If you are a compassionate and supportive person who enjoys working and interacting with the elderly, you might already be thinking about enrolling in a therapeutic recreation program online. Should you choose to pursue training in this field, you will learn all about planning and implementing therapeutic recreation services for senior citizens. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be able to find work in senior centers, assisted living housing units, rehabilitation centers, and even in residential settings. One of your responsibilities would involve encouraging the residents of these establishments to participate in a wide range of activities, and you’ll likely have to come up with some of these activities yourself. Read on to learn more about some of the fun activities you might try to coordinate once you break into the field.
Arts & Crafts
Anyone who has had community support worker training knows that creativity is essential to engaging the mind, both cognitively and psychologically. Pottery is a creative activity that can be beneficial for both the mind and body. While the shaping process of pottery provides exercise to the hands, the process of creating something can actually improve an individual’s psychological well-being. Studies have shown that art therapy has the ability to improve self-esteem and reduce depression and anxiety in senior citizens. Additionally, creating art can provide the elderly with a sense of worth and contribution, as well as an opportunity to express themselves.
Light Physical Activities
Individuals who have earned their therapeutic recreation diploma understand the importance of exercising to maintain a healthy body. As people age, their bones and muscles begin to weaken, and this means that the smallest of accidents can actually cause a lot of physical harm to their bodies. Individuals working in community centers or adult day centers usually try to incorporate some sort of physical activity into a resident’s day. Some ideas include low intensity exercise classes, nature walks, swimming, or even biking.
Just as regular exercise is important for maintaining physical health, the mind should also be stimulated regularly. A great way to get senior residents involved in an intellectually stimulating activity is to motivate them to join a book club. This way, they can read about all of the different lifestyles and cultures that currently exist or existed once upon a time. Book clubs also provide senior citizens with the opportunity to be a part of a community where they can discuss and speak freely about the books that they are interested in. Literature can be very engaging, which means that this activity also provides a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that everyone needs sometimes.
Can you think of any other fun activities for senior citizens?