3 Key Activities and Programs for Keeping Seniors Happy
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In an ideal world, all seniors would be happy and fully enjoying their retirement. However, there are a lot of challenges that seniors have to face in their golden years. An essay from the Milken Institute Center notes that overcoming problems involving engagement, purpose, financial wellness, brain health, daily living, and care coordination are critical for seniors’ comfort and happiness.
Why data-driven interventions matter
The aforementioned essay also reveals how staff shortages and quality concerns have risen to alarming levels. This information is determined by leveraging data on habits, activities, and much more. Having access to this data in the senior care industry allows us to come up with new solutions designed to augment said issues. For instance, this could mean launching efforts to attract, train and develop long-term care professionals. This could also mean monitoring how these new solutions are faring, and how seniors are responding to them.
That said, we’ve listed some activities and programs below that can help senior individuals age with a happier and more positive outlook in life.
Low impact sports
Seniors need to stay physically active in order to maintain their well-being. According to data from the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection, long-term care residents spend 90% of their time in sedentary positions. But data has also determined that regular exercising can help them improve their strength, boost their energy, improve their mood, and even refine their cognitive function. Of course, older adults should practice caution when exercising, as high-impact exercises can potentially worsen existing physical conditions.
Low-impact sports such as yoga, swimming, water aerobics, and jogging can improve the flexibility, strength, and balance of seniors while minimizing injuries. Maryville University highlights how holistic coaches who are tasked with helping seniors attain good physical health through low-impact sports are able to recognize that an individual may have other commitments and goals. Similarly, fitness professionals should adopt a holistic coaching style and consider the predicament of the whole individual in order to further their growth.
It can be difficult for seniors to make new friends and have an active social life. For this reason, caretakers of seniors should encourage them to join social activities. A fulfilling social life can help delay the cognitive, emotional, and physical difficulties that manifest in old age. Aside from that, social activities can help reduce the stress, loneliness, and anxiety that seniors experience, especially because those who are living by themselves are all the more isolated.
As mentioned in a post by our very own Gaby Kiederling, even something as simple as connecting older adults with college students through telecommunication apps can make a huge impact on a senior’s wellbeing. Tech-driven solutions are able to bridge the gap between the older generations and the newer generations who might not fully comprehend the fundamentals of long-term care and its impact on the elderly. Therefore, through initiatives like the Intus Cares Program, social interventions and connections for the elderly can easily be arranged.
Arts and crafts
Apart from helping seniors express their feelings and emotions, art can greatly improve their cognitive functions. A study published in Frontiers of Psychology made use of quantitative and qualitative data, case studies and doctoral theses, as well as analysis tools to prove that creative arts are beneficial for long-term care. Creating arts and crafts can stimulate the brain to create new neural pathways and strengthen dendrites. Because of this, art can enhance the cognitive reserve of the brain and allow an individual to have more efficient brain networks and alternative brain strategies.
Furthermore, art can help address depression in seniors. Interventions led by creative arts therapists were found to contribute to reduced depression and symptoms, along with co-morbid conditions like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and dementia. From art, dance movement, drama, and music, care institutions should find it in their best interests to let seniors engage in a variety of creative activities to improve their happiness and care outcomes.
If you want your senior loved one or client to have a happy and fulfilling life, be sure to consider the activities we’ve listed above.
Written exclusively for Intuscare.com by Angel Crest
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