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If You’re a Senior Who’s Recuperating, Plan for Activities to Fill the Days

Elderly lady and middle-aged lady playing a game.
Plan activities to keep your mind occupied. Games can be a fun way to spend the days.

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It may be time to pull out the board games and puzzles, and brush up on your Canasta and Pinochle skills while waiting for the healing process to commence. A Home Instead CareGiverSM could help toward that goal as well by providing companionship and assistance around the house.

Q. I'm a 78-year-old man who will have knee surgery next month. My doctor tells me that I will be rehabilitating for about six weeks and unable to do much. I'm concerned because I'm used to being on the go and active. What are things that I can do to occupy my time while I'm laid up?

Surgery or an injury is bound to put a crimp in the style of anyone who is used to being active and energetic like you. The good news is you’re likely to be better than ever after your surgery and rehabilitation. In the meantime, look at your convalescence as a time to develop new and interesting activities, or revisit old ones.

First, you’ll want to decide where you’ll be convalescing and with whom. If you have a spouse or friend who you expect will be around a lot, look for activities, such as puzzles, board games and cards that you can do together. However, if you’ll be spending the bulk of your time alone, put a plan in place that will provide plenty of activities to keep your mind occupied. Or consider hiring a companion, such as a Home Instead CAREGiverSM. In fact, CAREGivers are trained in a variety of activities that can help seniors who are rehabilitating. Here are a few for you to consider:

  1. Plan activities to keep your mind occupied. Games can be a fun way to spend the days. Go through your closet, and you may discover board games and puzzles that you didn’t remember you had. Or check out your local retail outlet for one of these: Cards (such as gin rummy, solitaire and go fish) or puzzles, UNO, checkers, backgammon, tic-tac-toe, Connect Four, Wheel of Fortune and Yahtzee.
  2. Plan for ways to be entertained. Watch favorite television, movie or musical shows or collect a few well-loved videos to enjoy. If you played an instrument in earlier years, use your time to renew that interest.
  3. Create a history project. If you have a spouse or companion, use your time to immortalize a favorite time in history or your past by creating a photo album or memory book that can be passed on to your family. For instance, one Home Instead CAREGiver helped a senior collect photos and stories from his military service that they compiled into a scrapbook to make a lasting legacy for him and his family.

Best wishes for a successful surgery, and here’s hoping that you have a smooth rehabilitation that will allow you to continue with the active lifestyle that you love.

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Last revised: October 11, 2011

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