Entertaining your senior loved one may not seem like something that should be high on your list of priorities if you’re a family caregiver and accustomed to tending to more immediate daily living needs. However, keeping seniors engaged and entertained can be mentally and sometimes physically rewarding for them and a great way to remain connected to those they care about. If you’re on the hunt for suggestions for how to entertain your loved one, here are five to consider.
1. Reading Aloud
Some elderly individuals have difficulty focusing on reading. However, they can still enjoy reading if it’s turned into a group activity by reading out loud. Reading aloud is a mentally stimulating way for seniors to connect with others, socialize, gain new knowledge, and exercise their imagination. It can be even more of a special activity if you invite your loved one’s younger grandkids to be part of the fun.
A professional in-home caregiver can also read to your loved one. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide home care, Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
2. Playing Board Games or Working Puzzles
Along with providing an opportunity to be social, activities like these help older individuals by stimulating parts of the brain related to recall, pattern recognition, and short-term memory. Physically manipulating game pieces and puzzle pieces also helps with fine motor skills and manual dexterity.
Doing puzzles and playing games can be especially good for aging adults living with dementia. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Anchorage families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
3. Cooking or Baking Together
Kitchen-related tasks are often entertaining and beneficial for seniors because they’re inherently social activities. What’s more, the physical movements required can help with coordination and balance, and the need to recall steps involved and ingredients used can strengthen cognitive skills. Possibilities with cooking and baking include:
- Having weekly “cooking parties” where family members and friends bring all necessary parts of a meal to your loved one’s home and help with meal prep and cleanup
- Getting your loved one involved with baking for a purpose—e.g., making brownies or cookies for a local charity drive
- Working with your loved one to put together a healthy weekly meal calendar and helping him or her shop for the ingredients needed to make those meals
4. Planning Regular Outings/Outside Activities
Staying indoors all the time increases the odds of developing issues with isolation and depression. Being outdoors presents many opportunities to get some exercise and fresh air and interact with others. Outings or outside activities you plan might include:
- Visits to local parks or other public outdoor spots
- Day trips to nearby towns or communities
- Group visits to nearby theme parks
- Simple backyard scavenger hunts that involve your loved one and other family members
- Neighborhood cookouts
5. Teaching the Ins & Outs of Social Media
According to Pew Research Center, nearly 35 percent of seniors use social media sites. Take the time to show your loved one how social media works. Using social media can be an effective way to keep your loved one entertained, mentally stimulated, and engaged during times when he or she has to be indoors. Options with social media for seniors include:
- Creating social pages so they can share details about their lives
- Restarting old friendships by reaching out to past acquaintances via social media
- Playing games via social platforms with other people who share their interests
- Watching videos that fit their interests via YouTube and other video-based social platforms
Providing entertainment is just one of several ways to boost quality of life in the elderly. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To schedule a complimentary consultation, give us a call today at (907) 770-0907.