Social Life & Well-Being of Elderly People Tips
People often struggle to come to terms with their aging, and for many of us, adjustment to aging doesn’t go smoothly. Although we are aware that we cannot escape the natural process of growing old, adjusting to all losses and changes that are happening as we grow older can be overwhelming.
A senior who experiences impaired health may find it even more challenging to deal with the changes that aging carries.
However, staying socially active is one of the vital factors in healthy aging. Studies show that seniors who stay socially active experience a myriad of benefits, including good emotional health, improved cognitive function, and better physical health.
If you are a caregiver to an older adult, it is important to know how to keep him or her mentally and socially engaged. Here are the guidelines for keeping older adults entertained and helping them participate in fun social activities.
What Do Elderly People Do for Fun?
Most healthy older people enjoy active activities that include walking, jogging, playing sports, and gardening. Also, aging people love karaoke, dancing, parties, and other social gatherings.
Socializing is a great way to bring more fun into an elderly person’s life. Spending time with other people may elevate a person’s mood, prevents the onset of depression, and keep the elderly mentally sharp. Staying intellectually engaged is essential in avoiding dementia and other health problems.
How Do You Engage the Elderly in Social Activities?
Staying physically active as we age provides a range of health benefits, such as delaying or preventing dementia and other diseases, alleviating chronic pain, and helping the aging person recover faster from an injury or illness. Connections with family, friends, and community have a significant impact on a person’s overall well-being.
You can engage the elderly in social activities by organizing social gatherings and game nights in the person’s home or at the local community center, encouraging the aging person to join a club or group or to become a volunteer.
Ask the elderly about activities that interest them and encourage them to pursue those interests. For example, if your aging parent enjoys reading, help her/him join the local book club. Or to spend time in a local community garden if she/he prefers gardening.
Meeting up with other people regularly is a great way to spend time with those who share the same interests and needs.
Also, becoming a volunteer within the person’s local community provides a sense of purpose, boosts confidence, and improves mood. Enquire with local animal shelters, schools, or community centers about the volunteering opportunities for seniors, as these are always looking for volunteers of all ages.
Moreover, many seniors benefit from lifelong learning opportunities at local adult education centers and colleges. Enroll the older adult in classes designed for seniors, where they can continue to learn and maintain good cognitive functions.
How to Entertain a 90-Year Old?
Studies show that loneliness is one of the greatest fears people have as they grow older. A significant number of people older than 75 feel lonely and cut off from their social circles. Many go for a month or longer without speaking to a family member, friend, or neighbor.
So, here are some ways to entertain a 90-year old and help them cope with loneliness.
Read books and magazines to a 90-year old.
Reading is an excellent activity for seniors. If a person cannot read on their own, designate a particular time of the day to read for them. Also, consider providing audiobooks, and listen to them together. Reading books, e-books, stories, or magazines is an excellent way to spend time and keep a person’s brain active. Reading is also a great tool to improve mood, reduce stress, delay cognitive decline and dementia, and boost memory.
Look at the photographs together.
Find old family albums and ask the seniors to talk about their memories and life history. Reminiscing can have many benefits for an aging adult. Studies show that evoking memories can improve well-being, promote physical health, reduce symptoms of depression, reduce stress, eliminate feelings of boredom and loneliness, and preserve family history.
These memories can also help seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s reduce agitation and improve mood. Seeing familiar faces and places may trigger memories and stories that have been long forgotten and may provoke an excellent communication with a 90-yer old.
Play Music that a 90-year old enjoys.
Music can bring back positive memories and alleviate anxiety in the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Research shows that personally meaningful music activates and awakens the brain, triggering powerful emotional memories, improving attention, and the feeling of composure.
Take a 90-year old for lunch.
When you have got free time, take a 90-year old out for lunch. This is a great way to show the elderly person how much they mean to you and stay involved in their lives.
Encourage a 90-year old to connect with nature.
Spending time in nature has numerous physical benefits. Physical activity contributes to a better quality of life as we get older. Spending time outside can relieve pain, improve memory, and help with sleep problems in the elderly. Also, time spent in nature has therapeutic effects on mental health and wellness, as it helps alleviate depression, reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and improve mood.
How Do You Pass Time in Old Age?
As we age, our mobility may become more limited due to illnesses or/and injuries. Injuries and health concerns may make the usual activities and hobbies difficult or impossible. However, limited mobility still doesn’t mean that you have to withdraw from social activities.
Here are some ideas on how to pass the time in old age.
Join a senior fitness center.
Even with limited mobility, you should consider trying out a fitness center for the elderly. Exercise can increase your mood, help maintain good physical health, and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Consider different upper-body exercises such as yoga or seated exercises or exercises focused on ankles and feet to reduce swelling.
Exercise is also an excellent opportunity to meet other seniors and socialize.
Check out new technology.
Don’t shy away from digital technologies. Tablets, smartphones, and computers are a perfect way to stay connected with family and friends while you simultaneously learn new things and keep your mind stimulated and engaged.
Practice mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness exercise has the power to boost resilience, reduce the levels of stress, increase optimism, and improve your self-esteem. Also, mindfulness meditation can help you recognize stress-related somatic symptoms such as aches and pains and negative thoughts that cause anxiety and depression. Studies also show that focusing on breathing and calming the mind and body can help you feel more relaxed.
What Are Some Hobbies for Seniors?
Once people retire, they have more time to explore new hobbies. Hobbies such as gardening, painting, or knitting allow you to explore your creative side while having fun and socializing with other seniors.
Creative activities have many health benefits. For example, many people find coloring mandalas relaxing and soothing activities that help relieve tension and help communicate emotions. Colors are often used to express feelings. For example, blue and green generally symbolize calmness and nature, and as such, are used as an integral part of many relaxation techniques. Yellow represents life energy, and optimism orange creates a sense of resilience, confidence, and physical strength.
Also, creative expression can help people with chronic illnesses cope with negative emotions and reduce stress and anxiety.
Studies show that activities such as knitting can ease stress, anxiety, and depression, help you focus and relax. Also, creating a usable product gives you a sense of pride, accomplishment, and satisfaction.
Gardening is an excellent opportunity to stay active and healthy, relax, lessen feelings of anxiety, and connect with nature. Also, an awareness that you are growing your own veggies and fruits will provide a sense of pride and bring nutritious food at your table.
Poetry and Journaling
Poetry and expressive writing can positively affect the brain, mental health, and overall well-being. Writing poetry and journaling allows the aging population to express their concerns and fears, delve on their deepest thoughts and feelings, and evoke memories. Writing about painful emotions such as sadness, regret, or anger can help alleviate their intensity.
For example, elderly people who struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression may find that keeping a journal or writing poetry helps control their feelings and thoughts.
What Do 70-Year Olds Do for Fun?
Whatever your interests or abilities are, you can enjoy pastimes that make you feel good and stay active. Here are some of the most common things 70-year olds do for fun.
Active Games and Sports
Age-appropriate sports activities and games provide an opportunity to get some exercise and stay physically fit, socialize, and compete with others in a friendly way. Some of the active games and sports to consider are swimming, golf, croquet, tennis, curling, and lawn, or indoor bowling.
Spending time outside has many benefits for your mental and physical health. Connecting with nature allows you to feel linked to something larger than yourself, which promotes feelings of happiness, composure, gratitude, and optimism. Consider pastimes such as walking, hiking, gardening, picnics, nature photography, or bird watching.
Activities such as dancing, karaoke, reading books to children in the local library, or acting in a play boost emotional expression and help enjoy the humor. These and similar activities also help keep the mind sharp, enhance creativity, and help maintain your language skills, all of which can delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
Socializing is an excellent opportunity to reminisce about old times, have fun, and indulge in things that interest you. Attending parties and organizing your own events can elevate your mood, improve communication skills, and help overcome loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts activities such as painting, coloring, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, papercraft, woodcraft, jewelry making, and others keep you mentally engaged, improve hand-eye coordination, help emotional expression, and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.
What Games Do Seniors Like to Play?
Board games, quizzes, memory games, and card games provide excellent cognitive training and endless entertainment and fun. These games also offer great ways to socialize but also can prevent cognitive impairment typical for dementia or slow down the progression of the symptoms in people who already dementia.
Consider games such as sudoku, Uno, Scrabble, Bingo, dominoes, chess, Bridge, Rummy, Solitaire, puzzles, and other games that provide fun and keep your mind sharp.
What to Elderly People Like to Eat?
Specific foods can benefit the aging population and help them maintain their mental, emotional, and physical health. While eating a particular type of food cannot help prevent dementia r cure a disease, a healthy diet rich in nutritious food should be a part of the elderly’s daily menu.
Foods that older adults should eat include:
- Fruits (especially berries and dark skin fruits)
- Vegetables (leafy green veggies)
- Cold-water fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Eggs (B vitamin that benefits memory and promotes stress management)
- moderate amounts of dark chocolate (full of antioxidants that may prevent heart attacks and decrease the risk of stroke)
- Coffee (can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart, and respiratory disease).
What Do Elderly People Like to Get as a Gift?
If you’re buying a gift for an aging person, consider their interests and needs. There are plenty of ways you can make a loved elderly person feel special. Anything that will make a senior’s life healthier, more comfortable or fun can be an excellent gift for the elderly.
Here are some gift suggestions for an aging person.
- Brain games and puzzles
- Homemade gift basket
- Light therapy lamp
- Pill organizer with reminder alarm
- Sleep sound machine
- A digital photo frames
- A journal
- Coloring books
- Gift cards for experiences
Staying socially active helps aging adults maintain good emotional health and cognitive function, prevents or slows down the onset of dementia, improves physical health, boosts the immune system, improves sleep patterns, and increases longevity.
People who keep their social circles strong better cope with stress and live a longer, happier life.