Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caring for your older loved ones at home has become a more common concern for families and adults. While being at home can mean more comfort and less stressful changes, it can be difficult to find ways to stay active on their own or with your help or the help of home care assistance. However, staying active is key to staying healthy, both mentally and physically, no matter what age, so to help keep your loved ones healthy and happy, we’ve gathered eight ways to help keep your loved ones active while they’re staying home. Read more below to find great ideas for activities to keep your elder loved ones active and engaged, and reach out to Maison Healthcare today to get started with experienced home care in Naples
One of the best ways to improve health and keep active while at home is to encourage cooking, either as a group activity with you and your loved one’s home care professional, for a family get-together, or as a one-on-one activity for a small dinner or meal to share. Because cooking is such a universal experience, it’s likely that your loved ones have a couple of recipes or dishes that they love to make and eat! Not only will asking your older loved one about their favorite recipes be a great way to get them talking about their experiences and things they love, but cooking the recipe, either from their memory or by finding one online, is a great way to connect and bond while staying active. Of course, the best part of cooking together is sitting down to eat a delicious meal afterward while you continue the conversation and bonding time!
Connecting With Loved Ones
One of the most difficult parts of staying home to prevent infection of or exposure to the virus is that it makes connecting with others more difficult. While Zoom and other virtual hangout tools are a great way to facilitate conversations with others, there are other ways to connect with loved ones as well, especially if your loved one doesn’t like spending time on-screen. One of the many great ways to facilitate connection is arranging an outdoor, socially-distanced picnic or hangout. Another great way to connect, especially if your loved one misses getting meaningful mail, is through sending care packages or letters to others and receiving them back.
Of course, one of the most common and effective ways to stay active is to be active with exercise! Always make sure that your loved one is safe and healthy during exercise activities and be mindful of any physical limitations they may have, if any. Take your loved one on a walk, follow along with an at-home yoga video that’s within their skill level, or even do an at-home workout with weights or resistance bands that are also within their skill levels. Not only will this help your loved one feel great and stay healthy, but it can help to get their dopamine, endorphin, and serotonin levels increased so they feel happier, too!
In the same vein as cooking, baking with your loved ones is a wonderful option for those who might not be great at the skills that cooking requires. Instead, offer to bake and subsequently decorate fun and delicious treats with them! If your loved one has a favorite kind of baked good, you can ask if they have a recipe that they can lead you through, or offer to find them a recipe to follow for a new baking recipe. Whether you’re making old-fashioned cakes or a recipe that’s new to you both, it will be a great way to learn from one another and create lasting bonds and memories. Once you’re done with baking, you can also use the finished product as an excuse to treat yourselves, neighbors, or other community members to a delicious snack, too!
Learning New Skills
One of the easiest ways to keep your brain engaged and active at any age is to learn a new skill, and it can be a great learning experience for you and your older loved one to enjoy together! Maybe they’ve always wanted to learn how to paint or draw, or maybe they’re interested in trying a new kind of board game while they’re at home! Find new skills that they can try out with your guidance, their caretaker’s guidance, or even on their own and start learning the skill or practicing the skill with them. This will not only help to keep their mind and body active, but will also provide a sense of accomplishment, which can be missed when they’re used to doing the same things every day.
Music is a wonderful way to engage the whole body, from dancing to old favorites to learning how to play new instruments, to learning new pieces of music to play on already mastered instruments. With all kinds of options to choose from, music is a great way to offer an outlet for your loved one’s energy, as well as a stimulant for their brain and their body to participate in an activity that isn’t reading or TV. If your loved one doesn’t want to learn a new instrument or new music, you can offer to learn from them, too! Teaching others is a great way to stimulate the brain and rethink things they already know, and it can create more opportunities for meaningful interactions and bonding between you both.
While self-care may sound like something that isn’t exactly active, it’s a great way to get them interested in something new that will also benefit their physical or mental health. Because self care can be anything from coloring to taking a bath to painting their nails, you have a wide range of activities to choose from to help them feel their best. If they’re not great at participating in self care activities because of physical or mental limitations, offer to help them with the self care! This can be as simple as offering to put their hair in a style they haven’t worn in a long time to painting their nails or even just setting up that incense they used to love when they were younger.
Trying New Things
If you find that your loved one seems to be getting bored with activities they’re already familiar with, a great way to get them involved and active is to offer new activities to try out! Maybe they’ve never tried playing a certain kind of video game, or they’ve never tried a certain kind of food. Talk with them about things you think they might like and offer to facilitate these things, either by ordering a new crafting kit from an online store or bringing over a video gaming console that they’ve never played on before. If you want to really get them involved, you can also try something that’s new to both of you!
Overall, there are many different ways to not only keep your loved ones engaged and active, but keep them feeling great and staying happy while they’re at home and staying safe from potential infections or exposure to the pandemic. With all kinds of care options and experienced caregiving staff, you can also be sure that working with Maison Healthcare for home care assistance services will set you and your older loved one up for success, health, and happiness! Learn more about our services or get started with us by contacting us online today!