As a person gets older they are likely to have more time on their hands, and for some, it can become difficult to fill the time as bodily limitations associated with age start to become apparent. In fact, many adults aged 65 and above spend 10 hours or more a day sitting or lying down, which can lead to higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease, the decline in cognitive abilities and early death. However, there is an abundance of choices for hobbies and activities for seniors, many of which can be done from the comfort of their own home. Having hobbies is a great way to keep the mind and body active as well as being fulfilling and contributing to positive wellbeing.
Spending time in a safe and familiar environment doing enriching and healthy hobbies is a great way to ensure your loved one remains happy. However, it may become risky to leave them alone for long periods of time; in situations like this Care24Seven can help. We are an agency that can provide live-in carers for those who need it, and take care of all the legal documents, contracts and verifications so your loved one can be safe in their home, and you can have the peace of mind that they are well looked after.
Gardening is a good way to keep active and learn new things. It is a low impact way of getting exercise which is beneficial for the muscles and joints, which can reduce the risk of falls in the long term. The regular exercise that can come from gardening is also good for lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and risk of heart disease and stroke.
Getting interested in gardening can also be good mentally as it challenges the brain to remember how to look after certain plants, and learning the new information to keep them alive is also beneficial for the brain. Gardening can even help nutritionally through growing vegetables that can later be eaten.
Even if a garden isn’t available, growing plants in the home can be a fulfilling experience, as well as contributing to making the home a more enjoyable place to spend time.
Arts and Crafts
Regular art can improve and maintain mobility of the hands as well as hand-eye coordination. There are so many ways that art and crafts can be incorporated as a hobby and so many mediums to try out and learn about. From painting to sewing to knitting, or even just trying out colouring books.
Arts and crafts are also great for mental health and self-expression, especially for those with age-related diseases such as dementia where it can become harder to articulate feelings verbally.
Gaming is becoming more and more popular for older adults and there are many consoles to choose from, depending on what games suit the interest of the player. If you want to stay fit while gaming the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Switch offer games that require movement to play. Other options like the Xbox and PlayStation can open up the opportunity for challenging and improving hand-eye coordination, critical thinking and problem-solving. Whatever your loved one is interested in there’s likely to be a game out there for them.
Yoga is a low impact exercise which promotes strength, flexibility and mindfulness. Yoga can be adapted to suit any level of fitness and mobility. It can also increase bodily awareness and posture. Yoga can be done from home through online classes or even using books; however, it is important to not push beyond the body’s natural range of movement in order to avoid injuries. Depending on the situation it may be better for yoga to be used as an option under supervision, from family, friends or a live-in carer.
Pets can offer responsibility, emotional support and a reason to stay active. The process of choosing a pet also offers a great opportunity to learn about different animals. However, the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly and your loved one’s abilities and state of mind should be considered beforehand, as even pets which can be considered low maintenance such as fish still require regular cleaning to remain healthy as well as specific lighting and filtration. If your loved one is able to look after an animal this is a great way for them to have companionship; animals like cats, dogs, small mammals and birds often make excellent companions and are extremely enriching and rewarding to look after.
Reading is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety which can be common in older adults; it can also promote healthier sleep patterns. Not only this but reading is also great for improving cognitive ability and can prevent memory loss as reading requires focus and concentration and it uses parts of the brain that wouldn’t be used when watching films or TV, this can strengthen and create new neurological pathways. Books can be a great way to learn new things or get transported to new places; even if vision loss is a problem, an audiobook can still bring about the benefits of reading.
Online courses, or e-learning, is a great way to keep the mind active. It’s great for mental health as well; research shows that continued learning into old age can help reduce cognitive decline due to ageing and depression, and improves self-image. Online courses are also flexible, can be completely done from home and challenge parts of the brain which aren’t used in day-to-day life.
Learn an Instrument
Playing music is a great stress reliever and the process of learning an instrument is great for brain function, it is beneficial for memory and motor skills, as well as reaction times and multitasking ability. The learning process can be done with an online tutor, pre-recorded videos or even just learning to read music and downloading songs to try. Even just playing around with an instrument and having your loved one create their own music can be an extremely effective stress reliever.
Puzzles are a great way to relax, improve cognitive function and are a great mood booster. It is extremely easy to get hold of a puzzle book and completing quick puzzles can be rewarding and a great boost for self-esteem.
There are many ways that elderly people can remain happy and healthy in the comfort of their own home; however, in some cases extra care is needed for the peace of mind of you and your loved ones. At Care24Seven we are an agency who can match people with DBS checked and fully vetted carers – get in touch with a member of our team today for more information.