For the average American aged 65+, home is where the heart is. According to AARP’s 2021 Home and Community Preferences Survey, most seniors want to continue living in their current residences for as long as possible. However, spending too much time at home can negatively affect a senior’s quality of life and place their independence at risk. If you are an informal caregiver for senior care, what follows are some creative ways to get them up and out of the house.
The Link Between Inactivity and Mortality
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, seniors between the ages of 70 and 95 who rarely leave the house have higher mortality rates than seniors who leave their homes regularly. The researchers also discovered that older adults who leave the house every day experienced the lowest mortality rates across all study groups.
Why Seniors Don’t Leave the House
Staying at home for extended periods can be detrimental to a senior’s physical, emotional, and cognitive health. In addition to exacerbating existing medical conditions, a lack of social interaction and physical activity can cause or worsen mental health issues like loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Top reasons why older adults don’t leave their homes to include:
- Losing their driving privileges
- Loss of a spouse or other close loved one
- Financial hardship
- Cognitive changes resulting from dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Functional limitations caused by aging
How to Help a Senior Stay Active
As a concerned friend or relative, here are five fun out of the house activities that your senior might enjoy:
Run errands together
Many adults stop running errands as they grow older, preferring to have family or friends do them on their behalf. Get your senior out of the house by insisting that you run errands together. By having someone lend them a hand with difficult errand responsibilities, your loved one will benefit from spending time in the community while enjoying your companionship.
Take a walk
Taking your senior for a walk around the neighborhood or through a local park is another great way to get them outside the house while engaging in much-needed physical activity. In addition to getting fresh air, short, ten to twenty-minute walks provide seniors with health benefits that include stress relief, enhanced cardiovascular endurance, and social engagement.
Sign up for weekly activities
Give your seniors something to look forward to each week by helping them sign up for fun activities through a local community center, senior center, or faith-based organization. Card games, dances, gardening clubs, Yoga classes, and art classes are prime examples of senior activities that might motivate your loved one to get out of the house.
Visit some old friends
Spending an afternoon reminiscing with old friends is yet another activity your senior will enjoy. Offer to drive them to their friend’s house or host a monthly activity like a bridge club or cooking club in your home. Either way, it will give your loved one a reason to leave their house and socialize with others.
Take advantage of community markets
Many communities host weekly farmer’s markets at senior-friendly locations. These markets are a great way for seniors to spend time outdoors while picking up healthy fruits and vegetables for the week. Depending on your loved one’s hobbies and interests, volunteer to take them to community flea markets, arts-and-crafts shows, and other outdoor venues.
We Love Getting Seniors Out of the House!
Encouraging an aging loved one to get out of the house isn’t always easy when you’re busy or live far away. At New Wave Home Care, we’ve been helping families in Southern California keep aging loved ones safe and comfortable in their own homes for 10+ years now. As a licensed home care provider, we support clients and their families with personalized in-home solutions like personal care, transitional care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and hospice support.
When you choose New Wave Home Care in Pasadena, you can rest assured that your loved one is getting the specialized care they need from a trusted, friendly caregiver. To learn more now or schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in the greater Los Angeles area, please visit us at www.newwavehomecare.com.