We can Help!

Just because our loved ones may have been diagnosed with depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or are recuperating from a hospital stay, does not mean that they should be shuttered into the shadows of their room. Lack of physical activity, limited brain stimulation, and the absence of socialization will contribute to general decline.

Thinking outside the box, being flexible, and understanding the patient or loved one’s needs provides for effective care. Planning ahead and having a well-trained and experienced caregiver to encourage and promote active engagement is a must. Productive activities keep your loved ones actively engaged.

The following is a list of 21 basic activities that promote physical activity, mental stimulation, or both:

- Taking short daily strolls is an inexpensive, yet healthy activity. If the patient is a fall risk, a trained caregiver can assist in this activity.

- A visit to a gym is just what some inactive family members need. Physical activity contributes to a healthier cardiovascular system, which in turn contributes to a healthier brain. Again, if the patient is a fall risk, our trained and experienced caregivers can assist and provide companionship while keeping a watchful eye. The YMCA would be a good place to start for those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Local YMCAs have a pre-diabetes program. The goals of the program include losing 7% of body weight, and slowly increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Call your local YMCA for more information or go to their website -     http://ymca.net/diabetes-prevention/about.html.

- Going on short nature trail walks can be rewarding for a senior. Having a trained and experienced caregiver along provides for great safety and the opportunity to interact and enjoy our local habitat. This activity offers a multi-sensory experience. There are several nature trails at Wekiwa Springs State Park, in Central Florida. These trails range from 1/8th of a mile to 13 1/2 miles. http://www.floridastateparks.org/WekiwaSprings/  

- Playing music on the radio, CD player, or IPod is great therapy. Along with the patient, a caregiver can also encourage physical movement through music.

- A caregiver can help gather a few simple instruments such as a basic tambourine or a set of maracas and encourage the client to use these while listening to music.  

- Reviewing the lyrics to a favorite song, and singing along with the patient provides an ideal opportunity to be actively engaged. Recording the moment and playing it back for the patient will be great feedback.

- If the client is bed-bound, a caregiver can converse, read a newspaper out loud, show family pictures, and even help write personal notes to family and friends.

- A caregiver may assist a client in helping set up a bird feeder for the backyard.

- If grandparents liked watching birds from their old porch, a caregiver can encourage and assist them in keeping the small bird bath full of clean water and taking grandmother out to purchase bird seeds.

- Creating some simple origami figures is a great hands-on activity for someone who needs to keep their hands busy.

- A Senior Helpers caregiver can take your parent to a local art class. Painting classes involve kinesthetic, and visual activity.

- Want to learn how to knit or crochet? Encourage seniors to register for a class at a local craft and art supply store. These classes also incorporate different learning styles: kinesthetic, visual and auditory. Often, these classes are small, and you get more one-on-one help. http://www.joann.com/classes/ http://classes.michaels.com/OnlineClasses/control/main?firstVisit=firstVisit

- Has anyone heard of Laughter Yoga? The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando has been offering Laughter Yoga classes for older adults. Our caregivers will make sure your loved one does not miss the opportunity to laugh. http://www.orlandojcc.org/adults/laughter_yoga

- Working crossword puzzles has been proven to help keep the mind active. A caregiver can work alongside your parents. This gives way for some healthy competition.

- Does your loved one miss playing cards, dominoes, and Scrabble? A Senior Helper caregiver will enjoy the opportunity to keep up with your loved one’s interests.

- Our caregiver can take your grandparents to local Tai Chi classes.

- Your mother is afraid to go outside and take the dog for a walk, for fear that she may fall? Our caregivers can assist your loved during these walks.

- Talking with caregivers, and making new friends opens up the opportunity for social interaction.

- Creating scrapbooks with old birthday cards, photos, and mementos is a great way that our caregivers can help your loved one become actively engaged in a hands-on activity.

- A Senior Helpers caregiver can assist a grandparent in taking nature photos while going on afternoon walks to parks or nature trails.  Later, these photos can be used to make special occasion cards for family members or friends.

- Assisting loved ones in the kitchen and incorporating favorite family recipes will trigger some unique childhood memories. Our caregivers can also assist your parents in the kitchen.

We hope this list gives you some great ideas on how our caregivers can help your loved ones become active. If you are in need of an experienced caregiver to care and encourage your loved one to participate in productive activities do not hesitate to call Senior Helpers at 407-628-4357.

Senior Helpers Orlando

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