Knowing your loved one is receiving the best care gives everyone peace of mind. But keeping older family members physically and mentally active is critical for optimum health.
Whether you exercise together in the home or get out and about to visit friends and relatives, staying active is beneficial for you and your loved one. We’ve put together some simple activities that will keep you both mentally sharp and enjoying life to the full.
Keeping the brain active is essential for cognitive function. But as well as the latest brain trainer or sudoku puzzle, why not try making memories together?
Work with your loved one on a family project. That could be baking and recording treasured recipes, compiling an album of cherished photos or tracing the family tree. Encourage your loved ones to record or video their memories so that every generation can share.
Creating cherished and satisfying moments will strengthen family ties and improve bonds between loved ones and caregivers.
Creative with Crafts
Creative crafts are not just a pleasurable activity. Being creative has an essential role to play in our quality of life by improving everything from mental sharpness to manual dexterity.
Finishing a craft project can give a real sense of accomplishment and achievement. Start with projects like painting and drawing. Or visit your local craft store to see what piques your loved one’s interest.
Woodworking, pottery, sewing and scrapbooking are some easy starter craft projects. And depending on your loved one’s ability, you could even investigate local classes to take their interest one step further and add an all-important social element to the activity.
Virtual Book Club
It could be that your loved one finds it difficult to leave the house. Or they could be convalescing after an illness. But older people can still enjoy social activities online via platforms like Zoom and FaceTime.
For example, try setting up an online book club with friends and family. Choose a book available in an audio version so that everyone can enjoy it together and join in the discussion! Just make sure that suitable broadband speeds are available and that your computer screen is large enough to make viewing a comfortable experience.
It’s no secret that physical activity is critical for health and wellbeing as we age. Regular safe exercise improves cognitive function and builds strength and balance to help prevent falls. It can also help manage a range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis and could even help ward off depression.
If your loved one has mobility issues, try gentle stretching exercises like yoga. If they have a greater range of movement, callisthenics for older people can support functional movement and flexibility. With both of you seated, even a simple game like seated catch can do wonders for hand-to-eye coordination and cognitive function.
Make it Musical
Music can be a positive way to trigger treasured memories, make connections and reduce anxiety, especially for your loved ones living with dementia at home. So whether you organise one to one, group or virtual activities for relatives receiving care, incorporating a musical element can have health and healing benefits.
Singalongs, games and music quizzes are fun and straightforward music-based activities you can share at home. Any exercise can be set to music, from a rousing march to get your loved ones on their feet to a gentle sound bath to reduce stress. And who doesn’t love dancing around the kitchen or living room to their favourite songs?
Get Out and About
It’s easy for loved ones receiving home care to get into a settled routine. So one of the most beneficial activities you can do together is simply to get out and about. That could mean visiting friends or having lunch at a favourite restaurant. You could take a picnic to the local park or a trip to see a favourite show.
Even the most straightforward activity like a walk to the shops can reconnect your loved ones with their community. And that can be a powerful tool if they’re feeling lonely or isolated.
Let it Grow
Gardening has a comprehensive range of benefits for older people. It’s an enjoyable form of exercise that improves everything from strength and mobility to fine motor skills and endurance. There’s nothing more enjoyable and relaxing than being outdoors in nature. And nothing is as nutritious and tasty as homegrown fruit and veg!
Window boxes and raised planters are easy to manage if getting outside in the garden isn’t possible. If you are gardening outdoors, make sure your loved one wears a hat and applies sunscreen regularly. You should also provide plenty of water and shade in warm weather.
Tailored Home Care For Your Loved Ones with Caremark
Contact Caremark when you want the best in-home care for your loved ones. We offer friendly and professional home care services so your family member can get the support they need within the comfort of their own home. Contact us today to book a consultation.