Helping older people to remain active and exercise is not that easy to accomplish. Ask any adult child or friend of an elderly person and she will probably have stories to tell about an older person’s reluctance to take part in activities, events, or exercises.
One way to motivate seniors to try new activities is to find things to recommend that tap into their interests. Like most people, the elderly do not want to be “told” what to do, which will usually end up having the opposite effect. Instead, consider giving an elderly parent or friend gifts during the upcoming holidays based on the things she enjoys doing.
Several gifts for elderly parents that require their direct involvement in an activity
Here are several gifts for elderly parents that require their direct involvement in an activity.
- Gifts that strengthen cognitive skills. There are crossword and jigsaw puzzles, board games, and similar items that are suitable for an individual’s interests and cognitive abilities. It is best to find ones that are challenging, yet not so difficult, that they dampen enthusiasm. Purchase jigsaw puzzles that the elderly person can identify with, such as scenes from the past, sports, politics, and religion. Follow the gift giving up with your personal involvement in helping the senior complete the puzzle or game. Use it as a bonding moment with your elderly parent.
- Gifts that require creativity. Arts and crafts are an excellent way to motivate elderly people to become active. Things like scrapbooks, photo albums, and/or collages, along with simple painting, working with clay, etc. can be quite interesting. Allow the elderly person to express her interests in the creative activity without too much instruction. She might surprise you with her enthusiasm!
- Gifts that encourage targeted action. One great way to get your elderly parent or friend out of the house is to purchase transportation and/or organization or event memberships. She will, hopefully, feel some obligation to using these services if she knows that someone she cared about purchased them. Transportation options include Uber/Lyft accounts, tokens for Dial-A-Ride, or subsidized community-based resources. Organization ideas included YMCA/YWCA or senior center memberships, passes to a lecture series, etc.
- Gifts that involve more of your personal time and commitment. As the adult child of an elderly person, I understand how difficult it is to balance work life with the needs of a parent. However, possibly the gift that the elderly person will appreciate the most is your level of involvement in her life. Even a few hours weekly can make an important difference in an elderly parent’s or friend’s interest in remaining active.
The holidays are fast approaching along with the opportunity to exchange gifts and spend time with loved ones and friends. So keep in mind that gifts for elderly parents can be a great way to help them remain active and enjoy life.
Also, if you want to arm yourself with the information needed to motivate an elderly parent or friend to remain active and exercise, take a look at this new e-book by clicking here.
Learn more about blog creator Steven Watson’s background related to helping elderly people remain active and safe by clicking here to access his Amazon Author’s Page.