When you make the decision to move yourself or your elderly loved one into an assisted living or long-term care community, it’s important to understand the value of assisted living and how you can best benefit from the decision you’ve made. The purpose of this blog post is to discuss the many ways residents benefit from daily life enrichment activities that are available within an assisted living setting, because in the end, all any of us wants is for our loved one (or ourselves) to be cared for and offered opportunities to live our best, most enriched lives.
Why Are Daily Enrichment Activities So Important?
It is common knowledge that people of any age fare much better in life when they are physically, socially, and mentally active. This is especially true when we begin to grow older, and as our bodies and minds begin to lose their youthful levels of fitness and natural healing abilities.
Remaining active in our elder years is quite simple, and can be a great contributor to reducing cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, hypertension, and premature death. The more active we are as we age, the healthier we will be.
Seems simple enough, right?!
Some of the positive benefits of remaining active includes improved physical health, increased stamina, improvements in mood, better concentration, and the ability to continue learning. Although the parallel between activity and well-being applies to younger individuals as well, both the positive and negative effects are amplified as we age.
On a wide spectrum of thinking, there are three main categories of activities that are recommended for optimal senior well-being: physical, social, and mental.
Let’s look at each category closer…
Importance of Physical Activity for Quality of Life
Physical activity provides the foundation for all other forms of senior wellness. A sedentary lifestyle during your elder years can lead to greater susceptibility to injury, higher incidence of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and a number of other serious diseases. Conversely, individuals who continue to stay active into their elder years decrease the risk of these adverse conditions. Additionally, senior physical activity decreases the risk of stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia, allowing seniors to maintain their independence longer and live better qualities of life.
Here are a few guidelines to follow for senior physical activities:
- Seniors should participate in approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, with each session lasting about 10 minutes.
- For additional benefits, the total time of moderate aerobic activity can be increased to 300 minutes per week.
- Seniors who experience mobility problems should engage in physical activity at least 3 times a week to improve balance and prevent falls.
- Seniors should engage in muscle strengthening exercises at least 2 times per week.
Focusing on Social Activities to Increase Satisfaction & Meaning
Elderly activities with a social focus are also crucial to overall wellness, especially for the maintenance of a meaningful and satisfying life. Without consistent social interaction, seniors can experience a variety of distressing conditions, including debilitating loneliness, depression, and an increased risk of dementia. On the other hand, when seniors consistently engage in social activities, they experience significant improvements in their physical, mental, and emotional health outcomes. Much of this improvement results from the ability to maintain healthy relationships and a continued sense of being part of society.
The key is staying involved. This means continuing to participate actively in the lives of others in both an individual and a group setting. A healthy social life also requires that seniors allow others to have meaningful access to their lives as well. It’s only through this level of reciprocity that elderly individuals can continue to experience emotional wellness.
How Mental Stimulation Improves Overall Wellness
There is no doubt that human beings must continue to receive intellectual stimulation over the entire course of their lives if they are to achieve and maintain a fulfilling and unimpaired life. A certain decrease of mental abilities during the aging process is inevitable, but active pursuit of cognitive engagement has been proven to slow this cognitive deterioration significantly.
Continued mental activity improves the quality of all life areas. By having a variety of salutary effects on the physical state of the brain, mental activity improves reasoning abilities, memory, and the ability to continue to learn. Activities that engage the mental faculties are also incredibly helpful to overall senior wellness, especially in preventing or slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The variety of helpful activities is wide enough to accommodate many individual preferences and includes puzzle solving, dancing, board games, reading, and practicing a musical instrument. These sorts of mental activities will also improve the emotional health outcomes of seniors, especially when combined with physical and social activities.
How Nightingale Healthcare Communities Embrace Daily Enrichment
At all of our Nightingale Healthcare communities whether assisted living, independent living, or long-term care at one of our skilled nursing facilities, our 24-hour nursing staff looks after the overall health and wellness of our residents with a heavy emphasis on daily enrichment activities.
It is always our mission to serve the unique needs and desires of our incredible residents with enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and compassion. By consistently acknowledging the individual accomplishments and dignity of our residents, providing dedicated 24/7 care, and offering comfortable living settings that allow each resident to harness a sense of home, we put great effort in ensuring the health, wellness, and safety of our residents are taken care of with great love and commitment.
Please contact us today at https://www.nightingaleliving.com/ or 360.656.6609 with any questions you may have or to schedule a tour at one of our various assisted living, independent living, or memory care communities. We look forward to taking care of your loved one just as we would our own.
Fox Hollow Residential Care & Independent Living (Eugene, OR)
Spruce Point Assisted Living & Memory Care (Florence, OR)
Summit Place Assisted Living (Bellingham, WA)
Sunnyside Assisted Living (Sunnyside, WA)