4 Activities That Promote Physical and Mental Well-Being in Seniors
As our loved ones age, it is important that they continue to receive as much mental and physical stimulation as possible. Mental Health Studies have shown that when seniors actively exercise their minds and bodies, there can be a decreased risk of cognitive decline, improved mood, and an increase in strength and mobility. Take a look at four activities we recommend for keeping seniors as healthy as possible.
1. Daily Exercise.
Daily exercise is crucial to the longevity and retention of fine and gross motor skills, balance, and physical independence. For older adults, daily exercise is not only beneficial in a physical aspect, but encourages those involved to stay socially active as well. Seniors who can remain physically and socially active should do so for as long as they can.
2. Pet Therapy.
As a relatively inexpensive and meaningful activity, pet therapy has been used over the years to improve the emotional status of those involved and encourage physical activity. Whether it is a pet in the home or a pet therapy service visiting a long-term care community, getting a chance to interact with animals can have long-term health benefits.
French poet, Victor Hugo, once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Music can provide short-term relief for those suffering from the byproducts of dementia, which include but are not limited to anxiety, confusion, frustration, agitation, sensory deprivation, and depression. The reason music works so well is because it is primarily stimulating the area of the brain that has not yet been impacted by the disease.
4. Artistic Expression.
Art programs are ideal for older adults because they give space for seniors to operate mainly in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is where creativity and expression exist, and is the last area to be affected by any form of cognitive decline. Art programs come in many shapes and sizes and are helpful on multiple levels. Not only does the artist get to create something out of their expressive mind, but as the caregivers, we have the opportunity to increase their self-esteem by celebrating what they have created. Moreover, the artwork that the seniors created may very well inspire other older adults to do the same.
If you are wondering when the right time is to transition your loved one to assisted living and memory care, we invite you to take our quiz, “Knowing the Right Time.”
About the Author
Ryan Muzzey is the life enrichment specialist and manager at Provision Living West County with over 15 years of experience serving the geriatric population. He is certified in Basic and Advanced Alzheimer’s Care through the Alzheimer’s Association, and is also trained as a Certified Dementia Trainer, Person Directed Care Specialist/Trainer, Eden Alternative Associate, and Virtual Dementia Tour Facilitator. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal and choral studies from Lindenwood University and truly believes in the healing power of music.