As we age, our senses deteriorate, as do our bones and vital bodily systems. Also, the longer we live, the more likely it is that we will experience (painful and serious) diseases. And, there are inevitable losses of friends and loved ones. No wonder seniors experience a higher-than-average rate of depression. Fortunately, with age comes much experience. And, older adults are perfectly capable of learning new things, enjoying new experiences, and being happy despite health or personal challenges. Here's how!
Simply put, social connections matter. While some seniors may avoid stereotypical senior activities such as card clubs and craft hours, there are good reasons to take part, even in events that seem boring or contrived. A study conducted in Western Australia on seniors concluded that while interest may motivate seniors to join a group, a sense of belonging and connectedness generated through the group is more likely to maintain their attendance. The findings suggest that the social interactions are key to participants' enjoyment.
80-year olds can't party or play ball like 30-year olds. But they can continue to do many of the things they enjoy, including exercise or sports activities. Exercise is a great way to get those endorphins running through the body. Plus, activity helps seniors maintain mobility, flexibility, and balance to help them remain independent and avoid falling.
There's also no reason to stop exercising or enjoying the activities you have up until now. In fact, there are many reasons to keep doing those activities, with some smart modifications.
If you like biking, you might find that a new bike with wider tires, or even a 3-wheeled cycle, is a safe and enjoyable way to keep rolling. Many mature hikers have found that when they add hiking poles to their outings, they feel more stable, particularly on hills or uneven surfaces. As an added benefit, the poles help build some upper-body strength.
There are dozens of activities, even sedentary ones, that seniors can benefit from participating in. These activities are great for seniors who have limited mobility. Try sewing, knitting, arts and crafts projects, writing letters, keeping a journal, blogging, etc. Finding and participating in enjoyable activities can make a world of difference.
At Caring Senior Service we are always ready to help seniors and their families by providing professional advice and services. As you consider ways to give support to your aging parents or relatives, consider including us in your plans. Contact our care team today!