Its a new year, and many of us have begun to bring our resolutions to life. From new exercise routines and healthier eating habits to relationship-building efforts and work-life balance, there are fresh goals popping up everywhere. Its a common time to rethink the areas of our lives where progress can be made and our realities can improve. Arguably, seniors are no exception to this phenomena, though were proposing a potentially unexpected aim for this particular group.
This year, were challenging seniors to kick up their intake of fun and enjoyment. Its a resolution that has the power to bring immense physical and mental health benefits, and one we think every senior could put into motion in one way or another. To get things started on the right foot, here are some valuable ideas for helping seniors resolve to have more fun this year.
As people age, play seems to become less of a focus in their everyday lives. Ongoing, overwhelming concerns like work and responsibility begin to take over, so play often gets put on the backburner indefinitely. And thats a shamebecauseeven with age, play remains as valuable and important as ever.
Especially in the senior stage of life, learning to reprioritize play can bring about major advantages in the department of health and wellbeing by:
Improving areas of the body, such as heart and lung function, energy level, endorphin production (for reducing stress), blood pressure and flow, pain management, and immune response.
Nurturing communications and interactions to produce a climate for easy connection and deepening, more rewarding relationships.
As we begin a new year, seniors should consider how much play currently exists in their lives, and how they can make more time for this vital focus.
If youve been out of touch with fun for too long and dont know where to start, go back to the basics. What are some activities that used to bring you joy?What interests have you thought aboutbefore but quickly brushed off because you were too busy or otherwise engaged? Following are some examples to get the fun-finding juices flowing:
Children are always on the lookout for fun, so if youre seeking opportunities of the playful kind, you cant go wrong by being in the company of kids. If you have grandchildren, find ways to spend more time with them and partake in their particular brand of fun. Or volunteer at an organization that works with youth, where there are endless ways to connect with younger generations who appreciate the importance of fun.
Whatever the case, use the new year as a good excuse to tap into the power of younger generations for igniting that sense of adventure, creativity, and uninhibited fun.Studies even show that spending time with kids has cognitive benefits, as well as emotional and physical health. It can provide older adults with a sense of purposean important factor in mitigating or minimizing depressionand increase ones sense of life satisfaction.
Yes, some environments are simply more conducive to fun. Think about it: If youre living alone, dont have close proximity to neighbors and community, and have lost touch with the connections you once held dear, its going to be quite a challenge to find fitting opportunities for fun. The more work a senior has to do to make fun happen, the less likely they are to do so. And that means missing out on all the perks of playtime.
Maybe its time for a change of pace; perhaps now is the perfect chance to check outa senior living community. There are plenty of planned activities and opportunities for socialization, and each interactive event builds on relationships and deepens friendships. Many senior living communities publish a monthly or weekly activities calendar that lists the different programs and events that are being offered on particular days, including anything from exercise classes and discussion groups to weekly shopping trips, movies, volunteer opportunities, and more. Plus, they usually make transportation more accessible, which is a major advantage when driving becomes an issue.
Let go ofthe assumptions many people make about the transition to this type of setting, and find out what the experience is really like. Senior living communities often provide the optimal environment of support and connection that makes having fun more tangible for seniors.
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