Age is not a Barrier for an Active Mind
Whether you are able to live independently in your own home or need the kind of support provided in a care home, your quality of life can be improved by taking part in movement-based physical care home activities. In addition to improving your physical condition and having fun, enjoying these activities can also stimulate your mind.
Care Home Activities for Everyone
Physical care home activities are available for people with different levels of fitness and skill. Some examples of activities that can be enjoyed by residents of care homes include balloon volleyball, table tennis, skittles, boccia and kurling.
Everyone will be familiar with skittles and table tennis, both of which can be played by people with mobility problems and seated in wheelchairs, but some of the other sports are a little more unusual.
Balloon volleyball is played with a large balloon in place of a volleyball and is played by people seated either side of a net. Punching the balloon over the net improves motor skills, hand-eye coordination and upper-body strength as well as building team spirit and encouraging people to socialise.
Kurling, like balloon volleyball, has been adapted from a mainstream sport and can be played by both disabled and able-bodied people. Inspired by ice curling, kurling involves stones with bearings being pushed along the ground towards the target. The winner is the player with more of their stones nearer to the middle of the target than their opponent’s stones.
Boccia is a sport that was developed for people who have severe impairments. It has similarities to bowls but can be played indoors using soft leather balls rather than the traditional hard bowls.
The Importance of Physical Exercise
According to a recent study, exercise in older people is linked with a slower decline in some mental aspects such as memory and thinking skills. The study looked at 876 people, some of whom reported taking no exercise and others just low levels.
Some reported moderate to intense exercise. Over a five-year period, the people who did not exercise had greater reductions in information-processing speed and memory than those who did exercise.
The Alzheimer’s Society research communications manager, Dr Clare Walton, commented that the study underlined the importance of regular physical care home activities in keeping the brain healthy as people grow older.
In care homes in Crawley and other care homes in West Sussex, activities that include people with different levels of mobility and mental ability are undertaken. It is recognised that, prior to commencing unusual exercise, residents should have an initial assessment of their fitness, but there is always some activity for everyone to benefit from.
If you are looking around at care homes in Surrey or other areas in the South of England, it is well worth asking to see their activities programme to see what is on offer.