People of all ages and abilities need fun and variety in their day. Activities for elderly, immobile patients can encourage participation, provide entertainment and promote mental and physical stimulation. Group activities also prevent loneliness and feelings of isolation. Plan a mix of indoor and outdoor activities to maximize fun and minimize boredom.
Many elderly, immobile patients can enjoy playing board games. Bingo, chess, checkers and other games provide socialization, fun and stimulation. Designate a set time for games or a regular game night. Develop an air of competition among patients by awarding prizes to the first and second-placed victors. Or play the games in a more relaxed style, depending on what the patients prefer.
Making clay or working with modeling clay combines a tactile experience with hand exercise and the chance for patients to express themselves creatively. Kneading clay promotes hand mobility. Purchase some modeling clay in a variety of colors. Place the clay onto a firm surface within easy reach of the elderly patient. Let the patients make whatever they want. Don't set any rules. Allow the activity to be a free-flowing endeavor that stimulates creativity. Have clay available in the community room so patients can partake at their convenience. Or form and lead clay-making classes as part of the activity program.
Physical activity plays an important role in everyone's health, including the elderly, immobile population, according to the National Institute on Aging. Exercising can help people who have difficulties walking. Remember to start slowly. Gradually you might be able to increase the time and intensity level. Have the patients start doing chair exercises to increase blood circulation, keep joints lubricated and flexible, stabilize their spines, improve their posture and strengthen and stretch their body muscles. Exercises can be done either on an individual or group basis. For group classes, hire an instructor or use an exercise video. On an individual basis, the patient can do the exercises in the privacy of his room or via personal supervision.
Individuals of all physical conditions and ages can play video games. Games can stimulate brain functioning while also improving motor skills. Memory, logic and word games can intellectually challenge immobile, elderly patients. Games such as Scrabble, Battleship, blackjack or other card games can be enjoyed by elderly patients. Free online video games are available or purchase computer software and download it for easy access. Start with beginning level games and increase difficulty as skill increases.
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