Regularly participating in activities helps ageing adults stay both physically and mentally healthy, and it’s also a great way to encourage meaningful social interactions. However, seniors sometimes need a little nudging from their family carers when it comes to putting plans of this nature into motion on a regular basis. If your parent is self-isolating at home due to COVID-19, this can make keeping him or her engaged even more challenging. Here are five specific ways you can organise activities that can be both enjoyable and beneficial for an ageing parent.
1. Create & Trigger Memories
First of all, you should organise activities that will be memorable for both you and your parent. It can also be beneficial to consider activities that trigger memories and support cognitive health by stimulating parts of the brain responsible for thought processing and memory. Fun activities that fit into this category include:
• Physical puzzles, logic-based puzzles, and word games
• Memory-based board and card games
• Learning how to speak a new language or play a musical instrument
• Scrapbooking and other arts and crafts activities that combine mental and physical stimulation
Some of these activities, such as puzzle and word games, can be done alone if your parent lives by him or herself. Other activities, such as card games, will be more suitable if your parent lives with you or if you’re able to communicate via video conferencing such as FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.
2. Use Conveniently Accessible Apps
Not all activities have to be physical in nature. In fact, there are many apps—such as Lumosity, which has more than 60 games—that offer an assortment of interactive and engaging activities for the brain. What’s also good about senior-friendly activity apps is that they can be enjoyed on a phone or tablet while your parent is self-isolating at home.
3. Get Everyone Involved
Make the activities you plan as social as possible. This is important because older adults are more susceptible to depression if they don’t have regular social interaction. One way to do this, if you live in the same household, is to plan game nights or activity-themed evenings. If you don’t share a home with your parent, set him or her up with video technology such as Zoom or Skype and invite small groups of other family members and friends to join you online for a catch-up. It can also be good to get people of all age groups involved, especially grandchildren.
For families living in Newcastle, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their ageing loved ones need companionship and socialisation 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. We understand how critical it is for seniors and their carers to protect against COVID-19 as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands.
4. Consider Activities that Have Positive Health Benefits
Show your parent that activities that are good for him or her can also be fun. You can do this by organising enjoyable activities that involve fitness or even preparing healthy meals and snacks that are both delicious and nutritious. Activities of this nature could include:
• Having family dinner nights if you live together
• Taking in-person or online cooking lessons to learn healthy cooking methods
• Walking casually or taking daily walks with a family pet
• Making healthy baked goods for a local charity or community-based organisation
In-home care workers can play games with older adults and help them exercise safely. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the care workers at Home Care Assistance, your ageing loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialise regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
5. Avoid Patronising Activities
While there are times when it makes sense to keep activities simple for your parent, you don’t want to be unintentionally patronising by “dumbing things down” instead of making reasonable adjustments. Choose activities based on capabilities, but also go by your loved one’s reactions to determine if it’s okay to step things up and explore activities that are a bit more involved.
Newcastle 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 care workers can help your ageing loved one continue to live independently. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional aged care. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (02) 4089 3000.