Using games as a means to staying active is a very important aspect of a healthy life. While most people associate the word ‘play’ with children laughing, playing together, and enjoying themselves, games can form a vital part of not just our childhood but our life as we grow up and age.
There is a lot of emphasis on staying active and fit today because increased studies have shown that playing games and continuing to do little activities throughout the day has an array of physical and mental health benefits, especially for elder people. At Elcare, we encourage our elder care taker service providers to inculcate special activities in their daily routines.
In this article, we will outline some of the reasons why senior citizens should indulge in physical and mental activities in order to stay active.
- It helps in relieving stress: The most significant effect of an active lifestyle is how it helps in relieving stress. When we go for a morning walk or play an outdoor game, our body tends to release happy hormones that elevate our mood. This has a positive effect on our mind and it helps in reducing stress by spending time in a creative space.
- Improves brain function: Whether you are playing outdoor games in your backyard or kicking back with a puzzle in the comfort of your living room, physical activities have a positive impact on our cognitive function. It enhances critical thinking and challenges the player to think in new ways. It improves the speed of their reaction to outside stimuli. When they play with other people in a team, it also enhances their communication skills. Games like chess or solving riddles challenges the brain which helps in preventing memory problems and improves their brain function. The enjoyment that comes from playing with friends and family also helps ward off feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression in older adults.
- Improves relationships: Some of the most common issues amongst older adults are isolation and feelings of depression. As a person ages, they tend to have fewer friends or people they spend time with. Most of them live alone and away from their children. Engaging in outdoor activities, playing games with friends, family members, and kids with the support of their elder care taker can help them share valuable moments & create lasting bonds with their grandchildren, family, friends, neighbors and their community. Sharing laughter and fun can cultivate empathy, trust, compassion, and intimacy with others. Developing a relaxed, fun, and playful nature can help older adults to deal positively with stressful situations.
- Brings you new possibilities: When you stay active, you explore a world outside of yourself. Exercising, meditating, moving around for regular activities and playing outdoors with the help and support of a care taker can be extremely therapeutic for mental, physical & emotional well-being. It can have a positive effect on stress levels and instill gratitude in life. Indulging in activities with others can help older adults make new friends, meet new people, learn new things, and try new opportunities. It can bring in a sense of fulfillment and adventure and help them feel young and energetic.
- Offers physical movement: Staying active means indulging in some amount of movement throughout the day. As we age, we find it difficult to move with the kind of ease that we are used to. A decline in mental health adds to reduced mobility. Indulging in activities with the support of a care taker can act as stimulation to move the body, release feel-good hormones and build strength. Playing outdoors in nature can be extremely good for elderly mind and mental health, and help in managing feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.
- Prevents isolation and loneliness: As they age, most older adults tend to feel isolated and lonely. This can have a negative effect on their mental health. Playtime with the support of a care taker offers them an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones, to make new friends and enjoy this time just like they would at any age. It also makes them feel energetic and brings a sense of self-reliance. This can help in building feelings of community and support and help them feel less alone.
- Helps with creativity: We learn a lot when we play games, explore new places when we go for a walk, and learn something new about ourselves when we take up a new sport. We tend to learn a new task better when we are in a playful and relaxed mood and having fun. It can challenge us to think on our feet and out of the box. Playtime, with the help of a senior citizen care taker, stimulates their imagination, instills excitement, and helps them adapt, and solve problems. It can be a incredibly creative practice to indulge in and can have a positive impact on the mind and mental health of older adults.
- Helps in healing emotional wounds: As adults, when we go on walks with our friends, or play games with neighbors in the park, we are engaged in the same patterns of behavior that shape the brains of children in a positive way. These active and playful behaviors can lead to positive changes in older adults. It can help older adults process their feelings better and deal with emotions more positively
- Helps with better sleep: When we play games or keep activities going, we exercise our mind and our body. We release happy hormones and spend time with our loved ones. All of this can help us relieve feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. It makes us feel more relaxed and helps us get better sleep. Playing outdoors with the support of a senior citizen care taker, can help older adults exercise and work out their muscles. It can make them physically tired, aiding in better sleep. Sleeping well is very important for both physical and mental health in older adults.
Elcare is an elder care service provider that is dedicated to improving the physical and mental wellness of elders via various services including senior citizen care taker services & home care nursing services. For more information about our Health & Wellness Advisory and other services, call us on 08045914567.