They do not have to slow down or stop feeling young at heart just because they are older. As a caregiver, there are many fun, low cost, and even free activities you can help your senior get involved with so that they can enjoy being socially engaged year-round.
In their golden years, seniors can experience the joy of learning and doing new activities, developing hobbies, and managing a social calendar of encounters with friends as they explore and discover new interests.
Seniors can make connections with like-minded people of all ages and find activities geared just for elder adults. Local churches, temples, and synagogues are a place they can share faith experiences with others which is good for the soul and social interaction.
It is important to remember that quantity of activities scheduled does not always equal quality. Be mindful in offering a variety of activities daily. Anyone can schedule activities just to fill up a calendar but a lot of thought should go into whether it is an activity that will spark the senior’s attention.
Getting seniors involved is the goal when deciding what activities to schedule, but a high number of participants attending an activity should not be the sole measurement for defining activity success. Residents may end up asking a friend to have a cup of coffee with them and to discuss the day’s headlines in the local newspaper or they may ask a friend to help them put a puzzle together. These kinds of activities are equally important and just as much of a victory as filling a large room for a music concert.
When activity directors provide tools that empower residents to engage on their own initiative, they create a greater sense of ownership, which fosters participation without forcing it and drives activity without dictating it.
Another great activity motivator is asking local groups of children to come to visit your residents. It is a win-win situation for both the senior and the children. Whether the children put on a play, sing for the residents, or spend time talking with the seniors, everyone enjoys the interaction. Children as well as adult seniors have so much to share with each other.