Pursuing Passions – Why Hobbies & Activities are Key in Positive Aged Care

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Quality aged care is something that we all desire for our loved ones. There are many factors that influence the quality of care given to the elderly community, with an important one being the availability of activities or the support of hobbies. There are many great benefits of having hobbies and activities supported and encouraged in aged care, as social and mental activity is vital for healthy aging.

Whether you’re searching for aged care in NSW, VIC, or WA, you should consider the presence and support of activities when pursuing aged care for your loved ones. Here are three ways in which hobbies and activities are key to positive aged care.

Exercise

There are many hobbies and activities that help encourage exercise in elderly people, and some might surprise you! In addition to traditional swimming, walking and yoga classes, activities like gardening and arts and crafts are important forms of exercise too. While swimming and yoga move the larger parts of the body, gardening and art use smaller movements that can assist with hand mobility.

Furthermore, these activities require focus and can help train the mind. The benefits of exercise are known to many of us. Exercise helps with muscle maintenance, reduces stress, improves mental health and can allow for better sleep. Aged-care systems that support hobbies and activities recognize these benefits and therefore allow for a higher quality of care.

Comfort

In addition to exercise, hobbies and activities can provide comfort to our aging loved ones. Caring for something like a pet or plant can reduce the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in the brain, as well as increase the levels of “feel-good” hormone (serotonin).

Pets have additional therapeutic benefits, including stress-reduction and motivation for exercise. Finding comfort through hobbies and activities is another great benefit to our loved ones, and is another key indicator of quality aged care.

Mental Stimulation

Activities like arts and crafts, playing cards or other games, or playing a musical instrument are great ways to get the brain working! Mental stimulation is incredibly important for healthy aging.

Art stimulates the creative part of the brain and encourages certain neural pathways to remain strong. Games or other problem-solving activities stimulate the analytical part of the brain and strengthens neural pathways. Learning a musical instrument requires focus, and channels our thinking and concentration. The benefits to mental stimulation through activities and hobbies are numerous, and thus such activities are key to positive aged care.

The benefits described here could certainly be achieved through other avenues. Exercise could be achieved through walking on a treadmill, comfort through a warm blanket, and mental stimulation through a crossword. But achieving these benefits through activities and hobbies is much more fun!

Our loved ones can channel their time into something productive and might even uncover a new hobby or talent they didn’t know they had! So when pursuing an aged care system of high quality for your loved ones, be sure to consider the hobbies and activities that are supported there. Take into account what your loved one may be interested in, and decide accordingly. Good luck!

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