Our physical and mental abilities change as we get older. You may notice that your loved one’s days increasingly consist of sedentary behavior, activities of daily living (ADLs) and rest, but this provides them with little physical, mental and social stimulation that is necessary for a high quality of life. However, it can be challenging to offer activities and opportunities they are interested in and that are appropriate for their ability levels, especially when we are so busy juggling countless responsibilities.
Hobbies and activities are productive, engaging ways for loved ones to pass the time rather than just watching television or relying solely on you for entertainment. If they can do these things safely on their own, with friends and other family members, or at a senior or adult day care center, they also have the potential to free you up to see to your own care needs, household tasks, interests and social life.
The best way to keep seniors active and excited about life is to encourage their hobbies and interests and try new things together as often as possible. To come up with some fresh ideas, take inventory of your loved one’s strengths, weaknesses and personal interests. From this list, you can brainstorm ideas for outings and activities and then determine if they might need to be adapted to accommodate their capabilities.