A sense of purposelessness is one of the worst feelings a person can have.  It’s always important that seniors whether they be a loved one, friend or client know they are valued and can still contribute.  One way to help a senior feel this way is by encouraging productive activities. Although this varies by age and ability, productive activities are what get us up in the morning! Productive activities give us a sense of value and purpose.

It can be so easy to take productive activities away from your senior under the assumption that you are helping. But when a senior feels that they no longer have the ability to contribute they lose their sense of value and purpose.  Sometimes we may feel that we can get it done faster or more efficiently if we do it ourselves.  That may be true, but what is it telling the senior you are spending time with?

Sorting is one of my favorite productive things to do with our clients. So many of our clients have boxes or bags of old photographs that they haven’t gone through in years! It is really fun sorting through the pictures and reminiscing about family and friends and organizing. Some of our caregivers have made an entire project out of this idea, going to the store with their client and getting albums and working together to put them together.  Another productive activity I have a lot of fun with is clipping coupons. Going through the Sunday paper, clipping and organizing coupons is a great activity and saves money too.

When visiting with a senior that has advanced dementia and is not able to sort through photos or coupons it’s fun to sort using different colored buttons, shapes and other distinct items. This gives them a great sense of accomplishment.

We want seniors to continue doing everything they can do, with assistance when they need it. Sorting laundry, putting away dishes, watering plants are all things that are productive. If you would like a complete list of ideas let us know we would happy to send you one!

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