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Ideal Activities To Keep Seniors From Feeling Lonely Or Depressed

Posted on December 3, 2018 with 0 comments

Seniors who don’t have much contact with other people can quickly start to feel lonely or depressed. You can help your loved ones avoid those unwanted emotions by encouraging him or her to socialize and participate in activities that offer a sense of purpose.

If you’re worried about a senior in your life, try the following five activities to prevent loneliness and depression.

1. Tai Chi

Exercise stimulates endorphins that make people feel happier and less anxious. Since many seniors can’t enjoy the sports and exercises that they loved when they were younger, you should introduce them to low-impact options that will fend off symptoms of depression.

Tai chi works well because it keeps seniors active and provides a social opportunity by introducing them to other people in their peer group. Search your area for classes that fit your loved one’s level of fitness. Some gyms and yoga schools even teach seated tai chi classes for people with mobility issues.  If you have any questions about a class it’s always best to reach out ahead of time to express any concerns and receive guidance when selecting the appropriate class for your loved one.

2. Caring for Children

Caring for children can help your loved one feel a sense of purpose by contributing to the family’s well being.  As long as the senior in your life is capable of watching young children, you can set up play dates that benefit the whole family.  By spending time with seniors, children have a greater potential for social development and increased social intelligence.   And you benefit because you get to enjoy a night off from watching the kids.

3. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation offers many benefits for seniors including managing negative emotions such as depression and anxiety, slowing down the progression of Alzheimers’, improving memory and promoting calm and relaxation. Numerous studies show that practicing mindfulness meditation can help seniors avoid depression with some studies showing that it can even be as effective antidepressant medications in some cases.

Mindfulness meditation is accessible for most people because the technique focuses on paying attention to your breathing and passing thoughts. This form of meditation doesn’t have any religious associations, so your loved one can practice it regardless of his or her religious beliefs.

You can make mindfulness meditation even more effective by finding a meditation center in your area.  Most cities in California and Texas have meditation centers where seniors can meet other people interested in mindfulness.

4. Caring for a Pet

Pets can work wonders for people struggling with loneliness and depression. Caring for another living being can empower seniors with a deeper sense of purpose. Pets who require time outside can provide your seniors with the motivation that might be required to spend time in the sun.

Pets also offer the unconditional love that so many people crave. Relationships with animals can be much less complicated than those with human.

Owning a pet can also make it easier for seniors to reconnect with their communities. Visiting a dog park, for instance, creates a chance to talk to other dog owners in the neighborhood.

5. Plan Days Out With the Family

As some seniors age, they can require much more assistance which can lead to feelings of guilt or embarrassment.  As a caregiver, who spends a significant amount of time caring for your loved one it can be easy to overlook the quality of your time spent together.

By planning some fun family outings you can keep the relationship feeling fun and adventurous rather than burdensome. Outings to the zoo, a museum, or bowling alley can rejuvenate the relationship while making sure other people in your family have time to spend with your loved one.

Make sure you choose activities that are both accessible to your senior’s mobility level. Even if it just means going out to dinner, though, it’s important for you and your loved one to have fun with other people outside of the house.

Reducing the symptoms of loneliness and depression can add years to your loved one’s life. Happy seniors often have lower blood pressure, fewer long-term illnesses, and brighter outlooks.

 

Image: Freepik

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