Healthy Aging: 7 Relaxing And Therapeutic Activities For Seniors

Although aging family members require extra care and special attention, it doesn’t mean that they can no longer enjoy activities that can help them relax and destress. Seniors are more prone to disabling health conditions; and that can lead to them feeling easily irritated, sad, or even depressed. You don’t want your loved one going through any of these emotions for sure; that’s why it’s important you help them be more engaged in relaxing and therapeutic activities that are suitable for their age and health condition.

Old Man Walking

Old Man Walking

Now more than ever, your elderly family members need to feel that they’re still capable of doing things. It might even encourage them to try something new or pick up where they left off at some hobbies or activities that they used to do.

Senior Years Are Still Fun Years

Perhaps one of the main reasons why seniors no longer like moving around is because of the thought of aging as days go by. As someone who cares for them, you should try convincing them that there’s still so much that they can do despite their golden age. They need to be reassured that it’s fine to do several activities as long as it won’t harm their health. Regardless if they’re at a nursing care facility or receiving special care from health care professionals like Homenursingwithheart.com, relaxation awaits them, if only they’d be more open to trying something new (and fun).

Before you start introducing them to relaxing and therapeutic interests, take the time to ask them first if they have anything in particular in mind. Maybe there’s something they’ve always wanted to do but never got the chance to do so. Now more than ever, they should feel like their thoughts and decisions matter, especially if it’s something that greatly involves their time and welfare.

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Relaxing And Therapeutic Things To Do

If they say that they don’t have an idea what to try or do, that’s your cue to step in and recommend some activities that might interest them. Consider their personality, mobility, health condition, and interests when suggesting something they can be interested in. To give you some ideas, here are several relaxing and therapeutic activities that your senior loved ones may like:

  1. Yoga

You may not usually associate yoga with senior people, but it’s actually a good activity that can help them improve their balance and flexibility. When done regularly, yoga may also uplift their mood and boost their strength. Now that they’re in their retirement years, there’s no other perfect time to pick up a healthier and relaxing habit that they’ve never tried during their working years.

Being a relaxing type of exercise, yoga can reduce stress as you learn to relieve your body of tension. Apart from that, it may help in lowering blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, your breathing improves, and your anxiety will be lessened. Yoga can also give other benefits such as improved mobility and muscle strength, enhanced sleeping habits, and stronger bones.

If you plan on signing up for yoga, check out the nearest senior centers in your area. Start with gentle classes for beginners at first, and as you go through it, you’ll feel when you’re ready to take on more advanced classes. The instructor should also be able to educate you more about the classes and levels that you may take on.

  1. Animal Therapy

If your senior family member has been difficult to deal with lately, they might benefit from animal therapy. Pet or animal therapy makes use of animals to help people cope with a health issue or mental concern. Although cats and dogs are usually used for this type of therapy, you can still consider other options such as horses and fish. If your loved one isn’t ready to own a pet, you can consider looking for care facilities that offer this type of service. If they’re already living in a senior residence or hospice care, ask the staff if animal therapy is something that they’re offering to their residents and patients.

Animal therapy has several benefits, especially for people who are struggling with mental and physical issues. Seniors can develop social skills while also improving independence or assisted movement, verbal communication, motor skills, and their willingness to interact with others. You can also expect them to be happier and less isolated as they spend time with their chosen pet.

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  1. A New Hobby

What seniors need the most is to have something that won’t only occupy their time but also stimulate their interest. It has to be something they’d want to do consistently and continuously. As such, taking up a new hobby might just be the closest thing to an activity that they can engage in. Having a hobby that’ll keep them busy will help them lessen their stress and worries. They’ll also be encouraged to learn something new and eventually enjoy it.

Some hobbies that they can consider are:

  • woodworking,
  • knitting,
  • doing puzzles,
  • gardening,
  • cooking, or
  • learning to play a musical instrument.

You can also indulge them from time to time and teach them to play games on their mobile phones or tablets. Social media can also be a relaxing way to reach out and communicate with people that they no longer get to see or interact with. Just make sure to teach them the proper way to use it and how they can remain safe from online threats and scams.

  1. Spa Treatments

No matter the age, it’s always a joy to visit the spa and get amazing treatments to make you feel better. They’ll feel pampered and more relaxed as they sit in a spa chair while getting a massage, a facial, or a mani-pedi. It’s definitely a day to look forward to, as you could go with them and spend quality time with them. They can also consider getting acupuncture to alleviate their joint pain.

Other spa treatments that are worth every penny are:

  • aromatherapy,
  • body scrubs,
  • paraffin wax, and
  • facial hair removal.

The spa is more than just a place to get dolled up. If you have the means, you can even consider building a private spa area for your family. It’s a home feature that’ll be enjoyed by the whole family and not just the seniors.

  1. Listening To Music

Music has always been recognized for its ability to ease the mind. For elderlies with cognitive challenges, listening to familiar songs may help them remember lost or forgotten memories. Moreover, listening to nostalgic and soothing melodies could help improve their mood and outlook in life.

It might also help them if you’ll bring them to live music events such as a piano recital. They’ll appreciate the time you made for them, and at the same time, it’s an opportunity for the family to bond with each other.

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  1. Going To The Beach

Being at the beach has always been relaxing and therapeutic in so many ways. This is a good time to spend quality moments with your loved ones while getting some much-needed vitamin D from the sun. There are also a lot of fun activities that you can do while feeling the sea on your toes or the fresh ocean wind in your face—from eating, drinking refreshing fruit shakes, playing sand games, swimming, to other water activities like kayaking and boating.

If your elderly members no longer have the strength to do all those activities, no worries. You can pack some books and magazines for them and set up a hammock by the trees where they can lay down and enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves. Don’t forget to take a lot of pictures and videos and plus sunscreen too!

  1. Joining A Walking Club

Walking is boring, especially for senior people. If you notice, it’s not always one of their favorite things to do. But if they’ll do it along with other seniors, they might be interested and actually have a great time. You can find a walking club they can join in and ask what their programs and activities are. If your elderly is up for it, they’re in for some great walking time.

Walking clubs are usually composed of several seniors who’d walk or stroll around together. It could be in malls, parks, and other recreational areas that are suitable for them. Your aging loved one will surely keep up with their social skills as they interact with different people from all walks of life. They can even gain a few friends along the way. Not to mention, of course, the other benefits they can get from walking such as lowered blood sugar, a stronger heart, and an enhanced immune function.

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Takeaways

Caring for your senior family members is no easy feat. There’ll always be times when you need to go out of your way just to make sure that they have everything they need to live a comfortable, relaxed, and happier life. With that in mind, you should also consider looking for relaxing and therapeutic activities that they can engage in as they spend their retirement years.

Encourage them to get moving by enrolling them in yoga classes, animal therapy, or a walking club. They can also take up new hobbies such as cooking, gardening, and knitting. Pamper them every once in a while, by treating them to spa treatments. Other activities they can do are listening to music or going to concerts and going to the beach.

There’s so much that senior people can do if they’ll be persuaded to do so. They’ve cared and nurtured you for so long, and now it’s your chance to give back. Make sure they’re happy and stress-free all days of their lives.

Read Also: How To Provide Quality Caregiving To Your Elderly Loved Ones

References

How Older Adults Can Get Started with Exercise

Fun Ways for Older Adults to Stay Physically Active

 

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