The Importance of Activities for the Elderly in Nursing Homes
At all of our nursing homes, activities form a central focus. Whether you’re up for a friendly or competitive game of bingo, an opportunity for tea and cake in a shady spot in the garden, or even an outing: there will be an activity to suit. In fact, we pride ourselves on the range of elderly games and activities on offer in our care – with good reason.
Engaging in activities when in nursing care is about more than the immediate pleasure gained, although of course this is important. Our experience, backed up by research, shows that by enjoying activities in a nursing home the elderly benefit both mentally and physically.
Our Top Picks For Elderly Activities in a Nursing Home
Here are the Eastleigh top reasons for providing a varied, regular, and diverse activities programme:
- Tackling Loneliness: Furthermore, promoting activities for the elderly in nursing homes helps to remove the barriers to well-being of poor or insufficient relationships by enabling residents to socialise together, and enjoy a common purpose. Shockingly, loneliness can be as harmful for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB. PLoS Med 2010; 7(7)).
- Improving Mental Wellbeing: Many, but not all, of our residents at Eastleigh are suffering from Dementia. In addition to tackling loneliness and depression, activities in the care home actively aim to lessen the impact of Dementia and Alzheimers. Over the age of 65, the risk of developing dementia doubles approximately every five years. We therefore need to take steps to reduce its likelihood and its impact. Activities are an important part of this. Several different studies over the last decade are showing that mental stimulation, through activities such as games, crosswords, and learning, help to prevent or slow the onset of dementia. Therefore, learning something new, or having fun with a board game, serve a higher purpose as well as the immediate enjoyment.
- Promote Physical Health: Unfortunately, with age comes more health complications. However, there is evidence to show that activity leads to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers (as well as depression and dementia). This doesn’t mean we expect our residents to be climbing Everest, or swimming the English Channel. However, it does mean that we strive to provide worthwhile suitable activities such as walks, lawn bowls, and regular outings, where possible. By participating in activities for the elderly in nursing homes, residents maintain or improve their activity levels and keep moving.
- Providing Fun and Purpose: Many elderly, and their families, worry that the move in to a nursing home removes the sense of purpose, and fun, in an elderly person’s life. In our experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The beauty of life in a nursing home is that time and energy on the part of the resident, and their family, is freed up so that they can have fun and engage in purposeful activity without the other stresses or difficulties of daily care and living.
At Eastleigh, we take the care of the whole person seriously. Therefore, we wholeheartedly support our elderly retirement homes in providing suitable nursing home activities for our residents.
To find out more about which nursing home activities are offered in our different homes, get in touch on 01769 573166. We’re always open to new ideas too, so if you have suggestions, let us know.