Social activities give elderly people the opportunity to interact with other people in the society. As a result, they feel that they are a part of the society, and feel wanted. Social activities are essential for the elderly to improve their physical health and mental well-being.
Any physical activity will increase the elderly people body movements which they otherwise avoid out of fear of injury. When they are involved with some tasks, it helps them to get rid of depression, concentration problems and memory loss. It adds up to their confidence and gives them a sense of independence. There are creative activities and cultural activities specifically designed for the elderly which should be included in their daily life. Such a step also contributes to the society as we can come to know about their special skills.
Leisure and Cultural Activities
Gardening and caring for the plants is one such leisure activity that elderly people enjoy a lot. It may be difficult for them to take care of an entire garden, but a few small potted plants kept indoors are just perfect for them.
An activity that will make the senior people happy and keep their body healthy and active is swimming. Take permission at the local health club to make arrangements for a swimming schedule for them once a week at a concessional rate.
Dance and music are two such cultural activities that people from all age groups can enjoy. As these people do not have free body movements, wheelchair dance is increasingly becoming popular among them. Form a group of aged people who have interest in dance. Hire one instructor who specializes in teaching this type of dance and I am sure they will have a great time learning the new dancing skill.
All of us love to look at an old photograph because of the fond memories associated with it. Elderly people are no exception to that. Therefore, encourage them to make a scrapbook or collage using all their family photographs and mementos. They can further decorate it with small decorative items like leaves and construction paper. Once it is done, the collage can be fitted into a frame and put up in their room.
Keeping them happy and busy are very important. For this, they can join a hobby class to learn something new. Some people may have the wish to play some instrument like the piano. Make the needful arrangements where they learn to play their favorite musical instrument. Then he or she can play that instrument in their leisure time as well.
We should give them an opportunity to talk about their experiences. Ask each elderly person to record his or her thoughts and experiences in a cassette tape recorder. They can talk about anything starting from a special event in their life to the advancement in technology, anything that they wish. Transcribe these tapes into booklets. Then arrange for a story telling session where they will gather and read out their stories in front of everyone.
Social activities have a therapeutic effect on their mind and body. However, as older people do not have flexible body movements, certain modifications need to be made to accommodate them into various recreational activities. Fishing, boating, playing golf, etc. are few such social activities for the elderly which can be done with minimum physical movements.
Sports equipment are available which have been altered for the convenience of the elderly so that they can take part in various sport activities. For indoor activities, there are video games with necessary adaptive controls which the senior people can play.
The basic aim of all these activities is to boost up their self-esteem. It also gives them an opportunity to express their feelings. Lastly, one more thing I would like to add is that cognitive activities for the elderly are very helpful in checking some of the age related serious ailments like Alzheimer’s disease. It includes solving various types of puzzles and mental mathematics where the use of paper and pencil is not allowed.