When you’re an older adult, there are many ways to stay active and enjoy yourself that isn’t just limited to the gym or the pool. Seniors can benefit from all kinds of therapeutic activities for seniors, including social and physical, mentally engaging, or even therapeutic. Whether you want to learn something new with your free time or would prefer to spend it with friends or loved ones, here’s a list of the best therapeutic activities seniors can benefit from!
If you’re living with a chronic disease, regular exercise can help you lead a more active and healthy life. Walking, swimming and weightlifting are all great activities for loved ones who want to improve their health and fitness levels. If walking is your preferred form of exercise, try walking up and down stairs or walking to different parts of town to increase its difficulty level. Swimming is also a fantastic way to get fit because water provides added resistance, forcing your muscles to work harder than they would on land. This kind of training allows your body to tone more effectively than it would if you were working out on dry land alone. Finally, strength training allows you to build muscle while toning at an increased rate—creating a leaner physique while simultaneously getting stronger.
People who are nervous about or have difficulty socializing with others can benefit from pet therapy. Studies have shown that interacting with animals improves blood pressure and heart rate readings for seniors and boosts overall happiness. Animal-assisted therapy can also help senior citizens learn to trust again and release the fear of human interaction; they often feel more comfortable around an animal they’ve known longer than a stranger. If you don’t own a pet of your own, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter to gain experience and start building relationships.
Listening to Music
Music is a universal language. It has been used for therapeutic benefits since before Hippocrates. Most people will say that music can help relieve stress and anxiety, which it certainly can, but did you know there are so many more ways to improve health? Playing music for yourself or others is one of those therapeutic activities for loved ones that can benefit physical, emotional, and cognitive health while reducing social isolation.
People of all ages can benefit from art therapy. Art therapy involves creating art to express feelings or images that aren’t otherwise easily described. While most people think of an artist when they hear art therapist, you don’t have to be an artistic genius to get therapeutic benefits from drawing. Exploring different mediums, techniques, and new forms of expression—especially after years of staying within a comfort zone—can help you connect with your creative side in new ways. Many art therapists work in hospitals and nursing homes, while others open their private practices.
Interactive Video Games
A recent study found that an hour-long session of interactive video games was as effective as medication for treating depression and anxiety. It’s like exercising to combat heart disease: loved ones with mobility issues or arthritis can still benefit from a relaxing and fun activity. With interactive games, there are even fewer barriers to entry; people of all ages can enjoy playing Mario Kart or Donkey Kong together.