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Past Postings
Most recent
February 11, 2021
Senior Tech 101
December 13, 2020
A Guide to Wilderness Medicine
May 29, 2020
Healthy Ways to Spend Time With Seniors
December 20, 2019
Wineries with the Wilson's
November 11, 2019
Road Trip to Napa and B. Bryan Preserve
July 15, 2019
Post 7 in the 1990's
June 14, 2019
April 23, 2019
Handyman Extraordinar
February 21, 2019
Wood Badger, Nate Chavez
January 25, 2019
Gilwell Fellowship 2018
September 24, 2018
Peru Moot
August 19, 2018
GoFundMe has soared above $85k for Walter Carr
July 21, 2018
BP Fellowship, Mexico 2018
June 16, 2018
It Started with the
Dark-Green Twill Square Knot!

October 30, 2017
Swastikas in Scouting
September 27, 2017
31st APR Scout Jamboree 2017
September 24, 2017
Chris Hagerty, A True Scouter
August 21, 2017
Water Parks
July 8, 2017
I'm Glad I'm a Veteran
May 29, 2017
Antiquities of Egypt and Jordan
May 25, 2017
Two Winning Mission Patches!
March 30, 2017
A Worthy Certificate
March 19, 2017
Foster Father Takes Only Terminally Ill Children
February 15, 2017
Travel Ban
January 30, 2017
Ecuador Visit
January 14, 2017
December 11, 2016
Here's to Your Health!  The Benefits of Hiking
December 4, 2016
Iceland Visit
November 30, 2016
Clean Water
November 28, 2016
Becoming Consumers of Good News!
November 25, 2016

Healthy Ways to Spend Time with Seniors in Assisted Living

It can be difficult to watch a senior parent or relative transition into an assisted living facility.  You can ease that transition, however, by scheduling regular visits with your loved one.  Of course, you may want to plan or bring some entertaining activities when you visit, and you will also want to make sure those activities benefit your senior.  With this in mind, here are some fun ideas for spending time with a senior in assisted living and how to make the most of your time together.

Watch Some Hollywood Classics

If your senior has a love of classic movies, make it easier for them to enjoy some of their favorites.  Find a streaming device you can set up in their room so you can enjoy some fun entertainment together or for them to peruse solo.  Just be sure to check with facility staff about accessing WiFi and make a streaming device comparison to see what's most compatible with your senior's TV.  To make those movie afternoons extra special, think about bringing some healthy snacks.  Fruits, veggies and healthy dips are all good choices for helping seniors stay healthy.

Put Together Some Puzzles

Want to challenge your brain and spend some quality time with a senior in assisted living?  Then bring along a few puzzles.  You can bring a 300-piece puzzle for one afternoon or pick up a more challenging puzzle and work on it over a few visits.  In addition to being fun, not to mention budget-friendly, puzzles can have some major health benefits as well.  Working out puzzles can improve memory, problem-solving abilities, and visual-spatial reasoning for adults of all ages but for seniors, puzzles can also slow the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's.

Try Out Some New Hobbies

Much like puzzles, hobbies can be fun and beneficial for you and your senior loved one.  Spending time learning a new hobby or practicing an old passion can help reduce stress levels, enhance immune system responses, and improve cognitive function.  Active hobbies, such as yoga, dancing and painting can provide the most health benefits, but you may need to find alternative activities for seniors with limited mobility.  You'll notice puzzles and movies on this list but you could also spend time reading, scrap booking or even doing chair exercises together.  Just try to keep your loved one's physical or mental limitations in mind when planning.

Pet Some Puppies or Kittens

Want to bring joy to your loved one's life? Then bring your pet on your next visit together!  Many assisted living centers allow residents or guests to have animals on the property, but you should check with your loved one's facility for permission before bringing your own pet.  Time with pets can benefit seniors in several different ways, including lower blood pressure, enhanced memory, and lessened feelings of depression.  If you don't have a dog or cat to bring, you can also look into pet therapy groups that can provide furry friends to make your visits more fun.  These same groups may be able to bring pets in for other residents as well, to help spread those benefits.

Just Spend Some Time Together

If you're anxious about how to spend quality time with your senior loved one, you really shouldn't be! Honestly, just visiting and being with a senior who is in an assisted living facility is helpful enough, especially for preventing feelings of isolation.  You can catch up with your loved one, choose one of the activities above, or simply be present.  In fact, even if you don't have a senior loved one in assisted living, volunteering with seniors can be a good way to help them, and help yourself.

Whether you want to help a senior loved one or seniors in general, visiting with residents of assisted living facilities is a good way to start.  So bring some movies, bring some games, but most importantly, just bring yourself!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

By Andrea Needham