Leisure and lifestyle activities play an important role in the well being of our seniors. Activities are a helpful tool for creating an engaging and enjoyable environment for our residents, while also promoting a sense of community and connection.
At Kew Gardens, our lifestyle program aims to entertain and promote equal participation for all our members. We understand that our diverse range of seniors have differing needs, especially those who may have dementia. For this reason, we consider how the tasks can meet the individual needs and interests of our residents when planning activities.
The Importance of Lifestyle Activities in Aged Care
Leisure and lifestyle activities not only create a fun environment for our seniors, but they also are linked to a wide variety of health benefits.
Our activities provide residents with a range of well being outcomes, including:
- Physical improvement
- Cognitive growth
- Emotional engagement
- Social development
Older people over the age of 65 should be doing at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. This is because exercise minimises the impact of ageing on their bodies. Regular exercise can help seniors strengthen their joints and improve muscle mass, ultimately enhancing their mobility and balance.
Physical activity also improves bone density, which can minimise the risk of broken bones and osteoporosis. Furthermore, exercise can promote positive cardiovascular health which can reduce the risk of age-related heart disease.
As we age, we become increasingly at risk of degenerative mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Cognitive activities can help prevent these diseases by engaging the mind and promoting regular neurological activity.
Unfortunately, not all our residents are physically able to participate in activities. Therefore we engage them with group activities that promote a sense of social connection, community and belonging. Through this, seniors avoid feelings of isolation, which can cause mental or emotional distress.
Our Specialised Aged Care Lifestyle Programs
Modern aged care leisure and lifestyle programs include a wide range of specialised activities and approaches, designed by a qualified team in order to meet physical, cognitive and social needs of residents.
Often, these programs may include:
- Activities for dementia residents in aged care
- Pet therapy
- Diversional therapy aged care activities
- Music therapy
Keep reading to find out more about some of the community activities offered here at Kew Gardens.
Types of Physical Activities
Regular walking is an effective and simple way to keep physically fit, as well as increase longevity and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. Our aged care residents enjoy walking around the fresh air of a nearby park, such as Alexandra Gardens. Often they prefer to walk in groups so they can socialise while exercising.
The Drumming Programme is an effective cardiovascular workout. We take the movement of drumming and transform it into a full-body exercise for our residents. The Programme is a fun and easy workout that is accessible for a range of seniors.
Stretching and resistance activities help joint flexibility, which can improve mobility. The residents use elastic bands or light weights to provide some resistance and improve muscle mass. We aim to provide strength and resistance training two or more days per week, allowing a rest day in between.
Gardening is a great social activity that gets our aged care residents moving. Our gardening enthusiasts enjoy the dedicated courtyard spaces, where they often plant a wide variety of flowers, herbs and veggies. Gardening encourages residents to be outside and on their feet, helping their joint mobility through regular movement.
Yoga is an excellent activity that helps increase the flexibility and mobility of our residents. Our instructors use adapted yoga poses that can challenge, but not strain our elderly residents. Yoga is also a great form of extremely relaxing meditation which always leaves the seniors feeling stress-free and happy.
Floor games create a fun environment that encourage residents to get on their feet and start exercising! These activities make use of ball games to develop our residents coordination skills and joint movement.
Our Cognitive Activities
Sensory activities are great for physically disabled residents. These activities can include aromatherapy, blind tasting, or games like guess the sound. By engaging various bodily senses, the activities help maintain the cognitive well being of our seniors.
Sewing and crocheting is a great activity to engage elderly residents who experience limited mobility, as the skill focuses on developing coordination skills rather than improving strength. Our aged care home view these activities as an opportunity for community building, as we like to knit squares for vulnerable communities across the world.
Art and Crafts
Arts and crafts activities are a great way to engage both our male and female residents. The activities include painting, making ornaments or floral arranging. In addition, arts and crafts are a great time for socialising with the residents and developing their creative cognitive skills.
Reading is a meaningful way to maintain the cognitive ability of our aged care residents. Book clubs are a great community activity that helps motivate the seniors to read and make friends along the way!
For our visually impaired residents, we also make use of audiobooks to promote participation.
Our courtyard bingo sessions help add to the fun social environment that we have at Kew Gardens. Moreover, Bingo games are beneficial for the senior’s memories, as the game promotes cognitive thinking skills like speed, attention and alertness.
At Kew Gardens we have a wide variety of music activities, such as gentle harp or discussing the most significant composers with Lana.
Types of Social Activities
Special events for families to come join our residents is another beneficial way for building a larger community. Resident interactions with their families promote a positive connection outside of our facility and help improve their mood.
Social clubs help our residents make friends and build a supportive community. Furthermore, social connections help our residents maintain a happy mood and avoid any mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
At Kew Gardens, we have a range of clubs available which includes:
- Men’s business
- Golden Ladies Chat Group
- Coffee club
Looking after pets
Pet therapy is an excellent way of encouraging our more quiet residents to participate in the activity. Friendly trained volunteers visit us with a range of animals such as ducks, chickens, goats and even sheep! We find that the animals create a positive and enjoyable environment for all our residents at Kew Gardens.