Activities for Seniors: What to Do on a Typical Day
The sad thing about senior citizens and the younger generation is that they seem to ignore each other. A lot of people think that since older individuals have lowered activity tolerance and are not as mentally active as before, they do not really need much stimulation. The fact is, these people are constantly searching for attention. Here's what you can offer.
Start the Day Right
Seniors wake up earlier than before, since they need less sleep than regular adults. A typical night's sleep lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 hours for most. You can expect them to wake up at around 5am to 7am in the morning. It will be good to give them a hearty breakfast once they open their eyes. Greet them warmly and have the table set up. A good menu will include items like oatmeal, a piece of apple or orange, coffee or juice and a tall glass of water. While eating, give him or her an itinerary of the activities for the day so they can prepare well.
You can assist the elderly get ready for the day's actions, by helping them dress, shower and do their other bodily routines. Some will prefer doing things independently, so it will be better to just hand them items like the brush, the towel and slippers and let them do everything else to promote independence and feelings of self-confidence.
Some Physical Activity
Start the day with some form of exercise to improve muscle strength and condition. Some of the activities that you can offer include a round of golf, swimming, walking to the nearby mall, doing yoga and hitting the gym for some light weight training. Do activities according to the preference and physical capacity of the individual. The session should last anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes at a time, even if the person believes that he or she can tolerate or do more.
Take time to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes through stretches and cardiovascular exercise. Cool down in the end as well by stretching and flexing. Make sure you bring a bottle of water for the elderly to consume throughout the exercises. They tend to become dehydrated sooner than others, so stay prepared especially on very hot days. If the senior experiences anything painful or uncomfortable about the activity, stop it immediately and find the source of the problem.
Buying Them Toys
Seniors want to hold on even to small material possessions as a way to ease boredom. Some of the "toys" or items that you can give them to stay mentally alert and focused are a book, a cross stitch set, a sewing kit, a drawing book or a canvass. Take the elderly to the local department store, mall or bookstore and have them pick a couple of things that they would like to keep at home. You can ask the people too, the particular hobbies and activities they used to do when they were younger. Try to find things that they can associate with easily.
Make sure that the senior is fully secure and safe throughout all the activities done. If the weather is hot, provide an umbrella, sunglasses and hat. For colder seasons, give gloves, a jacket and boots. Protect the elderly from potential dangers while doing activities like going up the stairs, playing sports and cooking. Always be right beside the person to assist and have some materials prepared such as the emergency hotline and first aid kit.