6 Activities That Can Be Therapeutic for Aging Adults

Therapy can take many forms. For seniors living with clinical conditions such as depression and anxiety, traditional therapy may be the most effective option. However, for some seniors, therapy simply means new leisure activities, interesting volunteer work, or invigorating physical exercise. Here are six therapeutic activities suitable for aging adults.

1. Art

For seniors who cannot express themselves verbally, art therapy can provide a new expressive outlet. Art therapy can enhance interpersonal abilities, emotional resilience, cognitive function, and motor skills. It also comes in a myriad of forms, ensuring each senior can find a visual art that suits his or her individual needs. Seniors can try making collages, coloring in adult coloring books, drawing, painting, sculpting, and scrapbooking.

2. Meditation

Seniors with anxiety may want to try meditation. Practicing mindfulness meditation can help aging adults get rid of negative thoughts, which in turn boosts mood and overall emotional wellbeing. While it can take a few sessions to master meditation, it’s easy to start. Seniors interested in the practice can download a meditation app or find audio and video guides at their local libraries.

3. Exercising

When aging adults exercise, it spurs the production of endorphins and neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that boost mood. Even a small amount of consistent physical activity can help seniors manage depression and anxiety and build confidence. Seniors don’t need to overexert themselves. In fact, most experts recommend that sedentary seniors ease back into a regular exercise regimen. For instance, they can start by going for a walk outside. The benefits of cardiovascular exercise and the sun-induced boost of vitamin D are sure to lift seniors’ spirits. 

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Aging adults who need help with exercise should think about hiring a professional caregiver with experience and training in senior care. La Mesa seniors with balance and mobility issues can exercise safely with the assistance of a caregiver.

4. Volunteering

Everyone is different. Some seniors need therapeutic activities that allow them to look inward and change the way they perceive themselves. Other seniors find fulfillment through activities that let them give back to their communities. For these seniors, volunteer work can be a therapeutic post-retirement pastime. There are many organizations in need of assistance, ranging from public libraries to soup kitchens. Interested seniors and their caregivers should look through local help wanted ads for suitable volunteer positions.

5. Gardening

Guided meditation is a great way to achieve clarity of mind, but some people simply don’t have the patience to perform daily breathing exercises. For seniors who like to work with their hands, gardening is a great choice. It can have a calming, meditative effect on the mind. Digging, planting, and weeding keep the mind engaged on the task at hand, redirecting negative thoughts toward a positive goal.

6. Music Therapy

As with art therapy, the power of music to enhance emotional wellbeing is well documented. When seniors feel down or simply need a pick-me-up, they should turn to a favorite album or song. Music can also have a cumulative impact on emotional wellness. The more seniors listen to music, the more enjoyment they can derive from it. Creating music also has impressive therapeutic benefits. Seniors with an interest in music may want to join a local choir or learn to play a new instrument.

The above suggestions can be therapeutic for people of all ages, and they’re especially helpful for seniors. If your loved one needs help managing anxiety, depression, or any other mental or physical health condition, we’re here to help. The compassionate, experienced professional caregivers from Coast Care Partners provide seniors with companionship as well as social and mental stimulation. We are also a leading provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s home care. La Mesa residents should reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at 619-354-2544.