There are so many games available now that have been specially designed for elderly people and for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. If not, you can plan and invent your own exercises for the benefit of all.
Meditation and yoga have long been practiced to nourish body, mind, and soul. These can be adapted to anyone and everyone’s own physical and mental capabilities. There are specialized instructors for elderly people who would help you once a month in this field and it has been proved very rewarding for many. Make it a multisensory experience with some dim lights and relaxed music.
- Get creative-
Being creative isn’t just good for you mentally; there are physical benefits too from exercising our creativity. In fact, some therapists use creative arts as an integral part of their sessions with elderly patients. A simple activity such as painting can be made into a real sensory experience when done to music or by using hands and feet instead of brushes. The elderly can even create a collection of photographs, postcards, tickets, pressed leaves etc. as hobbies for their daily routine.
Music offers a multitude of benefits for people of every age, particularly for the elderly who are in the old age homes. It has remarkable psychological benefits, such as:
- A happier outlook on life.
- Better social interactions.
- Encourages self-expression, such as dancing, body and facial movements through rhythm and sound.
- Even people with hearing problems can benefit from musical vibrations.
- Multi-Sensory games/activities-
There are many simple games that revitalize our senses such as filling cups and bowls with aromatic and tactile things, such as coffee beans, flower petals, jelly, spices, and grains, then having people guess them whilst blindfolded.