Life in old age no longer means retiring to a rocking chair and staring at the big screen all day long. It is a great time to invest in healthy, healing activities which make you feel good, instil plenty of stimulation and give you a chance to learn something new, to keep you occupied.
Whatever your age, interests, or abilities, having a good time should be easy for all. Having enjoyable pastimes that make you laugh, lose track of time and feel goofy like a kid at heart not only makes you feel good and better yourself but also keeps you healthy.
Having unstructured days gives you the time and freedom to do anything you want and bring about the change with an activity of leisure and fun. Recreational activities let you have fun, boost mood and stay engaged with your surroundings even in your older age, without needing to move around much.
Importance of Recreational Activities For The Elderly
Recreation is the key to having a healthy mind, along with a healthy life. Indulging in physical activities has been observed to not only improve functioning but also mental health of older adults. Recreational activities for senior citizens help them improve their quality of life, meet new people, and continue to improve their overall well-being. For seniors who recently went through a major procedure, physical recreation especially makes a difference as it becomes a part of the healing process, allowing for quick recovery of the body and mind.
Physical recreational activities give elders a chance to get physically active and fit, through fun exercises and games. Having some form of physical activity protects them against several health ailments, slow down the process of declining motor skills, flexibility and strength. Physical or outdoor recreation does not always include challenging activities, rather simple and engaging moments with self and friends to bring about positive movements in the body.
Some of the best recreational activities for the elderly not only involve them physically but also cognitively. These activities are known to increase brain functioning and self-esteem, keep them sharp and show their minds will be strong and ward off cognitive impairments due to old age.
The elderly are often at great risk of depression and anxiety-related issues, when going through major health problems and surgeries, as compared to other age groups. Getting involved in recreational activities brings out the lost sense of hope and competence in them, reduces risk, boosts self-esteem and a refreshed state of mind. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are also eliminated, further improving mood and positivity.
Best Recreational Activities for the Elderly
The secret formula to happiness – stay connected and stay healthy. Connected with your family, friends and community, healthy in your lifestyle and have tons of laugh and fun. Whatever your age or interests are, we are sure you’d like to try out these 7 recreational activities for an exciting time.
1. Creative Activities
When senior citizens engage themselves in artistic activities, their spirits flow and mood lifts up, while spending their time constructively. Popular indoor recreational activities for the elderly include painting, crafting, learning music, taking dance lessons and more. Invite them to paint with water colours, draw and sketch, do basic knitting, make pottery or any other activity that suits their interests. They will appreciate the time and freedom to find something new as their favourite pastime with some newfound creativity. Also, these recreational activities make a great way to connect with others in a group setting, further encouraging less boredom, more social connections, mental well-being.
Reading is a great hobby for older adults. It works both as an indoor recreational activity as well as a fun way to spend time and keep the brain engaged. Reading improves knowledge, memory, reduces stress and improves sleep disorders. Be it enjoying books, magazines, writing short stories or articles, poetry or simply the urge to learn something new, reading and writing are some of the best recreational activities for old age.
3. Physical Activities
You will not get a better chance to exercise. With old age and monotonous daily schedules, exercising brings with it refreshed senses, improved fitness, strength and flexibility, enhanced diets and has been shown to prevent many diseases. Different outdoor recreational activities offer different benefits to adults, however, most outdoor recreational activities are excellent ways to take care of your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. You can undertake recreational sports activities like pace walking, jogging, light yoga and enjoy the health and mood benefits that come along with these. Even if you believe your movement abilities are restricted, simple outdoor recreational activities like standing or walking can help a great way. Exercising can also be done in groups to strengthen social connections and meet new people of the same age group.
Simple gardening at home is a great alternative to outdoor recreation activities as it involves both physical and mental stimulation. For an elderly who enjoys the outdoors, being engaged in gardening would provide a good opportunity to spend time outdoors, working on the plants, flowers and kitchen crops by doing light garden chores and soak in some important Vitamin D. And if they feel like they do not have the physical capacity for it, then there are always basic tasks like raking, seeding and watering that can be done easily. Once comfortable, gardening may prove to be the simplest type of recreational activities.
5. Pet Therapy
Bringing a pet into your home is one of the most fun recreational activities that you can offer to your older loved ones. Animals have a special way of bonding with seniors and helping to brighten their day. The elderly are quick to get attached to pets and indulge in their daily chores like feeding them, bathing them, walking them and playing with them. It is a form of both indoor as well as outdoor recreation and helps reduce loneliness and boredom.
6. Games & Puzzles
Playing games is a fun recreational activity that you can enjoy with your friends and families. Family recreational activities give you a chance to better bond with your children and grandchildren while challenging your brain. And there are so many games and puzzles to choose, from, you will never run out of a fun game to play. You can play cards, jigsaw puzzles, or crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc. Playing games also sharpens your focus, improves your memory, helps you relax, while providing some exercise and improving your hand-eye coordination.
7. Spend Time Outdoors
Going outside and just exploring your locality, city, country or even another country is probably one of the most desired recreational activities anyone would like to do. And now you have the time, resources and patience for it. Organise group or solo trips to nearby attractions, close cities or distant dream destinations and have a ball of a time in your old age. It is refreshing, it is relaxing and it fills you with the energy to go on the next trip as early s possible. There are numerous outdoor recreational activities groups that you can join to regularly visit some of the top attractions close to your home.
Recreation for the elderly is a simple and proven method to keep the body and mind alert, and the elderly themselves better occupied. With small and simple activities, senior citizens can be made to utilise their time productively, in a way that also complements their health. You can always get in touch with Emoha for in-home care services for seniors which we render with empathy and expertise. For us, it is always #EldersFirst