Progress in medicine and health treatment has led to an ever-increasing demand for personal support workers (PSWs) to offer care for a growing elderly community. One of the problems many PSWs face is engaging clients in stimulating, active pursuits, and a recent study has found that seniors today have significantly less participation in activities than in the past.
For clients with reduced mobility or cognitive function, it can be especially difficult to find appropriate activities. Here are a few ideas PSWs can use to get their clients to have fun and stay active.
Have a Party, Dance, or Themed Event
Events are a great way to bring people together and have a good time in a group setting. Some elderly patients are at risk for isolation and depression, which can lead to a lower quality of life. For seniors in residential care, an opportunity to get dressed up or prepare for a special event can be a great motivator to engage and have fun. Creative options include, but aren’t limited to, a dinner party, casino night, or even a ballroom dancing event.
Good conversation can elevate a client’s mood, and reminiscing about the past or talking about shared interests can get seniors mentally and socially active without too much physical strain, allowing them to participate in an engaging and stimulating activity.
Draw from Your Personal Support Worker Course and Engage Clients with Games
A supportive, compensatory approach is ideal when planning activities. Due to the fact that some seniors are more mobile or have different capabilities than others, it is important to remember that physical activity certainly isn’t the only way seniors can have fun.
Students who have graduated from a personal support worker college program know that activities which keep the mind busy can improve cognitive function in elderly clients. PSWs should provide games which are challenging without being too frustrating, and provide good stimulation. Card games, puzzles, and classics like bingo and checkers can all get clients mentally engaged and active. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a group event, and can include one-person options like crossword puzzles and word searches.
PSW Private College Grads Can Get Creative with Arts and Crafts
Personal support workers can get clients in touch with their creative side in a variety of ways. From drawing to painting, to knitting, to scrapbooking, creativity is fun, engaging, and can even help improve a client’s health. For seniors battling chronic illness, channelling creative expression into a recreational activity can help decrease negative emotions and even reduce stress and anxiety.
Gardening, Bird-Watching, and Outdoor Activities
Multisensory activities can jog long-term memory capability, and outdoor activities can be beneficial simply by getting clients connected with nature. One of the important lessons students learn in any personal support worker course is that clients respond differently to different environments, but outdoor activities can be modified to avoid too much physical exertion for those living with more limiting disabilities.
Indoor or outdoor gardening, for instance, stimulates a variety of senses, and even gives clients a chance to do some low impact exercise as they tackle tasks such as repotting plants and watering flowers. Additionally, light physical activities like bird-watching or a modified yoga lesson can be a positive, relaxing pastime that gets clients active and out into the fresh air.
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