Care Manager Nina Herndon, the national expert of elder quality of life, cites in her chapter on Quality of Life, in Handbook of Geriatric Care Management a quote from the aging visionary Bill Thomas MD in his book, “What Are Old People For” .Thomas says the plague of so many elders,
especially in nursing homes is- loneliness, helplessness, and boredom because their environment is empty of companionship, intimacy, self-direction and meaningful activity. Care Managers can fill this void with quality of life. One way to do this is
Intellectual Quality of Life activities that engage older person mentally
- Brain aerobics
- any form of creativity
Here are 6 ideas for seniors who live at home or in an institution.
For seniors who are independent.
- For seniors who wish to travel again but need support to arrange a trip-Work with a senior travel agency to have the elder plan a trip that the elder would love to take but never did. Arrange for senior to take a class on planning travel and to plan the trip Help them go on line
- Games checkers dominos, puzzles, simple card games with a deck of cards with whales on them if they like the sea or more complicated games like bridge. Join local games” meet up” on parlor games Here is an example where I live.
- Help client join a local book club with the kind of literature he likes to read (non-fiction- fiction – romance? )
- Help the client join a book club at the local library.
- Help client join a Lifelong Learning Osher group near you with intellectual activities they enjoy book groups, Current Events, Cosmology, Shakespeare – whatever they love to learn or learn again.For seniors who live at a higher level of care
- If a senior is homebound sign them up for Senior Center Without Walls and let them make a choice of what classes they want to take
- For a client who cannot get out anymore and is a birder, make birdseed ornaments and hang outside the window where the client can see. Take pictures of the birds that visit the hung ornaments. Get a bird field guide for the area and help identify birds who visit the ornaments to feed then if interested have the older person keep a journal of the birds they spot. If they are interested help them participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count