Activity is important for elderly people. Both physical and mental activity helps them to stay healthy as well as keep their minds active, and it can enhance their overall well-being.
It can improve fitness and bone health, reduce the risk of depression and reduce cognitive decline. According to the WHO, older adults should get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise with moderate intensity during the week, but more is even better.
But which activities are most suitable? How should you organise the activities? Here’s a guide to how to create a checklist for your elderly friend or relative.
How to Create a Daily or Weekly Plan
Ideally, you should create a different plan for every day of the week. Rather than having a set plan that is the same every day, try to introduce something different every day.
Make sure you take their abilities into account. If they are in pain or they have dementia, there may be some activities that they are incapable of doing.
Focus on what they enjoy doing, and don’t try to force them to do anything they don’t want to. Do they have any hobbies or things that they used to do that they no longer do?
Personalise the plan by considering their activity levels during the day. When are they most active? Do they get tired and have a rest after lunch? Plan activities accordingly.
Even when you have created your plan, put aside some free time to do activities that you have not planned. Things can turn up during the day, so be flexible.
And don’t forget to include some quiet time without any activities. Sometimes simply sitting in the garden and enjoying the day is the best activity of all.
Different Types of Activities to Include
There are lots of different types of activities you could include in your daily care checklist. Some of these will be things that you need to do every day, while others will be once a week or less.
Here is our daily checklist to keep elderly people active:
- Personal Hygiene – Help them to clean their teeth, wash their face, and follow a good personal hygiene routine in the morning and at night. If they have any trouble in the bathroom, consider installing some grab rails or other bathroom aids.
- Brain Training – Crosswords, jigsaw puzzles and card games are fun ways to keep the mind active.
- Preparing Meals – Following recipes and cooking are enjoyable and rewarding activities you can do together.
- Creative Activities – Drawing, painting, working with clay, knitting and sewing are just a few creative activities you can introduce.
- Physical Exercise – Gentle walking, stretching and yoga are good ways to introduce some physical activity into their day. If they have trouble walking, you might want to get a walker to provide them with more support so they can enjoy more independence.
- General Chores – Cleaning the house, washing the dishes and doing the laundry are useful ways to stay active and get important tasks done.
- Social Activities – Make some time for visiting friends, stopping in a coffee and going to clubs.
Keep Adjusting Your Schedule
Once you have created a daily activity schedule, remember to be flexible. Your schedule should not be set in stone. Instead, observe how successful it is and make changes accordingly.
If they don’t like one activity, switch it for another. Do they seem bored? Do they get irritable? Change it.
If you look after an elderly friend or relative, consider creating an activity schedule for them, or create one together. Then help them to get the activity they need every week to enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
If you’re ever in need of assistance, consider us here at Felgains – we’re here to help. Send us a message or call our advice line for any information in regard to our services on 01473 741144.