8 Fun Activities You Can Do in Retirement Homes
When you live in a retirement home, it’s extremely important to stay active in both mind and body. This can help you avoid health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, and depression, and to stay fit and happy, both mentally and physically. Retirement communities should be relaxing, yes, but you should also have the opportunity to stay healthy and active where you live.
At reputable retirement homes, the residents appreciate the staff members who help them stay active and involved. There is any number of activities that the staff can arrange for senior residents. Here are just a few.
Physical activities are meant to promote both mental and physical health of the participants. They might include sensory simulation for bed- or chair-bound residents, stretching and resistance training, exercises, cycling classes, yoga, and aerobics classes.
Seniors can sit and watch a new or old favourite film with friends, and discuss it after, if they like. A regular Movie Night can provoke and transform the residents and guests: they reduce isolation, stimulate empathy, foster friendships, and offer a mental break for viewers. The best time for viewing is Saturday morning or Friday nights before meals in order to offer the opportunity for conversation and discussion around the meal table.
3. Brain Games
Any problem-solving games like checkers, cards, crosswords, trivia, Sudoku, and word-search are common in today’s homes for the retired, and there is plenty of evidence that shows that mind games help keep people sharp and can help prevent the development of dementia.
Some residents might enjoy tending to window gardens or planting herbs or flowers in pots. Although some residents might not be able to get out into the garden on their own, staff or volunteers can help them by working either under their direction or alongside the residents. This activity can offer sunshine, fresh air, and mental stimulation. An added benefit is if food gardens are tended, the crops can be used in the menu of the residence.
Golf is becoming an increasingly popular past-time at retirement residences. Some communities have golf courses on-site, or even indoor practice facilities like driving ranges and putting greens. The residence can offer lessons for those interested, and allow for golf enthusiasts to consider their favourite activity even after moving into a retirement home.
Swimming is an ideal exercise: it helps reduce fat, burn energy, build muscle, and improve the cardiovascular health of participants. It can reduce or relieve the pain of osteoporosis and arthritis. Water aerobics classes are also hugely beneficial.
7. Pet Therapy
Pet therapy can offer a wonderful opportunity for trained volunteers to bring in their certified pets to the residence. These animals can bring comfort, therapy, and relaxation to the residents while they interact with them. Animals can be guinea pigs, cats, or dogs, and can draw even the most reserved of residents out of themselves.
Social activities help keep residents entertained and engaged, and usually offer some kind of physical and mental benefit as well. These can include things like birthday and anniversary parties, ice cream socials, and holiday programs like Halloween Trick-or-Treating so children of the community and relatives of the residents can go room-to-room, and afternoon teas. They might also involve picnics in the yard or at a nearby park, an Easter egg hunt, and food-centered activities like cookie baking and such. The residents can get together to create delicious treats that can then be served for dessert or even sold for a fundraiser.