Apr 8, 2015 by Ron L'Heureux
At Comfort Keepers® home care of Orange, Calif., we concentrate our in-home senior care services on helping older adults maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. We call this approach Interactive Caregiving™. We base our caregiving approach on research that shows how regular physical, mental and social activity helps seniors stay healthier—physically, mentally and emotionally.
The good news is that seniors can practice—and enjoy—a multitude of health-enhancing activities in the comfort of their own homes.
These include mental activities like board games and puzzles, physical activities like dance, and social activities like inviting friends over for coffee and conversation, and going online to email or stay in touch with family and friends via social media, such as Facebook.
Video games: Not just for kids
There’s another option worth seniors’ consideration: video games. Yes, just like youth, video games should not be wasted on the young—certainly not to the exclusion of seniors.
Seniors can get a double dose of healthful activity playing motion-activated video games, which combine physical and mental stimulation, with game systems such as the Wii by Nintendo, Microsoft¹s Kinect and PlayStation Move. In such games, commonly called “exergames,” players go through the motions of sports like bowling, golf, baseball and boxing, plus other activities like dancing and aerobic exercise – and see the results of their physical actions played out on the TV monitor.
Research studies have shown that exergames help seniors maintain and improve coordination, balance, mobility and dexterity, contributing to reduced risk of falling and can help with any number of care issues. Exergames often are used to motivate physical therapy patients and complement traditional practices.
For safety’s sake and the added benefit of companionship and good-natured competition, we advise seniors to play exergames with their in-home senior caregivers, family caregivers or friends.
Exercise for the mind
Also, many video games are designed purely to help seniors exercise their minds, such as Nintendo’s Brain Age games. And traditional board games, such as Scrabble, and other favorites, such as jigsaw puzzles and word games, entertain as they keep the mind sharp, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Many seniors also like to stay involved with hobbies as much as possible—and their senior caregivers can help as needed, creating an enjoyable experience for both.
Within the comfortable confines of home, there’s really no limit—beyond your imagination—to the activities that can help seniors maintain as active and healthful a lifestyle as possible.
Looking for additional activities for you and your senior loved one? Try these activities you can do with elderly seniors.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about our care offerings, please contact your local office in Orange or Fullerton, CA. Our caregivers and staff would be happy to help.