A General Social Survey on time use referenced by Statistics Canada found seniors are, on average, spending less time on active pursuits. This is a potential problem because not being engaged on a regular basis could affect physical capabilities and contribute to depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. If you have concerns about your aging loved one and how he or she passes the time, here are some enjoyable and beneficial suggestions he or she may appreciate.
Reading doesn’t mean your loved one has to be seated in a chair alone. It can also be a mentally stimulating way to pass the time when it involves:
• Using “lap books” so you and your parent can read together
• Joining online book clubs for seniors
• Using an e-reader or listening to an audiobook if physically holding a book is no longer easy
Creating a “Senior Cave”
A creative way to help your loved one pass the time is to create a space just for him or her. It can be in a corner of the living room, a spare bedroom, an adjacent garage, or any other easily accessible space. The idea is to set up the designated area in a way that allows your loved one to do things that interest him or her. For instance, a “senior cave” might include:
• A hobby or craft table
• A comfy chair where your loved one can sit to knit or play a favorite instrument
• A collection of memorabilia devoted to something he or she likes (e.g., a favorite baseball team or a specific time period that brings back fond memories)
Setting up a space like this can be beneficial, since it can be based on things your loved one finds relaxing, which minimizes stress. If favorite items are included, a personalized space can also trigger fond memories.
The trick here is to suggest physical activities that don’t seem like exercise, even though they could keep aging bones, joints, and muscles strong and enhance coordination and balance. Doing chair exercises while listening to music, taking care of a garden, doing yoga, and playing interactive virtual games like tennis, bowling, or skiing are just some of the many possibilities.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely. At-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Learning New Things
Learning has no age limit. In fact, the Canadian Council on Learning notes intellectual stimulation may minimize the impact of age-related changes in the brain. From online courses to apps that provide cognitive stimulation while also creating fun learning experiences, there are many ways aging adults can acquire new knowledge.
A home caregiver can help your loved one exercise his or her memory and cognitive skills every day. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Barrie families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Revisiting Past Interests
Another way for aging adults to pass the time is by revisiting things that interested them in the past. Depending on the nature of his or her interests, your loved one could enhance his or her mental clarity, fine motor skills, and general quality of life by filling up the time this way. For some seniors, revisited interests could involve:
• Collecting stamps and coins
• Working on jigsaw puzzles
• Making handicrafts or homemade items
• Dusting off old recipes and making them in healthy ways
• Painting or drawing
• Bike riding—using a stationary bike or elliptical machine is an acceptable substitute
A home caregiver can help your loved one find ways to prevent boredom, isolation, and loneliness. For families living in Barrie, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at 647-970-3803 today.