When it comes to learning, age is but a number. It's never too late to adopt a new skill, make new friends and be creative. In fact, the elderly should engage in some kind of activities to keep them both physically and mentally fit. Remember, an empty mind is the devil's workshop!
The IT Factor
Today, almost everyone is getting wired up in one way or another. Even grandchildren are starting to learn Science and Mathematics the virtual way in kindergartens. Older adults shouldn't be left out of the digital age. Many community centres offer basic computer lessons, teaching computer definitions, keyboarding and mouse skills.
Once they know the basics, they'll realise that using a computer is actually not that intimidating! They can then send emails to their children or grandchildren to stay in touch, surf the Web for interesting titbits and play PC games such as Solitaire to keep themselves agile and entertained.
Keep On Moving
Growing older doesn't translate to becoming unfit and immobile. Engage in light exercises, like the classes below, and reap a plethora of health benefits for your mind, body and soul.
1) Line Dancing
Who says dancing is only for the young? Studies have proven that dancing lowers the risk of dementia and promotes flexibility and cardiovascular strength. Of course, dances that involve vigorous body movements such as hip-hop or even pole dancing are out of the question for the older folks. Lighter dances like line dancing and ballroom dancing consist of easy-to-follow steps to help the elderly maintain and improve their co-ordination skills while they have fun.
Gentle, slow and non-aerobic, taiji is the perfect form of exercise for the elderly. This ancient Chinese martial art not only helps to improve balance and co-ordination, it also has a therapeutic effect which relaxes the mind, body and soul. Because taiji utilises breathing techniques to improve circulation as well, it's recommended for those with arthritis or digestive problems.
Like taiji, yoga uses slow and deep breathing techniques to increase flexibility, improve memory and boost immune system. This gentle exercise has even proven to help slow down the ageing process as its meditation techniques increase blood flow to the various organs and tissues in the body.
Take up one or two classes that you're interested in to pass time and keep your mind and body agile.
Always wanted to create a handmade gift for your little grandchild? How about a pair of knitted mittens? Learning a new art technique helps to relieve stress and develop a healthy sense of satisfaction upon the completion of your craft. It also acts as a great boredom buster. So, start sewing!
It’s hard to actually own a garden here in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean you should be deprived of this fun activity! You can start by planting pots of herbs at your corridor. For the elderly, gardening helps to strengthen muscles around damaged joints and get rid of the anxiety that comes with dementia. Besides physical benefits, just being outdoors can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
Here are just some of the classes perfect for retirees to keep themselves active:
Are you a loyal fan of Singapore's Chinese language theatre works? This engaging symposium allows you to discuss with critics and theatre practitioners from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan as they gather together for a thought-provoking session.
Date: 28 February, 2010
Time: 10am (approx. 8 hours)
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio
To register, visit www.sistic.com.sg.
b) Pranayama Yoga
Conscious breathing techniques that help to improve your mind, body and spirit.
Date, time and venue: To be discussed with instructor (five one-hour sessions)
To find out more or register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
c) Introduction to Computers
Learn about the fundamentals of computers and Internet surfing techniques.
Date: Subject to availability (one-day session)
Time: To be advised (seven hours)
Venue: Bukit Batok Community Club
To register, visit www.ntuclearninghub.com/ICT/into_com.asp.