How Do You Keep an Elderly Person Busy?

Unfortunately, many older Americans have too much time on their hands. When an older person does not have enough to do in their lives, they can suffer other issues and problems. These can even include depression, loneliness, and other emotional difficulties. With this in mind, there are some facts and factors when it comes to keeping an elderly person appropriately busy. These are:

  • Routine matters to most older people
  • Understand what a particular older individual enjoys
  • Routine is important and variety matters
  • Stimulating the mind
  • Activities with others
  • Reasonably accessible activities

Routine Matters to Most Older People

When considering ways in which you can keep an older person busy, you do need to keep in mind that for most women and men in their Golden Years, routine matters. Routine is important to most older individuals. They like to be able to rely upon structure and some degree of scheduling as they go through a day and then the week.

Understand What a Particular Older Individual Enjoys

If you have an objective of keeping an older individual busy, you need have an understanding of what that person enjoys. Keeping an older person busy with activities, tasks, and projects that the person does not enjoy is counterproductive. Of course, we all have to do things we do not enjoy. However, when we are trying to develop activities and the like to ensure that an older person is properly involved during the course of a day, you don’t want to supplement their schedule with things that they do not want to do or enjoy doing. 

Routine Is Important and Variety Matters

Yes, routine is important, as we just discussed. Having said that, an older person’s essential routines can be honored with variety being interjected into her life. You can keep an older individual appropriately occupied by introducing her to new activities. (Just bear in mind that new activities must be something an older person would enjoy and that is not unnecessarily disruptive of existing routines that the individual desires and relies upon.

Stimulating the Mind

In considering how to go about keeping an older individual busy, you should focus on at least some activities that stimulate the mind. A major risk associated with the aging process is cognitive issues or impairment. Dementia and memory problems are commonplace among older people in the United States and elsewhere around the world. 

Research has demonstrated that dementia and other type of potential memory or cognitive issues and be prevented or delayed (at least to some degree) when a person engages in different types of activities that challenge the intellect. Hence, when considering things that might be employed to keep an older individual busy or occupied, those activities that do have an associated element that stimulates the brain, the mind can be helpful in different important ways.

Activities With Others

An important step that can be taken to keep older individuals busy is to assist them in planning and engaging in activities with other people. This can include activities with peers as well as with other family members. 

Activities with others can be linked with other strategies and ideas set forth in this article. For example, activities can be planned with others that are designed to stimulate an older individual’s mind. Over time, an activity can become a part of an older person’s routine – something that she can reliably look forward to participating in. 

Reasonably Accessible Activities 

When it comes to activities that you think an older person will enjoy and will keep them busy, you need to pay attention to the general accessibility of these activities. Accessibility involves a number of primary considerations when it comes to an older person: 

  • First, it’s ideal if an event, program, or activity designed to keep an older person busy is geographically assessable. The intended activity is best suited to an older individual if it is relatively close proximity to where that person resides. 
  • Second, accessibility also refers to any physical or mental limitations that might exist in regard to an older person. You need plan ahead and confirm that the location of particular activity (if not in a person’s own residence) is appropriately accessible to that individual. 

The importance of keeping an older person reasonably busy cannot be overstated. An appropriately active older individual is nearly always physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier. A suitably occupied older individual is nearly always happier than a peer who lacks things to do, particularly activities that involve interaction with other people. 

One of the key benefits associated with an assisted living community is that a resident is kept reasonably active, occupied, and busy. This includes involvement in enriching activities as well as things that involve participation by other people as well.