As one advances in age, their passions and hobbies may fall into second or third place due to physical limitations, a busy schedule and health issues. However, below are some ways that recreational therapy is being used to help elders reconnect with past hobbies or discover new ones.
Loneliness is a common problem in those over the age of 65, for many reasons. They often feel out of touch with the latest trends and their spouse and friends might be deceased or their family lives in another part of the country. By engaging in recreation therapy, you’ll get to spend time around similarly aged people who you can converse and relate with.
One of the greatest fears among those 65 years of age and above is reaching a stage where they are no longer able to care for themselves. Recreation therapy can help you combat age related decline by relearning and strengthening your existing skills while also developing new ones.
You will also learn novel ways to complete tasks by adapting to any physical limitations you may have. For instance, an elder who has sustained a stroke might engage in recreation therapy activities like cooking or painting to help them recover, as well as skills which boost hand eye coordination like ping pong or volley ball. The goal is to help you do more without outside help.
Increases Cognitive Function
The brain tends to shrink with age and may not perform as well as it did during your youth. However, you can utilize recreation therapy to overcome cognitive decline by challenging your mind with activities like board games, playing musical instruments, learning how to utilize technology and engaging in arts or crafts. Research has consistently shown that elders that regularly engage in such activities will have a decreased risk of developing memory problems because their brain cell function will be enhanced with stronger neural networks.
Boost Physical Health
Everyone over the age of 65 should want to remain as physically strong as possible, but this isn’t likely if you spend most of your day sitting down watching television. You’ve got to become physically active, and recreation therapy encourages this through partaking in fun yet challenging exercises such as swimming, hiking, yoga, bicycling, weight lifting and more. By doing these things you’ll alleviate insomnia while reducing the risk of developing diseases such as cancer or diabetes. You will also have superior mobility, flexibility, coordination and strength, especially when compared to others your age.
While a small amount of stress is perfectly normal and even beneficial, too much has been linked to health problems, especially in retirees. Because recreation therapy promotes mindfulness, it will help you cope with depression and common stressors such as financial issues or health worries. Furthermore, you’ll develop higher self-esteem with deeper feelings of purpose.
Recreation therapy is also called therapeutic recreation which entails activities designed to maintain, enhance or restore a person’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning It has shown incredible benefits in elders who are willing to incorporate it into their lives.