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The term ‘baby boomers’ applies to the generation of people born after World War II, between the years 1946 and 1964.
The term ‘boom’ was first used by a columnist of the New York Post in 1951 in reference to the phenomenal increase in births post war in western countries. The Baby Boomer generation is the wealthiest, fittest, most outspoken and independent generation of all time.
Baby Boomers in Senior Care
Many care facilities, in their quest to attract baby boomers, are improving their environment, equipment, and services such as including gym facilities, in-house coffee shops, specially designed gardens, and a Program of Activities to reflect exciting, dynamic and active ageing.
Baby Boomer statistics indicate that they prefer to age at home however many are living in Retirement Villages by choice and many others are living in assisted care arrangements. They have high expectations as far as leisure and lifestyle aspirations are concerned.
Here are a few ideas for Activity Professionals working with Baby Boomers!
11 Social Engagement Ideas:
- Reconnecting with old friends or interstate/overseas relatives via social media.
- Playing cards and board games to promote friendship and keep the mind alert.
- Watching comedy films and shows; don’t underestimate the power of laughter and fun to improve moods.
- 'Mystery Trip' outings and theme parties are popular with baby boomers.
- Visiting galleries, museums and other historic buildings
- Participating in social sports events (age appropriate).
- Associating with cultural clubs of their choices.
- Volunteering to bake cookies for their peers.
- Learning to play a new game.
- Getting involved in social causes that appeal to them.
- Spending more time going out with friends.
4 Physical Fitness Ideas
- Nintendo Wii or Wii Plus Console + Wii Fit: According to some studies, using an off-the-shelf device like the Wii Fit can help seniors avoid falls and improve balance. Sports like yoga, bowling, shooting, and golf are especially popular.
- Aqua Aerobics: Aqua Aerobics can be a fun and safe activity, the water helps prevent falls and can help relieve back and leg pains. Studies have shown water aerobics for seniors can improve strength especially in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and upper body.
- Weight Bearing Exercises: For example walking briskly in the park with a friend holding half kilo weights (Or 250 grams) in each hand to promote muscle tone and bone density.
- Low impact Exercises: Try Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and dancing.
4 Mental Fitness Ideas
Cognitive abilities may improve when seniors embrace healthy lifestyle habits that include good nutrition, exercise, and social and mental stimulation. The latest research indicates that we can toughen up our minds with compelling and active brain exercises.
- Participating in anti-aging brain games online (like Luminosity; subscription fees may apply).
- Learning new things or participating in challenging activities such as reading books, playing chess and solving crosswords will help maintaining brain fitness.
- Challenging a friend with a game of ‘Word Generation’ from Golden Carers.
- Riddles, quizzes, sudoku, word search: Generate your own via Golden Carers or download them from Golden Carers, we offer hundreds of suitable mental stimulation activities.
9 Spiritual/Emotional Activity Ideas
- Walking leisurely or bicycling through forests and national parks with loved ones or friends
- Joining or starting a choir or chorus to sing liturgical songs
- Camping and sleeping under the stars in summer
- Spending more time with loved ones
- Visiting Churches, Temples and other spiritual places for contemplation
- Interacting or watching animals; farms, zoos, feeding ducks in ponds
- Taking up Bird Watching as a hobby
- Expressing themselves in creative ways by painting, drawing and sculpting
- Learning to meditate
Baby Boomers need a program of activities that supports their life aspirations, with exciting social events, community involvement, fitness, technology support and fun activities.