The Importance of Activities – St Jude’s Aged Care Initiatives

Did you know that keeping active, both mentally and physically contributes to your brain health, and a healthy brain helps in motor, emotional and sensory functions? As we age, the ability to think clearly, continue to learn, and remember things gets more challenging and keeping our cognitive health in check is vital.

One way to keep our brain healthy and cognitive health flowing is through daily activities. For residents at St Jude’s Guildford Village, interaction through a variety of activities provides mental and physical stimulation, positivity and joy.

Exercise stimulates our brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones that are so important to cognitive health. Studies also show that exercise improves spatial memory- which is so important to maintain as we age.

At St Jude’s Guildford Village, we customise activities to suit senior sports levels and play. Sports does not mean running a marathon or swimming the length of a lake. For example, low impact aerobic activities like dancing and swimming, plus group fun activities like Bingo, Scrabble and Monopoly; take it a notch higher with games which sharpen the mind, like the ever-popular Sudoku, crosswords and jigsaws.

Some of the easy and everyday steps taken at St Jude’s Guildford Village are our walks around the park to remind us to take in our beautiful surroundings, getting back to nature and smelling the roses – which makes the aerobic activity of walking a joy. Our bus trips are the positive opportunity to engage with the wider community, seeing places and meeting people that are new to us, jogging and sharpening our mind with new experiences.

Games are always a highlight for residents and there is something for everyone. Games like Memory Match and Bingo are favourites and some of our residents never get bored of them. While others prefer extending their physicality and getting into senior style Olympics with lawn bowling, Question Catch and quoits.

Being active and happy, stimulating minds and spirits, with these activities also form connections with each other and these are golden moments with stories remembered and shared and perhaps a long-forgotten secret shared.

Our residents at St Jude’s Guildford Village, love these interactions and contributions to their cognitive health which connects them socially and keeps their brain active but also helps keep feelings of isolation at bay. Our residents are more engaged with the world around them – ultimately improving their well-being and lowering their health risks.

Author – Ashleen Chandbabooram

REFERENCES:

https://www.agedcare.org.au/activities-for-the-elderly/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults

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