Apartment maintenance, housekeeping, laundry services, professionally landscaped grounds and chef-prepared meals — these are just some of the many amenities available at Bethesda Gardens in Arlington, TX.
They're also some of the things that support one of the big benefits of choosing to make a home in an assisted living community: You free a lot of your time from basic day-to-day tasks such as housekeeping. And that lets you spend time doing more of the things you enjoy or attending to your own health and wellness.
For many seniors, the sudden removal of tasks they may have been attending to all their lives can leave a somewhat overwhelming gap in the schedule. You might wonder now that you have it what you can do with the time. The staff at Bethesda Gardens have some potential answers — you can always check the assisted living activities calendar to see what fun events are going on for the day.
But if you prefer to stay in for the afternoon for any reason or you're spending more time in your assisted living apartment because of issues such as COVID-19, there are also plenty of options. You might consider rediscovering an activity or hobby that brought you joy as a child or youth. Except now, you can put an adult or modern spin on it. Here are some options to get you started.
Coloring is a pastime that defies age. Ultimately, coloring is a creative expression — you're making art when you put various hues onto the page over someone else's drawings.
For many people, the acts of choosing colors, spreading them across the page and blending or mixing them can be therapeutic. It gives your mind something to latch on to, potentially reducing errant or anxious thoughts, and gives your creative side an outlet without a great deal of pressure.
There aren't any rules for coloring as an adult. Get some printer paper and crayons and color freestyle, invest in a couple inexpensive kids coloring books or purchase adult coloring books and supplies.
Adult coloring books aren't adult in nature, necessarily, though some companies do sell erotic options. Double check what you're buying if you want to avoid those! Most of the time, these are just books with more complex and detailed drawings than might be appropriate for children.
Choose coloring books and pages that speak to you and that you'll enjoy completing. Then invest in some coloring materials. Crayons, markers, gel pens and colored pencils are favorite options. Some people also like to get creative with old makeup palettes.
Do you remember sitting with a boombox or stereo and recording songs off the radio onto a cassette? You might have been the person that made mix tapes for others — favorite songs gathered from various albums onto a single page.
If you love music, you might invest in a Spotify subscription. The streaming service lets you enjoy millions of songs from all decades via your computer, smart TV or mobile device. Add a pair of noise-canceling headphones, and you can enjoy your virtual mix tapes anywhere and anytime.
Spotify lets you create playlists, which work a lot like mix tapes. You add songs you like from the millions available on the app. You can create playlists with hundreds of songs, but you can also make multiple playlists so you have one for every mood or theme. Spotify is free for basic use and you can opt for a premium monthly subscription for additional functions.
Making things with your hands can be an enjoyable sensory experience — and sensory play is actually great for cognitive development and maintenance. That's one reason so many children's activities involve sensory play — and also why this type of pastime is helpful for many seniors.
You can start with literal Play Dough, which costs less than $1 a container in most stores. The benefit of Play Dough is that you can use it repeatedly as long as you store it in an airtight container. If you want to make something more permanent when sculpting, invest in modeling clay or art clay.
Toys can be a great thing to enjoy in your assisted living apartment. A small model train kit provides plenty of fun and lets you add on creatively. You can get kits for painting or building small houses, train cars or track environments.
Dolls are another option. The right doll is an ideal companion for your sewing or crochet projects. You can easily whip up new patterns, clothing and accessories for the doll, such as seasonal dresses to display her in.
Cartoons can be a fun way to spend an afternoon without thinking about heavy or stressful topics. Enjoy some you loved as a kid or try some newer animated series that have plenty of good storylines that adults can enjoy too. Some options to consider include Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Avatar: The Last Airbender.