Keeping your patient alert and involved can make the difference between whether the patient is healthy or depressed. Research proves that if we give the elderly challenging intellectual activities it will slow the death of brain cells and help them stay in good mental health through their seventies and eighties. Busy hands are happy hands, as Mother used to say.
There are so many projects that can deep the intellectual stimulation going. Listening to books on tape or taking night classes in an interesting subject will help. There are book clubs that keep their members challenged by discussions of new books on the market. Genealogy is a fascinating subject, and tracing the lineage of one’s family history is quite a challenge. Volunteering time to a political campaign definitely can keep a person very busy and challenged.
Does your patient love to dance? There are dances at the senior citizens club and trips to other clubs for dancing. If they love to work in the garden, that is a wonderful pastime. Working out at a gym and swimming are great exercise and good relaxation techniques. If your loved one has always been an outdoors person, a fishing trip would be a great way of getting exercise and having a good time.
There is so much to do in the community that you shouldn’t have trouble finding something that will challenge your patient or loved one. The main thing is stay as active as possible. Staying busy will help your loved one stay positive and healthy. When the time comes when they are not able to be active anymore, then they can find projects to do at home.
People who are well groomed have a more positive outlook on their condition. It is important for a woman to have an easy hairstyle and for a man to be shaved and neatly groomed each day. Whatever clothing your patient prefers, from jogging outfits to comfortable sports clothing, it is their choice of how they should dress. Just beware of letting them stay in a bathrobe all day. This is the prelude to depression.
Help them to stay happy, stay healthy, and stay busy. You will find that your patient is much more satisfied with life if they are busy.