The Best Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living Facilities

senior men playing chess

There is a common misconception that senior care assisted living facilities imply retiring into a rocking chair to watch mundane TV shows and occasionally playing bingo. Regardless of age, everybody has the same basic desires in life: to explore, have fun, learn, and live life to the fullest. Today’s seniors are more zestful than you may think. They desire adventure, plenty of stimulation, and are always open to learning new things. In fact, most assisted living residents are able to enjoy more fulfilling experiences than they ever had at home.

Finding engaging activities for seniors in assisted living facilities is a crucial component of high-quality life and can positively impact their stay. Lifelong learning allows people to feel energized and interested in life. Socialization and eliminating loneliness among older adults is very necessary for staying healthy in their later years. Being able to interact with others and have social connections can make their time in an assisted living facility more meaningful, purposeful, and valuable. This article will elaborate on the benefits that certain activities for assisted living facilities can provide for your loved ones.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is known to be very therapeutic and fulfilling for seniors, especially those who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Challenging seniors to create art gives them an opportunity to expand their minds and view things from a new perspective. Unlike a regular art class, art therapy classes are led by professional art therapists who are trained to help people gain self-understanding, effectively process their emotional changes, and promote a general sense of well-being. For those suffering from memory loss, the simple act of creating may stimulate the senses and revive long-forgotten memories. Additionally, art therapy can effectively enhance motor skills by increasing blood flow, improving muscle coordination, and building greater dexterity over time.

Live Entertainment and Music Therapy

Music has the powerful ability to take us back in time and evoke fond memories and feelings from the past. Studies confirm the positive relationship between music and the elderly brain, proving that music therapy can help seniors enhance their memory, improve communication, relieve stress, and promote physical and mental rehabilitation.  Moreover, music has the ability to bring people together, which can help seniors build vital connections that help them stay socially active, and increase happiness.

Senior man petting a dog

Pet Therapy

According to a UCLA study, even a few hours with an animal can help prevent depression and loneliness, and even blood pressure and reduced cholesterol. Pet therapy programs offer many physiological and emotional benefits and can enhance a sense of community within long-term care residences. Pets can encourage and motivate seniors to stay healthy and get more exercise, which also gives them the feeling of being needed. Emotionally, pets can provide the elderly with companionship, as well as increased self-esteem, increased social interaction, and reduced loneliness. Overall, pet therapy is a wonderful way for seniors who love animals to stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Daily Exercise

Maintaining our physical fitness becomes more difficult with age. Health experts have reported that physical activity not only extends life expectancy but also improves the overall quality of life. As we age, our muscles shorten, bones grow brittle, and coordination and balance may decrease. At Glen Park, we encourage our residents to participate in a variety of physical activities, such as daily walks, dance lessons, self-defense classes, and more. Being able to get those endorphins flowing and muscles moving can increase mobility and serotonin levels. Regular physical activity can help prevent common diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, improve mental health, and improve cognitive function. Daily exercise activities also allow seniors to experience social engagement, which helps them feel a sense of belonging and avoid feelings of loneliness.