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4 Hobbies That Can Benefit Senior Health

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on September 7, 2015

Getting older can bring both physical and mental changes, but hobbies are a way seniors can offset some of these changes and bring enjoyment to their lives. There are many diverse activities seniors can participate in, and here are 4 that may help improve your senior loved one’s physical and mental health, brought to you by the staff at Chandler Home Care Assistance.

1. Swimming

For seniors with joint pain who love being in the water, swimming can be a great mix of hobby and exercise. The water can support your loved one’s weight, allowing him or her to get a full workout without putting too much pressure on the joints. Also, since swimming is an aerobic exercise, his or her heart can become more efficient at pumping blood through the body, helping prevent heart disease and fatty build-ups in the arteries.

2. Gardening

Gardening not only provides a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also potential physical and mental health benefits for your loved one. The kneeling, digging, raking, and other movements involved in gardening can engage different muscle groups, promote hand strength and joint flexibility, and improve overall motor skills. Just being outside while gardening can boost vitamin D levels and help prevent heart disease. Your loved one may also find purpose from watching a plant grow and nurturing it, improving mood while relieving feelings of stress or anxiety.

3. Genealogy

Seniors often have first-hand experiences and memories younger family members don’t have. Genealogy can allow your loved one to trace family history and find out where his or her family originated. For seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the process of researching and learning about family history can stimulate memory and help prevent cognitive decline.

4. Arts

Whether it’s drawing, painting, photography, dance, theater, or music, there’s likely an art your loved one will enjoy. Not only will he or she be more active, but the physical aspects of art can also help improve hand/eye coordination or strengthen hand muscles. The creativity involved in producing art can stimulate the mind, enhance mood, and help prevent depression.

Spending time with your loved one while he or she enjoys a hobby can be a great way to find out if he or she has any care needs that aren’t being met. If your loved one needs help with grocery shopping, transportation, or even regular companionship, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and hourly care in Chandler. Our flexible care schedules are designed so seniors who wish to age in place have the assistance to do so comfortably and safely. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our Care Managers at 480.448.6215.