When seniors enter skilled nursing care, they might worry that they’ll be lonely, bored, or inactive. But senior care can be a rich, new chapter in their lives if the care facility offers a wide range of enriching activities.
While it’s difficult for many to leave the comfort of their own homes, living in a long-term care facility can in fact provide a better quality of life because there are more opportunities to engage in activities that keep them active, social, and mentally sharp.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for older adults to stay physically active as they age. Exercise can decrease their risk for injuries, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. In addition, physical activity helps boost mood, increase energy and stamina, improve sleep, and maintain overall wellness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests older adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week in addition to muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. For those whose health conditions or mobility problems limit their ability to exercise, it’s important to be as physically active as their abilities and health conditions allow.
Group exercise activities in a long-term care facility have the added benefit of improving social and emotional wellness.
It’s equally important to keep the mind stimulated, and activities like puzzles, board games, and trivia are great options. It’s also good to encourage seniors to learn something new – how to play a musical instrument, speak a new language, play golf, draw or paint, or use a smartphone or social media to stay connected to family and friends.
Particularly for residents with Alzheimer’s disease other forms of dementia, it’s critical to provide activities that engage the brain to help slow the progression and improve quality of life.
Isolation and loneliness can lead to serious mental health issues such as depression. That’s why offering opportunities for elderly individuals to socialize is critical. When they feel connected to others through a shared activity or social outing, they’re more likely to feel happy and fulfilled.
Activities with a social focus can also provide meaning and purpose.
It’s also key to feed seniors’ spiritual needs. That can include religious activities such as devotions and Bible study groups. But spiritual activities don’t have to involve religion; they can be whatever provides the senior with meaning, hope, and healing – maybe it’s music or poetry or spending time in nature.
Finding ways to allow seniors to serve others also can contribute to their spiritual wellbeing.
Choose a Dynamic Activities Department
Princeton Health Care Center takes pride in having one of the largest and most dynamic activities departments in West Virginia. In addition to daily activities geared to the skills, abilities, and interests of our residents, our Activities Department also plans group outings and special events throughout the year.
We know that every person is unique, and a one-size-fits-all activities schedule won’t work. We get to know our residents well and we work diligently to vary our activities so everyone can find something to enjoy. Plus, the activities we schedule are meaningful, engaging their body, mind, and spirit.