Do you recall that feeling as a kid once the school bell rang, indicating the end of arithmetic and the beginning of the very best part of the day: recess? There was clearly an immense sensation of independence dashing out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play.
Regrettably, for the majority of adults, this is nothing but a happy but distant memory. Yet is it feasible, and also worthwhile, to recapture the enjoyment of playing? Experts like Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, respond with a definite YES. As he explains, “Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”
The primary advantages of play, regardless of a person’s age, include:
- To be connected: Particularly in our smartphone-driven culture today, making time to engage with others in person is key to our social health – whether through sports, card clubs, weekly board game events, or just about any other shared pastimes and interests.
- To sharpen your mind: Even though the jury is still out on the effectiveness of memory games in reducing the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease, there is benefit to be gained in enhancing thinking and problem-solving abilities.
- To improve relationships: The everyday pressures inherent in many of our relationships are eased when a sense of playfulness is included, making it possible for stronger bonds and the capacity to better conquer difficulties when they occur.
Carving time out from an overloaded schedule to just play can appear impossible. Yet with some assistance from North River Home Care, a more enjoyable lifestyle can quickly become a reality. We are readily available for as much or as little assistance as required, providing a wide range of services for older adults, such as:
- Planning and preparing meals
- Food shopping, picking up prescription medications, and other errands
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Personal care assistance such as helping with bathing and dressing
- Companionship to take part in conversations, reminiscing, exercising, games, and pleasurable pastimes
- And a great deal more