Photo by Tiago Muraro
Did you know: approximately 30% of those aged over 65 in the U.S.A tend to report having done no physical activities in the past 30 days? This is concerning because physical activities amongst others are needed to keep the brain active and functioning well.
So what is an example of a good activity for seniors to do? And how can they keep their minds acute?
Keep reading for our list of ideas of activities that seniors can enjoy to stay fit and healthy.
One of the best activities for seniors to do in order to encourage healthy brain functions is to get creative. Hobbies such as painting, drawing, or sculpting help to stimulate different parts of the brain. They also assist in reducing stress and building self-esteem and confidence.
It’s important to indulge in activities that encourage creative impulses and using the brain in different ways. Using items to create different objects or capturing a scene using different materials are great examples of this.
Creative activities often have the added bonus of keeping the hands dextrous too. Whether this is by molding, playing a musical instrument, or crafting, being creative has endless benefits for seniors.
Our assisted living facilities at The Retreat At Almeda include daily activities that residents can participate in as a group, as well as ample options for individuals to choose from in their own time.
Next, another worthwhile activity for seniors to keep their minds sharp is reading. This can mean different things for different elderly people: for some, it might mean several short articles from a newspaper, others will be able to persevere with challenging novels.
Reading is important for the brain because it helps cognitive skills and it can also recover lost or forgotten vocabulary. A good exercise to encourage is after reading an article or chapter, ask your loved one to retell what they learned or read about.
In this way, reading can also help to stimulate short-term memory skills.
Many older people struggle with lifting heavier hardback books, which can discourage them from reading. Try suggesting lighter-weight books, or even investing in an e-reader that will allow your loved one to read easily and comfortably.
An additional way for seniors to help keep their minds sharp is by taking trips outside of their living facility. One of the best senior activities to do is a trip to a museum, gallery, arts center, or theatre.
You can adjust this activity according to whatever your loved one’s interests and passions are.
Taking a trip out of their home has many benefits. First, a change of scene can revitalize elderly people, not to mention the fresh air and exercise of walking they’ll be able to take part in.
Next, the stimulation of a museum or gallery helps to engage the brain and disrupt the monotony of day to day life. Your loved one will also undoubtedly take great pleasure from spending some quality time with you.
Therefore, if they have the capacity to leave their residential facility for a few hours, try to make the most of this.
Try Out an App
If your loved one has a smartphone and is au fait with technology, this can be a great resource. There are lots of different apps available with mind activities for seniors, from challenges to language learning apps.
We’d recommend the app Duolingo, which has free learning options available and encourages short but regular practice of learning a new language.
Whatever your loved one’s interests, there are plenty of choices when it comes to stimulating games and challenges via apps.
Encouraging seniors to make use of their smartphones also has other benefits. They are a means to stay connected to the outside world. That might be reading the news, texting friends and family members, or listening to podcasts and music.
If your loved one doesn’t have a smartphone, we’d strongly recommend getting one. They can easily connect to our free Wi-Fi internet network and make use of our Amazon Alexa devices.
Taking part in brain activities for seniors is another excellent way to keep their minds young. Sudokus and crosswords are two popular choices, but there are plenty of other options available.
Puzzle books can be a great source of entertainment, and often include a wide variety of challenges that encourage problem-solving.
What’s more, puzzles don’t have to be a solo activity. Jigsaws, bingo, or quizzes are good examples of ways your loved one can exercise their brain while enjoying the company of others. Chess and other types of board games are also a fun way to pass the afternoon with friends.
Finally, don’t forget our state of the art Memory Care facilities that are available at The Retreat.
If you are currently at the stage of deciding which type of living option is best suited to your loved one, consider the social benefits of assisted living. Being part of a community with their peers can do wonders for the brain, as isolation can often lead to rapid declines in mental functions.
Regardless of their living situation, it is important for seniors to be connected with others. Visits in person are ideal, but if time and distance make this difficult, video calls or phone calls are the next best option.
Talking to others sharpens the brain, so if your loved one can get involved with volunteering or a different kind of social activity, this is a fantastic opportunity to keep the mind thriving.
Which Activity for Seniors Will You Encourage First?
Now that we’ve covered some activities for how to keep senior minds sharp, you can start looking at which of these would best suit your loved one. Each activity for seniors listed here is guaranteed to help them keep their minds active as they enjoy old age.
Don’t forget that The Retreat at Alameda organizes a wide range of activities for our residents to promote healthy brain function. Contact us now for more information about how our facilities could help your loved one.