A FREE Report - Activities for Seniors: Retaining Their Independence: Creating the Right Exercise & Social Programmes:
Seniors need regular exercise to maintain muscle tone, boost endurance and gain independence. There are several other benefits that workouts render, that keep the elderly living longer and staying away from disease. You should draw the perfect exercise programme that adequately suits their capacity and needs. Here are some tips to get your started.
What They Can Do
The primary rule is to only provide enough exercise that will stimulate adequate blood flow to all the vital organs, as well as maintain muscle mass. Muscle tends to atrophy during the later stages of a person's life. You should keep hard-earned tissues through both cardiovascular exercises, stretching routines and weight training. In the beginning, it is important that you do an overall assessment of the senior citizen first, to ensure that he or she can do all the exercises without much trouble.
Very strenuous exercise can be detrimental to the overall condition of seniors. You need to check their response by listening to their verbalizations and observing how they cope. If you find some negative signs such as heavy breathing, profuse sweating, loss of balance, droopy eyelids and mild to severe pain, immediately stop the activity.
Exercise routines should be individualized, which means that one program is only meant for a single individual. The specific approach is highly recommended since it takes away much of the risk of overtraining. You can also map out progress more efficiently by giving the exact type of exercises, number of repetitions and sets and duration of each workout. Use a log book and fill in all the details of every workout.
Exercise programs should be very flexible, in the sense that the routines and kinds of movements change every week or so, depending on the response of the patient. Your goal is to maintain or boost strength, flexibility and strength, if possible, so the exercises need to be upped as the individual gets stronger and better.
Getting a Professional
If you happen to be a concerned son or granddaughter taking care of a senior citizen in your home, it is always useful to get the opinion of a professional when creating your exercise plan, so you can select the right type and intensity that suit the needs of the patient. Professionals include dieticians, gym instructors, physical therapists, nutritionists, nurses and physicians who will check if the program is acceptable or too strenuous. Physical exercise may be too much for some senior citizens, if this is the case then the Indian-Head-Massage is a marvellous alternative to increase physical and mental attributes.
During the first few sessions, you can ask the professional to help you in assisting the senior go through the different movements. Proper execution is crucial to attain the various objectives and goals. Professional help is important every now and then, especially during the times when you're already supposed to evaluate the senior's response to treatment.
When defining the exercise routine, you can refer to exercise DVDs that caters to seniors, visit online forums and watch videos online. You can also visit senior centers to have an idea how a typical routine goes. Take some tips from instructors and the experts about evaluation and adjusting the routine for the patient. Over time, you will develop the skill in keeping the senior comfortable while giving him or her a truly sensible workout. Be reminded that diet and rest are the other two components that will sufficiently support the exercise program for seniors.
Activities for Seniors: Looking for a Senior Centre
Senior centres have been created and developed to specifically cater to the unique needs of aging individuals. It is important to find out the background and current programs offered to determine if they provide the right activities for seniors that will truly lead to long term benefits. Find a centre that encourages independence for overall sense of well-being.
About the Senior centre
A senior centre functions to aid aging individuals cope with their daily needs, as well as provide activities, entertainment and counseling for a renewed sense of well-being. There are several centres located throughout the United States. The first step to locating these would be to search your local phone book. There is a special section with pages for the community that includes all resources for senior citizens. Senior centres are most likely found in this section.
View the county or city web site for the community where you belong to. Several web sites include a specific section for aging individuals, complete with information regarding local resources. Find the regional and local area agency on aging. These groups contain a lot of information and helpful resources for seniors. Request for a complete list of centres found in your area or community.
Searching for the Place
Once you've receive the full list, you can hone down everything into 2 to 4 sources. Select these for further review and assessment. You can call the agency and arrange for a tour with the directors of the senior centre. These individuals can present you all the facilities, physical properties and other equipments and events available to give seniors complete wellness. The directors and facilitators can provide you full details regarding the events and programs given for residents.
It is recommended that you consider location as a factor in choosing the right senior centre. If you plan to leave your parent or grandparent there, it will be to your convenience if you live nearby. This way, you can pick up or visit the elderly more frequently.
Assessing the Available Services
Check the different programs available and compare the physical appearance of the choices you are considering. It is important that the place has all the right amenities that the senior citizen personally prefers. Ask the person to be confined about special requests and options that can help you narrow down your search. Also talk to some other people who are undergoing programmes and services and allow them to list down the strengths and weaknesses. You can also talk to the directors and coordinators regarding your concerns, so they can immediately see if their objectives are on a par with yours.
You can visit the official web site of the senior centre to know more about the background, thrusts and patient testimonials. If they have a customer service support section, that is a good sign, as well as having an FAQ section. Review all the choices you have before finalizing. You may even ask the senior citizen to take a couple of sessions to help assess and decide.
If the elderly person is suffering from a disease or disability, make sure that the centre knows. They should have medical and health professionals ready to cater to every need, at any time. Accidents and emergencies should be attended to immediately through a prepared backup plan and ready-to-use equipment.
Activities for Seniors: What to Do on a Typical Day
The sad thing about senior citizens and the younger generation is that they seem to ignore each other. A lot of people think that since older individuals have lowered activity tolerance and are not as mentally active as before, they do not really need much stimulation. The fact is, these people are constantly searching for stimulation and attention. Here's what you can offer.
Start the Day Right
Seniors wake up earlier than before, since they need less sleep than regular adults. A typical night's sleep lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 hours for most. You can expect them to wake up at around 5am to 7am in the morning. It will be good to give them a hearty breakfast once they open their eyes. Greet them warmly and have the table set up. A good menu will include items like oatmeal, a piece of apple or orange, coffee or juice and a tall glass of water. While eating, give him or her an itinerary of the activities for the day so they can prepare well.
You can assist the elderly to get ready for the day's actions, by helping them dress, shower and do their other bodily routines. Some will prefer doing things independently, so it will be better to just hand them items like the brush, the towel and slippers and let them do everything else to promote independence and feelings of self-confidence.
Some Physical Activity
Start the day with some form of exercise to improve muscle strength and condition. Some of the activities that you can offer include a round of golf, swimming, walking to the nearby mall, doing yoga and hitting the gym for some light weight training. Do activities according to the preference and physical capacity of the individual. The session should last anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes at a time, even if the person believes that he or she can tolerate or do more.
Take time to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes through stretches and cardiovascular exercise. Cool down in the end as well by stretching and flexing. Make sure you bring a bottle of water for the elderly to consume throughout the exercises. They tend to become dehydrated sooner than others, so stay prepared especially on very hot days. If the senior person experiences anything painful or uncomfortable about the activity, stop it immediately and find the source of the problem.
Buying Them Toys
Seniors want to hold onto even small material possessions as a way to ease boredom. Some of the "toys" or items that you can give them to stay mentally alert and focused are a book, a cross stitch set, a sewing kit, a drawing book or a canvass. Take the elderly to the local department store, mall or bookstore and have them pick a couple of things that they would like to keep at home. You can ask them about the particular hobbies and activities they used to do when they were younger. Try to find things that they can associate with easily.
Make sure that the senior is fully secure and safe throughout all the activities done. If the weather is hot, provide an umbrella, sunglasses and hat. For colder seasons, give gloves, a jacket and boots. Protect the elderly from potential dangers while doing activities like going up the stairs, playing sports and cooking. Always be right beside the person to assist and have some materials prepared such as the emergency hotline and first aid kit.
Activities For Seniors - They Should Aim For Physical Fitness
Even before you reach the age of 40, your body starts to experience all sorts of problems. Senior citizens need so much more help and attention to keep their bodies fit, healthy and free from disease. It is important to focus on physical fitness as one of the mainstays of activities for the elderly. Here are some proven guidelines that boost wellness and life.
The Right Exercises
The right exercises should always rely on the senior's personal capacity and current condition. It is best to have a physical check up and thorough assessment to make sure that the activities can be well-tolerated and complications are avoided. Seniors who have been sedentary for several years or months need to break into an exercise program or regime slowly. A physical therapist can best provide the right movements and warm up techniques that will stabilize joints and strengthen muscles.
Seniors are not advised to immediately join group sports or enter a weight training program without warming up their muscles well. They should check how their body responds to various movements first, before embarking on any strenuous exercise. You should also get enough nutrition rich in vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates for fast recovery and optimum resistance. Sleep adequately days before your first exercise routine to gather strength and stick to the program longer.
What a Typical Program Consists Of
The regular program includes physical fitness exercises, complete with the right equipment, trainers and machines. The elderly may be placed on exercise machines like stationary bicycles, treadmills, elliptical trainers and the like. They may also be asked to walk around the senior centre grounds. Those who are more capable can try mild jogging. There are classes as well held on schedule which includes yoga, aerobics, martial arts, tai chi, etc. Seniors may join these programs as they please. Sessions are typically 2 to 3 times per week.
There are also therapeutic sessions where individuals are gathered into groups to communicate, play games and share their experiences. This is a good opportunity for seniors to discuss their concerns and current conditions and problems, if they have any. Seniors will be formed into pairs or groups as well, depending on their preference.
Objectives of the Exercises
Exercises are provided to senior citizens to attain the following: flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. Stretching exercises greatly boost flexibility, which can prevent injury should seniors fall or trip. To enhance endurance, seniors can do cardiovascular activities like running, jogging, walking or bicycling to get their heart rate up. This is especially good for lowering cholesterol levels, stress and blood pressure.
To enhance strength, weight training exercises may be provided according to the physical capacities of seniors to minimize pains and aches. Balancing is highly important for elder individuals to prevent accidents. There are balancing exercises like walking with eyes closed, lifting one leg up, etc. These can minimize the occurrence of falls.
More Benefits (Especially taking care of their health)
There are several benefits that you can get from activities for seniors. These can reduce depression and stress, lower risk for heart and cardiovascular ailments, boost flexibility, reduce diabetes, produce endorphins that make people feel better, prevent disease, maintain the ability to do various activities and enhances range of motion. The Indian-Head-Massage is uniquely ideal in these circumstances and should always be considered to run alongside any physical regimes.
The advantages among individuals may differ, depending on their age, response to the activity and current condition. Overall, physical activity always renders positive results.
Ensuring Safety When Doing Activities for Seniors
Seniors are more prone to disease, accidents and dangers when doing physical activities, since their bodies are less active, weaker and less flexible compared years ago. It is important to note that most are still capable of doing the same things, except that the intensity, duration and extent need to be toned down a bit for their safety and convenience.
Basic Safety Measures
It is important to keep in mind that you can only provide activities that senior citizens can tolerate. Some activities may already be too severe or strenuous for them to bear, and can lead to disease development and even complications of already existing conditions. There are plenty of alternatives, however, to provide when older individuals still request for items like playing basketball, golf, shopping, etc. You can make use of safety tools like wheelchairs, walkers and joint protectors. You can also let them indulge in activities in less severe form. Let them play with others in the same age group to reduce overall intensity.
Check for signs of fatigue, stress and potential dangers. Make sure that the environment you choose is completely free of debris and other items that might lead to accidents, falls and wounds. The elderly are particularly prone to fractures and their healing mechanisms also tend to slow down, which is why you need to avoid injury and stress as much as possible.
It is equally important to consider the mental health of the elderly to make sure that they are living normal lives. You can provide activities that will boost their social welfare, such as letting them join sports activities, seminars, group counseling services and other extracurricular events. Seniors tend to battle feelings of anxiety and despair with self-fulfilment. Let them talk to others who were also in the same position before.
For example, seniors who have had experience in war will most likely relate better to past soldiers. They can share their stories, thereby boosting self-confidence and giving them the idea that they have been productive in the past. It is vital that you allow family and friends to visit and communicate regularly, even if the elderly is confined in the hospital or a home, so that they always have the feeling of being remembered and cared for.
Tools for Safety
There are several pieces of equipment available to ensure safety for the elderly. Some of the most popular are wheelchairs, canes, bandages for the joints, etc. You should also assess the environment and provide the necessary tools to keep seniors comfortable for various activities. Hats, sweaters, water bottles, diapers, etc. may be needed depending on the individual capacity. Always have a first aid kit ready, and keep a number of emergency services in your phone or wallet, just in case.
For starters, it is always advised to give seniors activities that are right for their age and physical tolerance. Over time, you can increase the duration and intensity to continue building strength and endurance. Assess the performance of different individuals and allow them to give you feedback. Their suggestions can be very useful when developing a program for maintenance and wellness. You can also ask others who have cared for the elderly in the past, including their immediate family. List down possible ideas that will keep activities entertaining, productive and most of all, safe.
Social Activities for Seniors
The social lives of seniors tend to slow down once they reach 65 to 70 years of age. It is important to provide them enough social activities to maintain a good sense of confidence and identity. In most cases, older individuals want to stay with others who also belong in the same age bracket. Here are some of the tried and proven ways to keep them sane.
Good Old Group Gatherings
Group gatherings are a great way for senior citizens to mingle and communicate with other people. The gatherings may stem from church, a lifestyle seminar or any type of hobby for that matter. There are different organizations and agencies forming meet ups every now and then that specifically cater to the social needs of older individuals. In a typical meeting, there may be 5 to 30 participants. A guidance counselor or leader organizes the program in a way that seniors can talk about their current situation, sentiments and other concerns.
The gathering is usually held in a hall or outdoor setting where older individuals can appreciate nature and tranquillity. The agenda can cover one or several topics. Some of the most ideal seminars to attend include self-care, independence and rehabilitative activities for seniors. A meeting may last anywhere from 1 hour to an entire weekend.
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You may be surprised to know that senior citizens enjoy technology as much as younger people. You can introduce a senior to the computer, laptop or 'Hand Held Tablet' where they can immediately get connected to various sites and gain tons of information. Teach them about the latest updates regarding the world and their current situation. It is also excellent to let them join online forums, chat-rooms and social networking sites where they can view, meet and talk to different people from all over the globe. Writing is very theraputic for people in general, but especially for senior citizens. Introduce them to blogging and other forms of social networking like Twitter and Facebook.
At first, seniors will need assistance on how to operate the computer and get connect to the internet. Teach them the basics, such as the proper use of search engines. It will also help to give them safety tips such as checking the potential of a web site and looking out for possibly unscrupulous people that are out to get their credit card numbers and cash.
Indulge in Sports
Senior citizens enjoy sports a lot. At this point, it is recommended that you provide less-strenuous activities such as golf, fishing and light walking. You may also have them get on more active sports, depending on their personal preference and physical capacity. Some of the others to include are swimming, basketball, cricket and tennis.
Seniors also enjoy a lot of table games such as chess, poker and other card games. Board games are also a good way for them to socialize and get their minds to work. Talk about other things while playing, since these people are very inclined to tell their life stories to those who want to listen.
Getting a Buddy
Some people are not as sociable as others and usually just keep to themselves even when activities are introduced. A good approach is to sit down and listen to the person in a one-on-one conversation session. Ask open-ended questions and encourage the individual to share sentiments and other details. You may also give the person a pen and paper to draw or write on. Some would like others to know about their stories only through pictures and words.
Sports for Seniors: What You Can Offer
Even during their late years, seniors can still enjoy a wide array of activities that will strengthen bones and boost their immune system. There are sports for seniors, which can also be played together with younger individuals. These are all meant for leisure, relaxation and physical activity. Find out the common sports that your grandparents can still enjoy.
Basketball is a great sport that helps seniors work out their entire bodies, particularly parts such as the triceps, deltoids and legs. The sport is also good for improving joint condition, specifically in the knee area. There are basketball games held for individuals confined in wheelchairs. Seniors can benefit from the various drills and game techniques to boost endurance and overall condition.
Basketball is ideal for seniors since they get to play with others and associate with those who are in the same age bracket. Teamwork is a good way for them to socialize and compare their current skill levels. The idea of sports is to enhance camaraderie, at the same time, enhancing relationships and communication.
For seniors who are not that active anymore, or just want a change in environment, they will surely enjoy the game of golf. You can start with the driving range where you get to practice your swing. The exercise can enhance your strength, flexibility and focus. There are also putting greens where you can practice control and concentration.
The game of golf is very mental, so it is a perfect opportunity for seniors to enhance their minds and think of strategies to reach the holes. It is also a good and relaxing game to enjoy with a buddy or partner. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for older individuals to keep their heart healthy. You can choose to either drive to the next location via golf cab or just walk the beautiful greens. Golf is a great stress reliever, so take time to enjoy an entire weekend with full amenities and world class services.
Swimming for seniors is good since it offers increased endurance, strength and agility. Some of the known benefits of the sport for older individuals include well-conditioned and toned muscles, better blood circulation, regular heart rhythm and stronger lungs. Swimming works out all body parts especially the arms, legs and back. Women who are particularly prone to osteoporosis can benefit from the sport.
Seniors can go swimming 2 to 3 times per week, with each session lasting 20 to 40 minutes. If you're swimming for the first time, you may want to take some time just adjusting to the watery environment. Start doing a couple of laps when you're ready. Also ask for assistance from the life guard or instructor during the primary sessions.
Marathons are held particularly for senior individuals. These may be either walking, running or both. In some cases, triathlons are also held which includes running, bicycling and swimming. You will find that there are several people age 65 years and older who are still in top shape and condition. Sports greatly enhance a person's performance and can increase their lifespan. Look out for marathon schedules in your local area and in local newspapers and start training 3 to 4 times a week for the event. Walkathons may be better if you've never actually entered a marathon before.
The Advantages of Activities for Seniors
Most people may think that activities for seniors only offer physical advantages. The fact is, programs like these cater very well for a full- rounded approach, targeting the physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional aspects. Seniors need to have a deeper sense of identity during this part of their lives. Developing the right program will benefit them a lot.
Primarily, the physical aspect always benefits from different activities that cater to seniors. Older individuals tend to have lower immune systems, experience different pains and stiffness in their bodies, may no longer be capable of doing certain actions, have reduced range of motion and are more prone to developing disease. This is also the time when underlying conditions manifest several signs and symptoms. Complications can also arise for conditions that may have lied dormant for many years.
By doing forms of exercise and stretching routines, seniors greatly enhance their bodies to perform different movements more accordingly. Some of the known benefits include wide range of motion, enhanced strength, longer endurance, better performance in sports, enhanced sexual health, stronger and more toned muscles, better balance and a more stable posture. They will be able to do different activities on their own without trouble.
Activities for seniors can be done singly, in pairs or in groups. These pose a lot of emotional benefits since the individuals get a chance to express themselves fully. They can talk about their past, their present concerns and their dreams for the future. In most cases, seniors want to talk about family and their past accomplishments to gain a sense of identity and develop a feeling of fulfilment.
It is important that you listen to whatever the senior citizen has to say and respond in a positive manner. Allow them to voice out their particular concerns and whatever it is that they want to have to boost self-esteem. Becoming stronger and more independent through the programs gives them a renewed sense of confidence.
Seniors get to do activities with a partner or with several others in a group. Some programmes are also competitive in nature, so seniors get to compare their personal capacities with others in a friendly way. It is vital that they get to relate with others who are also sharing the same sentiments. It is very much advised to do activities with seniors, together with their close friends and family. They should achieve a sense of recognition, thereby making them more capable of handling themselves properly in social affairs.
Activities for seniors boost their ability to think critically and analyze too. Some games and programs require proper assessment of certain situations, so the elderly will then devise solutions and answers according to their own understanding. You may introduce them to valuable resources like the internet, where they can stay updated with recent news and other current events. Provide mind games and simple challenges that will enhance the way they think as a whole.
Simple activities like playing chess, word games, conversation and math drills are great ways to boost the seniors' mental capacity. Do these 3 to 4 times a week, with some short courses throughout the week for follow-up purposes. Assess their response and development over the weeks and up the challenge as necessary for nonstop progress.
The Top Activities for Seniors
Seniors should not be taken off the scene as they still have a lot of strength and tenacity to indulge in the things as they used to when they were younger. You can provide a wide array of activities, depending on their personal preferences and capacity. You may be surprised on how the elderly can boost endurance and strength with just a few routines.
There are a variety of hobbies and crafts that seniors can indulge in to improve their physical and mental capacities. A good example is drawing, sketching or painting where they can freely express themselves in art and color. Ask the senior what type of platform he or she is most interested in working on, then provide the materials such as a charcoal or pencil and paper, a canvas and paint or some markers. You may teach them how to make cartoons too, which can be very entertaining and fun.
Another hobby that can exercise the mind includes the creation of model cars and airplanes. This is one hobby that the senior citizens of today used to enjoy when they were younger. There are a variety of models to work on, such as vintage cars, tanks, vintage planes and even ships and bicycles.
For the Women
Female senior citizens enjoy sewing and working on cross stitch patterns. You can provide the right materials like embroidery kits, t-shirts, dresses, caps, socks, etc. and let them start getting creative. Some even enjoy fixing loose buttons, holes and putting patches, so feel free to ask and let them start on their way to occupational therapy.
Other senior citizens are highly adept and never lose their touch on music. Try to ask their specific instrument of interest or type of music, then provide them the right tools like a pen and paper, music book, speakers, amplifiers and the particular tool like a guitar, violin, flute, trombone or drums maybe. One of the best things about music is that you can always do it with a group or partner. Feel free to bring your own musical instrument and begin making beautiful melodies together.
Form a band of senior musicians and introduce some fun genres like modern, jazz, hip hop or even techno. Singing and dancing are also essential activities for seniors that are good for boosting morale and confidence and improving relationships among individuals. If they can get better in these, they can always gain a renewed sense of fulfilment and continue to progress, thereby sharpening their mental and physical skills.
Even though seniors are well into their retirement age, it is still important that they stay capable of performing various tasks and functions that will maintain independence and enhance self-confidence. Allow them to perform activities of daily living or ADL like eating, brushing their teeth, bathing, getting dressed, etc. Also introduce them to certain minor tasks like cleaning their room, fixing their bed, creating works of art like pottery or sculpture, reading books and staying updated via the internet.
Occupational therapy is good also for older individuals to encourage them to stay independent for the rest of their days. You can accomplish this by forming a buddy system, so they always have someone to rely on, during cases of emergency and difficulty. Activities for seniors can be done both indoor and outdoors.
Understanding the Risks When Providing Activities for Seniors
Seniors need different activities during these later stages of their lives, since they no longer receive enough mental, emotional, social and physical stimulation. You need to be aware of the potential risks and threats too, since these individuals are no longer as strong as they used to be. Knowing the dangers can help you devise more effective and safe strategies.
Senior citizens are particularly prone to accidents since they can no longer fully support bodily functions as they used to when they were still young. Old men and women can be vulnerable to falls, as their sense of balance and overall bodily strength and stability are not as capable as before. One of the most useful approaches you can do is to elder-proof your home. You have to install safety items that will make the environment more conducive to move around in.
Install rails on the walls, especially near steps and stairs. The floor has to have good traction when the elders are stepping on it to avoid slips and falls. You may have to move seniors to the lower floors so that they no longer need to climb up and down the stairs. During the night, lights have to be kept on, just in case seniors need to go to the bathroom and kitchen. There should be floor mats and other drying materials to avoid wet and slippery floors.
The immune system of seniors also becomes compromised as they grow older, so they become more vulnerable to a variety of diseases. They can get health problems by maintaining contact with others that have conditions like tuberculosis, pneumonia, infections, etc. You can keep them safe from others when doing activities in groups by providing the right tools like masks, gloves and giving them enough supplementation.
Make sure that the senior is taking in enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals to fight off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. Older individuals get to enjoy activities with friends and providers more if they stay protected from possible diseases.
Risk for Activity Intolerance (Stopping feeling tired)
Seniors no longer have the same strength, conditioning and endurance as before which makes it very important for you to do an overall physical assessment first, with the aid of a physician. This will ensure that you are only offering activities that are suitable to the patient's age and physical capacity. Listen to the senior's verbalizations and observe the responses when doing activities so you can determine whether to increase or reduce the intensity and duration.
Risk for Isolation
When providing activities for seniors, always give praise and compliment them for small accomplishments to encourage independence. Most seniors still long for the feeling of being able to do things on their own. There are talk therapies, physical therapies and other rehabilitative methods that can help them attend to activities of daily living without any problem. Be patient and listen to their concerns and sentiments, since older individuals who develop low self-esteem tend to isolate themselves from others.
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