Have you ever thought about how you can be active and healthy in your home environment and community, without incurring high expenses?
Here are a few practical guidelines for your everyday life:
Family and friends
- Stay (positively) in touch with family and friends, e.g. send birthday cards, write letters, phone.
- Undertake stimulating outings: go to the beach together, go out for coffee, attend sport matches, go away for a weekend.
- Spend quality time together to create memories.
- Visit a friend at least once a week.
- Become involved with spiritual activities e.g. church or meditation.
- Create time to think and focus.
- Join a church group along with other elderly people.
- Keep yourself busy with household chores.
- Exercise within your physical limits e.g. walking, swimming, bowling.
- Make a point to go for regular examinations.
- Follow a balanced diet.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and nicotine.
- Rest regularly – do not take an afternoon nap if you have difficulties sleeping at night.
- Keep a monthly budget.
- Draw up a shopping list.
- Go to the shops to do your own shopping, to compare prices, to be on the lookout for bargains.
Brain stimulating activities
- Cognitive stimulation e.g. crossword puzzles, attending discussion groups, building puzzles, brainteasers.
- Be informed about what is happening by reading newspapers and listening to the news, in order to have meaningful conversations.
- Keep track of the financial markets.
- Watch educational television programmes e.g. 50/50, Who wants to be a millionaire.
- Enjoy clubs/groups e.g. bingo, cards, bridge, birding clubs.
- Play boardgames with family and friends e.g. Scrabble, Dominoes, Trivial Pursuit.
- Learn new hobbies e.g. basic woodwork, how to use the internet, painting, ballroom dancing.
- Read both fiction and non-fiction.
- Listen to music/the radio.
- Start a collection e.g. stamps, porcelain dolls.
- Start a cultural interest group and attend plays, musicals, shows, read poetry and literature, visit museums.
- Complete taks in and around the home.
- Enjoy working in the garden or caring for potplants.
- Make your services available as a voluntary worker e.g. making teddybears for the “Beertjie Projek” at Tygerberg Hospital, baking for bazaars.
- Learn how to use electronic equipment e.g. cellphones and computers.
- Learn new skills e.g. how to send e-mails to your grandchildren.
- File your accounts, letters etc. regularly.
Use the above ideas effectively to keep yourself active and on the go!
Written by Liesl Jonker, occupational therapist.
For more information visit: Dementia SA: http://www.dementiasa.org/ or Alzheimer’s South Africa: http://www.alzheimers.org.za