As you grow old, you need to keep socializing with other people to ensure that you remain mentally and physically active. It’s one of the most integral elements to healthy aging because you can maintain proper health and independence as you grow old.
Family members and professional caregivers often plan social activities encouraging the elderly to continue with a healthy lifestyle with the support of the people around them. However, if you want to organize a successful group activity for your elderly loved one, there are a lot of things you need to consider.
Here’s some advice from Charles Hunter on what you need to do.
1. Find The Best Ways To Make Memories
Create an event that the elderly will remember even when it ends. It might seem like a challenging task but it’s really simple. Start by bringing a camera and taking photos of the activity and everyone in it. You can also hire a photographer to capture special moments with the photos to create long-term memories.
Everyone who participates in the event can look at the pictures and enjoy the memories. Even better, people who didn’t attend can always join the next one when they see the photos. Note that, elderly loved ones living in a residential living community will show a picture of their experiences to their friends or family members. Their loved ones will appreciate seeing that their elderly relatives are having fun.
2. Avoid Patronizing Activities
A recent study showed that at least 6 out of every 10 elderly respondents will not use services or activities that are specifically designed for them. That’s because they often find such activities or services patronizing. Therefore, if you want to avoid this you should plan events that are interesting and meaningful to the elderly.
You should not look down on them because of their old age. Rather, you need to speak to them just like you would speak to anyone else. Avoid using any condescending tones or language when speaking to them. Allow them in the planning process of every group activity so their voices are heard.
Always remember that the elderly loved ones have a lot to give back to the society. Therefore, anyone should be ready to harness that enthusiasm and expertise to make everything better for the elderly loved ones. Therefore, it’s prudent to involve them in the decision-making process.
Use group activities to introduce exercise to encourage the elderly people to engage in physical activity in a relaxed manner without forcing them into it. Eventually, they will always look forward to participating in these activities just for the fun of it.
3. Plan With Others
Are you planning an activity for your loved ones living in a care home? Well, you need help by building a team of enthusiastic people who can handle any issues that might come up during the process. Your team should have potential solutions to these challenges so no one is caught off-guard.
If you are planning activities for the elderly residents in a care home, make sure the staff know and are regularly updated on any changes or modifications to your plans. Have a short briefing the day before the activity so that everyone can understand their roles.
4. Familiarize Yourself With The Participants
You should prepare a questionnaire asking about everyone’s interests and hobbies so that you can make the activity special for all the participants involved. You need to know them first if you want them to feel good about the activity that you are planning. You should advertise the event at least weeks before it happens and prepare a sign-up sheet for everyone who is hoping to participate.
If a lot of the participants are suffering from dementia, you should consider adding music to the event since it’s a soothing activity for people suffering from memory loss. Give the participants the opportunity to plan the details of the event. Some might love relaxing as they enjoy it while others will want to get involved.
5. Include Participants Of All Ages
You should reach out to people outside the care home such as student or adult volunteers who want to attend and help out at the event. If you are planning to host a film showing event, you can invite the local film school to participate. It’s a great way for participants of all ages to participate in the event and socialize with the residents of the elderly care home.