The spring bank holiday is almost upon us. Providing the weather holds out, it's sure to be a relaxing weekend of social and outdoor activities.
But, for many older people, national holidays can be lonely occasions. They might be a reminder of times past, or of how little social contact they're now able to have. So, this spring bank holiday, make the effort to involve your elderly loved ones in the festivities.
Here, we'll explain why spending time together is so important, and give you some ideas for activities to get you started.
Why spending time with your loved one over the bank holiday weekend might be worth more than you know
Loneliness is a debilitating state of being that can have profound effects on older people's mood and overall health.
However, unlike many conditions associated with ageing, loneliness is unnecessary and can be significantly mitigated through quality time spent with companions and loved ones.
According to Age UK:
- Over 1m older people report feeling lonely all the time, or often.
- 49% of over 65s cite television or pets as their main source of company.
- 49% of over 75s live alone.
- 12% of older people state they never spend time with family.
- 600,000 older people leave the house once per week or less.
Not only is loneliness associated with conditions like depression and anxiety, it's also been linked to a 30% increase in the risk of having a stroke or developing coronary artery disease.
By dedicating some time to your older loved ones this spring bank holiday, you can help them stay engaged and give them happy memories to look back on.
Spring bank holiday ideas for older people
The types of activity suitable for your loved one depends on their mobility, cognition and personality.
But, your goal should always be to make them feel as able and engaged as possible. It also helps if you tailor the activities you plan around things they've had an interest in during their younger years.
Here are some examples of how an interest might be turned into an activity for older people of differing abilities:
- Family: Arrange a family event that's suitable for them to attend, or have a nostalgic afternoon looking through old family photo albums.
- Gardening: Help them with their own garden, take them to visit formal gardens, or bring them a picture book containing images of their favourite plants.
- Music: Take them to watch some live music at a local venue or recreational centre, or make a playlist of songs from their youth.
- Sports: Help them take part in some low-impact physical activity (such as lawn bowls) or just watch their favourite sports team together on television.
- Pets: Take them to visit a friend with animals, bring an animal for a visit, or get them some images/videos of animals they're passionate about.
- Places: Go with them to some of their old haunts, arrange a visit with old friends or just sit and reminisce about the places that meant the most to them.
Spending quality time with elderly loved ones can make a real difference. Try out some of these ideas to make the most of your spring bank holiday weekend.
Find out more about how The Good Care Group can provide the level of care and attention your loved one needs to make sure they stay healthy and socially engaged.