Quality mental and physical activity plays an essential role in creating a positive quality of life for seniors. This role becomes even more critical in assisted living situations, where seniors may have reduced autonomy over their time.
At We Care Senior Solutions, we know the importance of keeping the elderly active and engaged throughout their care. We’re West Point’s trusted assisted living community placement agency and remain committed to helping seniors and their loved ones find compassionate care.
In this blog, we cover our top tips for keeping the elderly active and engaged in assisted living situations. To learn more about assisted living in West Point, call our team at We Care Senior Solutions today.
Ten Tips for Keeping the Elderly Active and Engaged
Looking for ways to engage more senior residents in healthy, stimulating activities? Read below to learn ways to keep routines, social events, and more interesting for the seniors in your care.
#1: Keep Schedules Varied
Assisted living communities often operate with rigid schedules. In many cases, these schedules help improve the quality of life for residents while providing quality care for medical conditions, mental health, and more.
However, too much routine can be a bad thing. Ensure residents have varied options for activities and can opt in or out of activities as they desire. This keeps scheduled activities from feeling monotonous over time.
#2: Offer Assistance with Activities
Some seniors have health conditions that make participating in certain activities challenging. If a senior thinks a task may be too difficult, they may hesitate to participate.
Offer assistance to all residents during activities. In many cases, moderate guidance gives senior residents the courage they need to try new things or to push themselves to overcome certain challenges.
#3: Set Personalized Expectations
Each person has unique strengths and weaknesses. When keeping the elderly active and planning activities for individuals or groups, keep those strengths and limitations in mind. Form balanced groups to keep expectations reasonable for all members.
#4: Create Goals
Often, creating small milestones to celebrate with seniors during their activities gives them the motivation they need to stay engaged. When people feel like they succeeded at a task, they may become more interested in pursuing that task further.
Remember to make goals incremental and small. This keeps achievement potential realistic and limits the discouragement a senior may feel at minor setbacks.
#5: Plan Group Activities
Many seniors in assisted living situations feel disconnected from their friends and family. Planning social activities, such as group games, outings, or partner projects, can help them connect with their fellow residents and make friends.
In many cases, looking forward to socializing and doing tasks together gives seniors more motivation to stay active or engaged.
#6: Incorporate Low-Impact Movement
Blood pressure conditions, joint issues, and other ailments can discourage many seniors from doing intense activities like cardio or jogging. However, low-impact activities like yoga or tai chi can give seniors the movement they need to stay healthy without pushing their physical limits.
#7: Encourage Stair Use
For some seniors, incorporating extra activity becomes as simple as taking the stairs instead of an elevator or ramp. For those seniors, without limiting physical conditions, encourage light and easy stair use.
In some cases, practicing step-ups in a private environment with the assistance of a caregiver can be the practice a senior citizen needs to recover from injuries, surgeries, or other ailments.
#8: Make Aerobics or Strength Training Fun
People of all ages will avoid an activity if it feels too much like work. For this reason, we recommend making activities like aerobics or strength training more fun. Some ways to do this include adding music, doing timed challenges, encouraging vocal responses, and creating reward systems for those who complete their exercises.
#9: Take Suggestions
Part of creating an adaptive and healthy environment for seniors in assisted living involves remembering that they are people with needs, opinions, experiences, and goals. Help your residents feel more engaged and respected by asking for suggestions for group activities, movies, etc. Implement these ideas when possible.
#10: Set Up Reward Systems
Finally, setting up a reward system can be enough motivation for many seniors to take a more active approach to their assisted living lifestyle.
Set up reward systems for both individual and group goals. Create opportunities for seniors to enjoy rewards for reaching their personal milestones, and help them work together by establishing milestones for whole groups.
For individuals, rewards can be indulgent food or gift cards. For groups, rewards can be special outings or parties.
Benefits of Keeping Seniors Active
Regular activity and mental engagement benefit people of all ages, especially seniors. In assisted living, staying active and mentally engaged in puzzles, exercise, group projects, and more can improve quality of life and keep residents thriving for years to come.
In general, the benefits of keeping seniors active include:
- Improved mood
- Better social skills
- Boosted energy
- Better response times
- Increased longevity
- Improved sleep
- Boosted cognitive function
- Better long-term mental health
- And more
If you’re considering assisted living for your loved one, ensure you choose a community that incorporates the right amount of physical and mental activity. With activities like yoga, walks, puzzles, and games, seniors can stimulate their minds and bodies while feeling more connected to themselves and the world around them.
Choose Assisted Living with Compassionate Care
Our team at We Care Senior Solutions connects seniors and their families with the resources they need to maintain a high quality of life. We believe that keeping the elderly active and engaged helps them live longer, happier lives in and out of assisted living. It also gives their loved ones much-needed peace of mind.
If you want to know the importance of yoga for seniors or to explore other topics, keep browsing our blog. To find out more about assisted living care options for you or your loved ones through We Care Senior Solutions, call us at 610-600-6170.