activities for the elderly

As the population of Australia ages, considerable research is taking place to identify factors which help people live longer, healthier lives. Doing regular exercise, staying connected and remaining mentally alert are the three main ways to stay fit and healthy. Here are some activities which can help you achieve these goals. You may be surprised to find that you are doing some of them already.

Bingo

Concentration, memory and maths skills can be retained for much longer in seniors who play bingo. In addition, the fast pace of the game requires excellent hand-eye coordination. The excitement and social opportunities offered at bingo games also promote mental health. There are many organisations which conduct sessions every day of the week. Good luck!

Tai Chi and Qi Gong

These ancient martial arts provide both psychological and physical benefits. The gentle exercises are designed to promote suppleness, balance and peace of mind. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are highly recommended for seniors as improved balance reduces the risk of falls and relaxation techniques can assist with pain from diseases such as arthritis. The classes give you a chance to stay fit and make friends.

Back To School

If you cannot use the Internet without help, becoming digitally competent is an ideal way for you to exercise your brain. The Broadband For Seniors program is designed to help older Australians become computer literate. Once you gain confidence, you can enrol in any number of free or inexpensive courses about topics of personal interest. The University of the Third Age offers courses ranging from Australian History to the Night Sky. Alternatively, there are hundreds of free courses from universities across the world available at Coursera. Learn a language, master calculus or delve into neuroscience. It’s never too late.

Volunteer

Most modern households have two income earners, leaving the volunteer sector with a shortage of willing, capable workers. Volunteering allows you to apply a lifetime of skills, contribute to the community and develop new social networks. Here are two volunteer positions which guarantee that you will meet new people and remain mentally alert.

  • Justice of the Peace: You have probably sought out a JP at some stage to witness a signature or certify a document. JPs can be often be found volunteering at places like shopping centres. Becoming a JP requires that you be a person of good character and successfully complete an application and assessment process.
  • Adopt-a-Grandparent: Many childcare centres, church organisations and community groups help children who don’t have grandparents to establish rewarding relationships with older Australians. Your tasks may include reading books, conducting playtime and helping with excursions.

There are numerous other volunteer opportunities available across Australia. You can begin your search here.

Live Well and Live Longer

Staying physically and mentally active will help you to live longer and enjoy a quality of life. Your home care provider can help connect you with programs in your community and other seniors with similar interests to yours. If you would like to be involved in more activities, do not hesitate to ask for advice.

 

Image credit: "Bingo" (cropped) by ann-dabney. (Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)




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