Stay Social and Enjoy Hobbies This Summer’s End

two people gardening in the backyard picking tomatoes

In late August, it is the perfect time to explore the outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. In addition to the physical benefits of natural sunlight and fresh air, being outdoors provides many mental health benefits for seniors, offering a wonderful outlet to reduce anxiety and feelings of isolation. Here, the qualified aging in place professionals at Avila Home Care reveal some fun summer activities for seniors to help stay active and healthy during the late summer months.

Social Connection and Interaction is Beneficial to the Elderly

Connecting with loved ones or friends, even virtually, can bring a sense of joy and happiness, especially in confusing times such as these. As an elderly individual, these interactions can also provide ample physical and emotional benefits. Interacting with friends or family on a frequent basis has been linked to a decreased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s in seniors, allowing individuals to maintain a higher quality of life and a sense of independence. As your loved ones move into retirement, the amount of free time to pursue enjoyable and social activities increases. Maintaining a strong social schedule with friends can provide a fantastic outlet to connect with others, even if it is through digital platforms. While social interaction may look different as we maneuver through the coronavirus pandemic, adapting to social distancing practices and finding new ways to spend time with loved ones over digital outlets is certainly possible. 

Communication Can Ease the Stress of Social Distancing

On top of the fears that many elderly individuals face when it comes to their physical health in the midst of COVID-19, emotional stress may also be exacerbated by a change in routine. Communicating with loved ones through video chat applications such as Zoom or FaceTime, as well as through phone calls and texts, can go a long way. The comfort of knowing that family members are safe and healthy can dramatically ease stress and anxiety for both parties. Additionally, try to think positively throughout this time and focus on future activities as restrictions are lifted. While it is important to maintain social distancing and safety practices, planning activities in the future with your loved ones brings a sense of hope and gives them something to look forward to. While some elderly individuals may not have a smartphone or computer, even a simple phone call a few times a week can make all the difference. If you take the time to call your elderly loved one, you may be the only person they speak to that day, and talking with them can provide extraordinary benefits. 

Start a New Hobby During This Time 

While you may have to remain at home until restrictions are eased, this does not mean that you cannot be productive. Starting a new hobby, or picking up an old one that you previously didn’t have time for, can bring immense joy in an unpredictable time. For example, activities such as gardening, painting, sewing or reading can all be done from the home, and you can use these activities to stay social. Consider starting a virtual book club where you catch up with friends on a weekly basis about interesting reads. If you are trying to take up gardening, call a friend who you know has a green thumb, and talk to him or her about the best practices for making your spring and summer garden flourish. While quarantine may feel never-ending, be assured that there are many ways to enjoy the rest of summer while staying safe.

Consider Utilizing Avila Home Care’s Aging in Place Services

Taking steps to remain active in your social life during this time can help prevent anxiety, stress and depression. At Avila Home Care, our compassionate aging-in-place specialists offer transportation and companionship services to ensure that your loved ones are kept safe and comfortable as they age. To learn more about how Avila Home Care can assist you, contact us today.

 

The aging in place caregivers at Avila Home Care always encourage readers to discuss any health questions or concerns with a qualified healthcare professional.

Some content in this article was sourced from PLOS Medicine, AASC, and The Conversation.

 

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