Elder Care in Southern Arizona

Activities to Help Keep Elderly Loved Ones Engaged

One of the biggest threats to seniors and the elderly is isolation. As your loved ones age, they may no longer be able to drive, visit friends and family, or take part in hobbies and activities they enjoy. You can help your loved ones stay engaged and active in the world around them by helping them find fun, interesting ways to spend their time. Here are some safe ways to keep your elderly loved ones engaged.

Rediscover Past Hobbies and Interests

If your loved ones have hobbies and interests that they haven’t had the time or ability to participate in for a long time, you can help them rediscover their passions. Whether it is stamp collecting, knitting, art, reading, listening to music, or woodworking, find a safe way for them to participate.

If you get involved in the hobby with them, you may be able to renew their interest and enjoy some quality time together. Look into spaces in your community that offer lessons, or buy some new materials and ask them to show you how to take part in their hobby or special interest.

Explore Events in Your Community

Your community may have some interesting events that are geared specifically towards seniors. Look at the events at your local parks and recreation center, senior center, library, performing arts center, or community center.

You can share one of your hobbies or interests with your loved one or help them explore a new interest. Look for events like craft fairs, art fairs, quilt shows, car shows, book clubs, knitting groups, animal adoption events, and other community activities.

Get in Touch With Friends From Their Past

If your elderly loved ones have friends from their past that they have lost touch with, you might be able to help. Try looking up their friends online and finding a way to get in touch with them. Help your loved ones write a letter, card, or email to their friend to re-establish a connection. You might even consider planning a visit if all parties are agreeable to the idea.

Participate in Safe Outdoor Activities

It’s important for your loved ones to still have the opportunity to get out in the world. Find outdoor activities you can participate in together that are safe and fun, like going on a short walk, having a picnic, visiting your local duck pond or rose garden, or going out for coffee. 

Explore Senior Exercise Programs

Your loved one should still be getting daily exercise so that they maintain strength and muscle tone. Daily exercise will reduce your loved one’s risk of a fall or accident, and will help them stay healthy and happy.

Look into local senior exercise programs at your community center, senior center, parks and recreation center, or gym. Make sure your loved one is cleared by their doctor to participate, and that they have an interest in participating. You can accompany your loved one and provide companionship, or just provide transportation there and back so your loved one can maintain some independence.

Look Into Volunteer Opportunities

If your loved one is able to volunteer and is interested, help them explore local volunteer opportunities in your community. The two of you can walk dogs together for your local animal shelter, answer phones or greet visitors at a nonprofit, or find another volunteer cause that is close to your loved one’s heart.

Play Games Online or in Person

Another rewarding and engaging activity that you and your loved one can participate in together is playing games. Whether it is online or in person, playing games can keep your loved one’s mind sharp, help them maintain their independence, and provide them with mental stimulation and companionship.  

Read a Book to Your Loved One

If your loved one has a hard time reading, you can offer to read a book to them. Pick out their favorite book and read a few chapters, and then discuss what you read and what it meant to your loved one. If your loved one is still able to read by themselves, you can pick out a book and schedule a visit when you both have finished it. You can talk about the book together like your own private book club.

Spend Some Quiet Time Together

Don’t underestimate the power of spending some quiet time together. Have some coffee, tea, and snacks and watch your loved one’s favorite movie or TV show. This will let your loved one know that you still care and want to spend quality time together without having to do anything special. Your loved one will also be getting companionship and conversation, which could prevent depression and isolation.

Cook a Meal Together

Another great way to spend time with your loved one and help them stay engaged and active is to cook a meal together. Get out your loved one’s old recipe cards or favorite recipe book.

Plan an entire meal, and shop together for the ingredients. Listen to music and talk while you cook. Your loved one will get a healthy meal, companionship, and conversation while also feeling like they participated.

Go Through Photo Albums or Scrapbooks

Set aside an afternoon to go through your loved one’s old photo albums or scrapbooks. Ask your loved one about their memories and give them a chance to talk about the good times. This will help them keep their memory sharp, and will give you a chance to get to know them better. 

Babysit or Care for Pets Together

If you have children or pets, your loved one can help you take care of them. Spend an afternoon with your children playing games, coloring, or singing songs. Take your dog for a walk, or bring your pet over for a visit with your loved one. Engaging with children or an animal can help your loved one feel young again, bring them a sense of joy, and help them feel connected to your life and to the world around them. 

Visit Your Local Zoo or Botanical Garden

A stroll around your local zoo or botanical garden will get your loved one some fresh air and exercise while also getting a chance to explore the world around them. Take a guided tour, or stop and talk about the things you see while you’re out. This offers cognitive stimulation and helps keep your loved one’s mind active. If your loved one has trouble walking, rent a wheelchair or mobility scooter for the outing.

Finding In-Home Care Services for Your Elderly Loved Ones

If your loved ones need more care and attention than you and your family alone can provide, consider in-home care services. At Placita In Home Care, we specialize in senior care services, memory care services, and Alzheimer’s care services.

We can provide companionship, assistance with daily living tasks, and transportation to medical appointments or community events. We also offer in-home safety evaluations, assisted living placement services, and in-home hospice care services. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about our senior care services or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.