So many male clients who have dementia, end up isolated with their best friends being their family caregiver and the television. Studies show that inactivity and lack of socialization lead to an unhappy life and an early death.
Figuring out activity for a senior male who has worked all his life, perhaps without hobbies is most difficult. They are often resistant to trying something new. Thus, they often gravitate to the television for entertainment.
The purpose of this article is to motivate and encourage Senior Men to be open and to have some fun. Here are a few suggestions:
- Art – There are so many mediums in art. It would include photography, sketching, woodworking from a kit, scrapbooking with pictures of the family, sorting nuts, bolts, etc. into a pictorial representation
- Music – Find the music that has special meaning to a person. You will see their face light up. Music is soothing and brings back many memories of the past.
- Puzzles – There are plenty of jigsaw puzzles for seniors of various abilities. Some can do sudoku, others can enjoy crosswords puzzles or word find
- Car Talk – Gather a selection of car magazines and new car brochures. Encourage a discussion about new cars vs. the old cars, foreign vs. domestic, manual vs. automatic transmission, 2-door, 4-door, convertibles, etc.
- Game time with neighbors/friends – Organize a game of dominoes, checkers, chess, or a card game. This brings others into the house with whom to socialize.
- Exercise – This helps improve range of motion and is good as a daily activity
- Gardening – If the man cannot get outside to garden, he can grow plants inside
- Writing – Seniors have a rich background to share. Use a tape recorder and then print the words he has spoken. Just reading his own words can be exciting
- Reading – If reading a book is too arduous, get books on tape that he will enjoy.
- Model Building – There are simple kits available to build. It could be a plane, car, boat, etc.
- Bird Watching – Birds are everywhere. All you need is binoculars and a book of birds to identify particular birds
Bringing something new into the diet of a senior man can be difficult if offered to quickly. Here are some recommendations:
Make one goal
During the day, add some simple exercises or complete a small craft project. It is good for the caregiver, family or professional, to offer encouragement and compliment the completed task.
A look at the past
Discuss and look at photographs of the man’s past. Try to discern his hobbies that may appeal to his passions, dreams or old ambitions. Put on music that appeals to him is helpful as you go down memory lane.
Men are often drawn to technology and enjoy working on their computer. It can be a perfect way for social networking. It’s a way to connect with old friends and family. It is also an acceptable way for men to play games.
Find ways for the man to feel useful around the house. Something easy such as folding laundry or other light jobs would bring joy to his family caregiver. It can be a way he can be praised. One man I know is very strong. When he opens jars, or tightens something, it brings a smile to his wife.
What a difference it would make to the man who now feels useful with goals and a vision of fun.