As adults age and need more care, there can be an increase in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety which are exacerbated by a lack of mental stimulation and physical activity. However, just because someone has limited mobility, doesn’t mean they can stop enjoying activities, and in fact, this is an essential time to start thinking about changing up daily life.
A loss of mobility from issues such as a stroke, severe arthritis or even injuries from a fall can feel like life is very limited, but there are plenty of ways to have fun, stimulate your mind, engage with the world and boost your mood.
Spend time reading
Reading is vital for improving memory and is also shown to reduce stress, improve sleep and delays cognitive decline. We encourage our residents in our Retirement Community to join our Book Club. In our Care Home, the team encourage residents to use the library and find something to read which can stimulate their mind.
With Covid-19, access to public libraries is limited, but most are offering Click and Collect services. When lockdown is over, we use our minibus to take residents to the library should they wish to find a new book that has peaked their interest.
Explore new hobbies
New or old, hobbies are a great way to explore passions but also discover new interests which may not have been found yet. They don’t require lots of moving but can be essential at stimulating the mind. Cooking, Birdwatching, Knitting, Crochet or even singing in a choir is an amazing way to connect with the world around you, as well as making new friends. At Kings Lodge Care Home, there is a choir which meets regularly. Our Cirencester Care Home recently developed a bird watching area and Camberley have over 15 acres to explore to discover birds and other little woodland creatures. Our residents also love to bake so they can be regularly found making cakes and biscuits as well as some other sweet treats!
Green is proven to have a healing power as it is the most restful and relaxing colour for the human eye to view. As such, being in an outside space can help the body and mind rest and relax while getting fresh air. Fresh air alone can aid your digestive system, improve blood pressure and heart rate and can improve your mood. British weather is known to be a bit hit and miss, so even if it is just sitting net to a big window or opening your doors and allowing some fresh air in, just viewing the local surrounds can be enough to calm your mind. Our Retirement Apartments boast either balconies or French doors to a patio. Our residents in Camberley regularly enjoy woodland adventures in their expansive gardens and Stratton Court Residents love their garden walks picking flowers for posies and table arrangements.
Games are a fantastic way to forget your daily stresses. For those suffering from various stages of dementia, this can be something as simple as making a simple puzzle from an old picture or memory cut into a few pieces for them to place together, or can be in the form of a quiz. Card games, jigsaws, crosswords and board games are all fantastic ways to connect with one another as well as enjoy some laughter. Even a one player card game such as solitaire can be a wonderful way to just switch off!
At Aura Care Living, our retirement home residents have regular quiz nights and entertainment evenings to provide entertainment. Our Care Home Activities Team’s are celebrated nationally for their creative ideas gaining features in the Daily Mail and The Russell Howard Hour as well as BBC Morning Live
Enjoy Movies, TV Shows or Music
We all love a binge watch of something that is utterly addictive on Netflix, and watching tv shows or movies we enjoy can be thoroughly rewarding. Encouraging our loved ones to try new series can be as simple as buying them a box set, leaving instructions on how to use Netflix or amazon prime video or searching on facebook or freecycle for dvds which are being sold or given away in your local community. At Aura Care Living both our facilities boast state of the art cinema’s which show movies regularly as well as share series which the residents have expressed an interest in. We also regularly welcome our residents from Stratton Court Retirement Village for weekly movie nights with popcorn and snacks.
Drawing and colouring may seem like something only children would enjoy, but there is plenty of evidence to show it has relaxing benefits for adults too. Whether it is mindful colouring using a notebook or template downloaded from the internet, or getting more creative with pieces of artwork, getting creative can reduce negative emotions as well as manage stress and anxiety. Pinterest can be an amazing resource to find activities, both simple and more complex for those in later life.
Going to the spa does not have to end in later life, but also is not necessarily practical for those with limited mobility. Simple things such as painting a loved ones nails or helping them do their hair, can be a fantastic way to help them feel pampered and relaxed as well as extra special for a few days after the session. At Aura Care Living, we have our own private salon which caters to our wonderful residents and retirement village, as well as regular pamper sessions for our residents.
In short, although limited mobility may mean an adjustment to lifestyle, it does not mean that enjoyment simply has to stop in later life. By getting just a little creative, you can find ways to stimulate and entertain a loved one with bespoke personalised activities suited to their mental health. However, if you are unable to do this and would like to talk more about help we can offer, feel free to contact us here or use our 24 hour rapid assessment to help you understand your loved ones needs.