Staying engaged is not just important for the younger lot, but even older adults. It not just keeps them physically fit, but also keeps a tab on their mental and emotional quotient. .
In cases where parents live away from their children, it becomes all the more important for them to engage in productive activities that can help them pass their time. This will definitely help them divert their attention from things that keep them worried all the time.
Experts have also analyzed that those elderly adults who are active and enjoy their retirement time are healthier, and have better mental health than those who have nothing to do.
According to Dr Rahul Khemani, consultant psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, when older adults are engaged and active, they tend to be happier. They tend to experience more satisfaction and contentment in their lives.
As senior members of our society suffer from isolation and feelings of loneliness, a lack of support system can lead to increased anxiety and depression. It can even exacerbate dementia in some older people.
That’s why it is important to consider physical and mental activities for these older adults. It is also beneficial to incorporate these into their daily routines, especially in the long run.
Outdoor walks are not just great for your parents’ physical health, but it also gives them an opportunity to interact with fellow mates. During covid time, it’s better to stay at home, but to break the monotony, they can totally wear proper masks, maintain social distancing, and enjoy a walk once in a blue moon. “Do you know, being in nature can become a natural soothing agent?” says Dr Khemani.
“Many parks have come up with community-based exercise programs. This increases the sense of bonding between older adults, provides companionship and also fosters physical activity,” he recommends.
Being old doesn’t mean you can’t do all the stuff that you used to when you were young. It is a great mental booster to spend quality time with your partner or friends. Going often on coffee or lunch dates can totally help in breaking the monotony.
“Loneliness is one of the biggest challenges faced by our grandparents. Seeking out the company of friends on a regular basis can alleviate the feeling of being alone. It also provides a sense of comfort, especially for those who have lost their spouse,” he says.
With everything going online, they can also try and learn things like how to make a video call, use Facebook, or watch a movie on Netflix. It can be a great way to boost their confidence, and bring some change to their otherwise routine lives. This will also make them feel accomplished, and gives them a sense of confidence,” suggests Dr Khemani.
If your parents are hale and hearty, and want to spend some time working then, there is no harm trying to help them with a volunteer job. Of course, their job doesn’t have to be hectic like before, but this will just help them pass their time. Joining an NGO or an organisation that helps others is a great way to satisfy yourself, and feel good.
“Retirement is a good opportunity to take up hobbies that you might have given up a long time back. Being engaged in a hobby is perfect to be creative, productive and happy,” he concludes.
So, give your parents the gift of life and make them realize that this is their time to have fun, and do what they always wanted to. Trust us, over a period of time, you will see them much happier and healthier!