29 January 2015
Why care home activities are essential for a fulfilling life
When we get older, our social circles can diminish, as we’re no longer in contact with people on a day to day basis at work, or have less opportunity to meet with friends, family, or even simply go to the shops. It’s important to stay socially active in order to lead a fulfilling life, which is why we put on such a wide range of activities in our care homes. We’ll take a look at why care home activities are so important for people in old age, as well as some of the activities our residents love to take part in.
Does social interaction improve your health?
Interacting with others plays a very important part in both cognitive function and physical health. A study of 14,000 older people by the Drexel University School of Public Health revealed that those with greater social capital – the collective value of a person’s social circle – had higher physical mobility and were 10-22 percent more likely to get screened for illnesses at the recommended ages than those with lower social capital.
Meanwhile, a study by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Centre in Chicago revealed that older people with high levels of social activity saw 70 percent less cognitive decline over a 12 year period, suggesting that when you use your body and your brain as it was intended – for socialising – you age better. Similarly, a study in Taiwan came to the same conclusion, with older people engaging in more social activities outside of family circles experiencing up to 33 percent less cognitive decline.
As a result, it’s clear that staying socially active in old age is an important part of keeping healthy, but unfortunately there are still large numbers of older people experiencing loneliness. With the social activities that care homes offer, there are plenty of opportunities to ensure that older people can continue to experience fulfilling social lives that we all take for granted.
What activities are available for care home residents?
When choosing a care home for your loved one, be sure to ask about the calendar of events available to residents, which is an essential step in ensuring they’ll settle in and continue to enjoy life.
At Hallmark Care Homes, our lifestyles team get to know our residents and help them put together a calendar of events that they’ll enjoy. That includes tailoring activities for individual residents, as well as group events for everyone at our care homes to enjoy. For example, our carers will ensure residents can visit the park, shops, or watch their local football team play, as well ensuring residents have access to our in-home facilities, which include dedicated cinema rooms, cafes, hair salons, and therapy rooms.
Gardening is also a popular pastime among our residents, which is why we encourage our residents to take part in a spot of gardening, with the help from our special raised flowerbeds, as well as participating in our annual Hallmark in Bloom gardening competition, where our homes compete against one another in several gardening categories.
Other activities, such as the Farmhouse Kitchen Project project, actively encourage residents to help with food preparation in a sociable environment.
Living a sociable life can do wonders for your health in old age, so when you’re looking for a care home, make sure you investigate how residents are included in everyday activities and events.
Click here to find out more care home activities at Hallmark Care Homes and how we tailor our care to meet the needs of each individual resident.