Staying engaged in society and being physically and mental active are very important for staying at home. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
The internet can offer hours of joy, learning and fun. There are many community-based classes dedicated to teaching seniors about computers. Once comfortable with the technology, seniors will have the skills and confidence to be entertained, communicate with others and do research, all from the comfort of their home.
Crafts and hobbies
Having old and new hobbies to engage in can help seniors enjoy their day, especially if house-bound. Learning a new craft can help keep minds sharp and be a great source of learning and pleasure.
Card or board games
Many seniors enjoy playing card and board games. Think about arranging for a local friend or neighbour to come over for a game. It will be a great way to enjoy some fun and stay socially engaged.
Seniors often live in an isolated, lonely world. Adding a visiting pet is a sure way to bring a smile to a senior’s face. Many seniors say that a pet visit is truly the highlight of their week.
Music is a powerful positive influence. Have a good selection of your loved one’s favourite music on hand. Older tunes can link them back to better days and great memories. I was always amazed that when my mother could sing along to a song, yet was unable to remember the names of family or friends. Music is magic.
For those with arthritis, buttons can be an almost impossible challenge. Consider converting to Velcro closure by removing all buttons; closing buttonholes; and sewing a strip of Velcro to the area where buttons were removed and to the backside of the buttonhole strip. Some Velcro has a ‘sticky’ backside that can be ironed onto cloth, but sewing is more permanent. If you can’t sew, ask for help from family, friends or a professional.
Whether gardening, exercising or running errands, seniors (and others!) should know their limits to avoid stress, aches and pains. At the beginning of each week, make a list of things to accomplish. Break the list down to no more than one hard task per day. Write down what you want to do in a daily planner or on your favourite wall calendar. If you ‘miss’ a task, add it to the next week’s list. This may allow seniors to be less rushed (or achy!)
Avoid putting your name on your mailbox or in the phone directory. Just use your initial and last name. Never identify yourself as Mrs. or Mr.