Many people find a satisfying and fulfilling lifestyle in their retirement by pursuing hobbies and leisure activities. Ageing doesn’t have to mean you stop doing the things you enjoy, in fact it can give you more time for them. The leisure and lifestyle programs in aged care facilities are designed to support their residents’ participation and help them get the most out of life.
What are Lifestyle Activities in Aged Care?
Leisure and lifestyle activities in aged care include a range of experiences that help to enrich the lives of the residents and boost satisfaction and enjoyment.
Each resident should engage in a range of activities to get the most out of them, because they will target different needs. Individual residents may also have different limits and capabilities that make them more suited to certain activities. For example, if a resident wants to engage in physical activity but can no longer perform high intensity exercises, gardening might be a good choice for a low intensity activity.
Recreational activities are important to improve overall well being, maintain or improve skills and avoid feelings of loneliness and boredom. Some examples of common aged care lifestyle activities include exercise classes, painting, drawing and playing cards.
What are the Benefits of Aged Care Lifestyle Activities?
Leisure and lifestyle activities in aged care provide a number of mental, physical, social and emotional benefits to residents. It’s important for older people to continue participating in things that they enjoy and engaging in social interaction to boost their overall wellbeing.
Recreational activities help to build relationships, improve mental health, provide feelings of fulfilment and accomplishment and reduce the risk of depression.
It’s important for aged care residents to participate in mentally stimulating activities in order to maintain their cognitive abilities. Puzzles, card games, strategic games like chess and sudoku are great for keeping the brain active and healthy.
Creative hobbies like painting, knitting and making arts and crafts can be therapeutic and also help to work the hand muscles.
For residents with dementia, simple activities to engage the senses might include popping bubble wrap or smelling different scents.
Physical activity is essential for older people to retain their muscle strength and mobility and can also be a great way to participate in group activities.
Group walks or dance classes are good options for combining exercise with social interaction and can also improve balance and coordination.
One of the advantages of aged care facilities is that they provide lots of opportunities for residents to socialise with one another.
Community participation and engagement is crucial for older people, because isolation and loneliness can quickly become debilitating. Group activities might include bingo nights, singing groups or book clubs.
It’s important for aged care residents to feel fulfilled in their daily lives so that they can achieve a sense of purpose and avoid slipping into melancholia.
In order to feel respected, appreciated and accomplished they might engage in activities like buying flowers for a family member, sharing stories or discussing their favourite book with a friend.
Popular aged care lifestyle activities
There are a wide range of different activities that people might choose to engage in to enrich their lives in an aged care centre. Within these choices, there are a few favourites that are often popular.
Bingo night might seem like a cliche, but that’s just because it really is a great choice for the elderly. This game of chance combines mental stimulation with lighthearted competition to create playful entertainment and improve camaraderie between residents.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts might include painting, collaging, drawing, crocheting or quilting. Creative activities like this help to foster a sense of accomplishment and purpose. They also keep the mind sharp by learning new skills or nurturing old ones.
Physical activity is important for people of any age, but especially for aged care residents as they begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. Participating in group exercise such as walking, bike riding, doing yoga or tai chi is a great way to keep residents active.
Group Outings and Excursions
Aged care centres will often organise day trips for a group to go and visit a cafe, a cinema or somewhere else in the local area. This is a popular activity because it allows residents to get some fresh air in a different environment. It also provides opportunities for residents to engage with the local community.
Activities for Dementia Residents in Aged Care
Simple sensory experiences can be really enjoyable for people with dementia. This might include getting massages, smelling fresh flowers or spices, touching fabrics with different textures or having their hair brushed. It’s important to avoid overstimulating them with crowds, lots of movement or loud noises.
Additionally, looking through photos or keepsakes or participating in music therapy can help residents with dementia recall their memories.
Banfields Aged Care provides dementia-specific care in a luxurious memory support wing. There are also activities on offer suitable for residents with dementia, including massages and hairdressing.
Social Activities in Aged Care
Other social activities in residential aged care might include organising theme days to celebrate things like Mother’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, or arranging a game night. These opportunities can help create meaning and make people feel as though their culture and identity is being valued.
Having a pet day where family members can bring in animals can also be a great way to lift the spirits of the residents and provide emotional support.
Active Support in Aged Care
Active support means providing someone with the assistance they need to ensure that they can participate and engage in the activities they enjoy.
This is important in aged care because it decreases the pressure on seniors who may have lost abilities and increases the number of activities they are able to engage in.
For example, active support in aged care might involve accompanying someone on a trip to the shops to ensure they don’t get disoriented or lose their balance. This would allow the senior to maintain their independence without compromising their safety.
Leisure and Lifestyle Activities at Banfields Aged Care
Banfields Aged Care offers a range of lifestyle activities that rotate on a weekly basis. These include:
- Shuffleboard, chess and darts
- Movie night
- Scenic bus trips
The wellbeing and lifestyle program at Banfields Aged Care also includes access to a number of facilities and amenities, such as:
- A fully equipped gymnasium
- A physiotherapy room
- A chapel with regular church services
- A beauty salon
Banfields Aged Care also boasts beautiful grounds and gardens with plenty of quiet sitting areas for residents to read or spend time with family and friends.