24 September 2018
Staying active in your senior years is the best way to maintain your health. Similarly getting out and about within your local community, joining an exercise class, activity or group and meeting new people is a great way of ensuring you remain healthy, both mentally and physically.
Therapeutic activities are soothing actions that support the well-being of one’s health, despite any underlying conditions. Splitting these activities into three, we’re going to take a look at how art, music and physical therapeutic activities can be beneficial for seniors.
Art therapy can be a really healing activity, as participating in an art class or art therapy session helps provide mental stimulation, which is proven to help with memory loss as well as promoting positive self-esteem and awareness by engaging your inner imagination.
Art therapy enables elderly people to use their creative processes, which they might not otherwise get as much chance to do, and it’s a great form of self-expression. Art therapy encompasses a variety of crafts including painting, drawing and working with clay, to name a few – so you’re sure to find something enjoyable!
Music enables expression and can be used in emotional therapy to help address emotional behaviours.
These behaviours might manifest themselves as anger, social isolation, lack of self-esteem or withdrawal from family. Music therapy offers a non-threatening and non-intrusive environment, which helps break down inhibitions and deal with these emotions.
Music therapy can be a really cooperative and engaging therapeutic activity for elderly people, with activities including things like sing-along groups, dancing, rhythm games and even learning to play an instrument.
Music therapy is great for encouraging participation in a calm environment, and can be a really enriching activity for seniors to take part in.
Physical therapy exercises are focused on helping the elderly to recover or improve their mobility.
According to the NHS, if you’re over 65, generally fit and have no conditions that limit your mobility, you should be doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week – like going for a walk. This should also be partnered with strength exercises on at least two days a week.
Engaging in physical therapeutic activities can have great benefits, like boosting appetite, your ability to sleep and improving your moods. What’s more, keeping active as you get older can significantly contribute to the prevention of several chronic diseases.
As we age, lean body mass naturally decreases, resulting in less tone and muscles that are unable to contract due to tissue wastage. As a result, mobility and balance can be significantly affected, which is why it’s more important than ever to keep active as we get older.
Additionally, when you exercise, your body releases ‘good endorphins’ which can help boost your mood through heightened self-esteem, giving you a new lease of life! When released, endorphins interact with receptors in the brain which can reduce the perception of pain, and are also proven to combat depression.
As a starting point, the NHS has a great list of exercises for elderly people that is worth taking a look at.
To conclude, therapeutic activities for the elderly, whether cognitive, emotional or physical, all have a positive effect on one’s state of mind.
In addition to the mental benefits, all of the activities mentioned above involve getting out and socialising. This is great if you’re feeling alone and isolated in your own home, which can be a common and reoccurring concern for the elderly.
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