Outdoor Fun - Essential for the Elderly

Outdoor Fun - Essential for the Elderly

Hooray, summer is finally here and we can all look forward to spending more time outdoors. This also applies to the older generation who can sometimes be overlooked but who can benefit greatly by spending time in the fresh air and in different surroundings.

With the Rio Olympics almost upon us, people of all ages can enjoy their own fun ‘sporting achievements’ in their own back gardens or local parks. Why not get all the family to join in with our all-inclusive games like Floor Basketball, Bean Bag Number Toss, Tin Can Alley or our Giant Inflatable Hoopla. These games can be played either seated or standing, are ideal for anyone in a wheelchair and will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Activities to Share has 15 years of experience in sourcing and providing activity products especially for older people and for those who have a dementia. We offer a huge range of items to bring the fun into people’s leisure time, to stimulate the mind and body and to encourage social interaction with others.

Many older people can spend months cooped up indoors, leading to a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D deficiency which can have an adverse effect on brain, bone and muscle function. With a little bit of advance planning, people of all abilities can join in and have a truly memorable time either with their families or friends.

Although care givers may be aware of the benefits, sometimes it seems as if the obstacles, such as wheelchair access, toileting etc. are too great to overcome. Try to prepare patients in advance, such as gentle exercises to build up muscle tone, ensure venues have disabled toilet facilities that are in full working order. If the weather is warm, ensure there is plenty to drink and a shady area to escape to.

For anyone with a dementia, too much noise and movement can be upsetting, so allow a space to ‘chill out’ from time to time. Keep some familiar objects such as a favourite blanket, photograph or handbag to hand to create a sense of calm. Try to engage the person in conversation about their memories of school sports or past sporting events. Our reminiscence Pictures to Share ‘A Sporting Life’ book is packed with pictures past and present to stimulate memories and discussion.

If you have a handy table, why not include some creative fun too? Little terracotta plant pots can be decorated with paints – a lovely activity for grandparents to do with younger grandchildren to encourage closer connections between the generations. Our Sunflower Pot Craft Kits are ideal and come with everything you need.

Why not include a picnic for participants; colourful plates and napkins, along with the fresh air can do wonders to stimulate older people to eat heartily. Why not give the food a retro feel with small pork pies, ham sandwiches, fruit set in jelly and a Victoria sponge. Add music if facilities allow. Print out some song sheets and enjoy a singalong to well-known tunes like our ‘Happy Days’ CD set.

Whatever you do, Activities to Share has just the thing to make your outdoor party fun,  check out our website now.

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