Living an active, healthy and social life is important — no matter your age. But, it’s especially important for older adults. As time passes, your senior loved one experiences many changes in their overall health and social life. Friends move away, they may no longer be able to drive themselves to the grocery store or be as active as they once were. How can you help your parent stay young at heart and get back to enjoying a social and healthy life?
Assisted living communities provide an environment for seniors to thrive and gain their independence back by getting active and social once again. Not only does assisted living provide residents with care and supportive services, it gives aging adults the chance to reinvent themselves through a variety of activities, programs and outings.
Exercise Classes Keep Seniors Active
Staying physically active helps improve overall strength and boost your mood. Exercise classes offered at assisted living communities range from yoga, tai chi, thera-band exercises and sit-er-cise. Each class is designed with seniors in mind, finding ways to strengthen their muscles to help prevent falls and accidents. Most communities ask for input from their residents on which activities they’d like offered.
Often the same core group of residents attend the same classes each day. This gives them a place to connect with others who have the same interests as them and form.
Residents also have the chance of attending less structured events throughout the day to get them moving. Walking the halls or outside with friends, gardening, helping with landscaping or creating their own exercise routine. It’s about finding the right activity they enjoy that keeps them active.
Special Events and Holidays
There is always a holiday to celebrate or an event to attend at assisted living communities. From bowling, movie nights, baking classes, live music or making Valentine’s Day cards, there is something for everyone!
- Christmas time brings a visit from Santa with gifts and fun photo ops.
- Valentine’s Day is celebrated by making homemade cards for friends and family.
- Prom is recreated by residents getting gussied up, enjoying food music and dancing the night away.
- Mother’s Day has a potluck, spa day and flowers delivered to each woman making them feel extra.
- Birthdays are celebrated with cake, candles and singing.
- Live entertainment such as piano music, guitar playing, or choir groups perform for the residents.
- Movie nights each week in the movie theater with popcorn and a featured film.
- Wine and cheese night with the ladies or beer and pretzels with the guys.
- Cookouts in the courtyard or backyard with burgers, hot dogs and roasting s’mores over the fire.
- Even something as simple as ordering pizza with a few other friends and enjoying it together in the common room area.
Friends and family are welcome to join their loved one at some of these special events. By participating in these events, your loved one has the chance to feel independent once again. They won’t have to ask you for a ride to girl’s night, pick up their food or take them shopping. It’s now just a simple walk down the hall to a room or taking the bus to go out to eat with their friends.
You want your loved one to feel apart of the community they’re living in. Assisted living residents connect with their new city by going on group outings. They visit the town by going out to eat at different restaurants, cheering on the local baseball team with a beer and hotdog or a trip to the beach. Or maybe taking a boat cruise on the river touring landmarks along the way and going to the local museum.
Group outings give residents a chance to enjoy themselves without worrying about the details of getting there or how they will get around. It’s a chance for them to reinvent themselves or do an activity again they once enjoyed doing. Who knows – you may even see a side of your mom that you haven’t seen in years. Laughing, going out with friends and truly enjoying her “new” life.
Recreational activities at assisted living communities provide a social environment for seniors by keeping them moving, talking with others and doing activities they once enjoyed doing. Giving them independence to discover a new activity or form a new friendship.
Still curious if assisted living is the right fit for your senior loved one? Learn more about assisted living by downloading the eBook, “Assisted Living │Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.”