When was the last time you indulged in some playtime? If this question has you scratching your head and thinking back to the golden days of your childhood, then read on – it might be time to reconnect with your inner child. While it might seem more suited to a kindergarten than a retirement living community, play is something that is good for us at any age. Studies have shown that spending time in play – that is, participating in activities for enjoyment and pleasure – has enormous benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
With such busy lives, many adults no longer prioritise play, however, the health benefits of doing things “just for fun” are seriously overlooked. Engaging in play enriches the mind by encouraging flexibility in thinking, supporting neural connections and giving our language and spatial skills a good workout. Similarly, enjoyable activities that encourage us to move can improve balance, dexterity, and coordination, as well as muscle tone, bone density and heart function.
Some of the most important benefits of spending time doing something fun, whether alone or in a group, are those that affect our mental health. Play has proven to be an effective tool in reducing stress, increasing optimism, encouraging creative thinking, and improving the healthy regulation of emotions. As well as having health benefits for individuals, increasing your time spent in play also increases the likelihood of connecting with others socially, which has enormous benefits for reducing stress and anxiety related to loneliness and social isolation.
What does play for adults look like?
So how can older adults harness the power of play in their everyday lives? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Engaging in play can be as simple as doing something that makes you laugh, spending some time with a pet, or getting involved in a game with friends or the grandchildren. Any activity that allows you to smile, relax, and put your stress aside for a moment can be a moment for play.
But what about more structured opportunities to recapture the carefree joy of childhood playtime? Participating in a craft or hobby, joining in a game of cards or a board game, or participating in a sport or outdoor game can bring play back into your daily routine. Some other great ways for adults to play include:
- Singing, alone or in a group. Bring out the karaoke machine and belt out some favourites!
- Engage your brain. Try a crossword, sudoku, jigsaw puzzle, word search, or discover one of the many interactive brain-training apps available online
- Get in the game – video games aren’t just for the kids! During the lockdown, it was reported that 42% of older Australians played video games to keep their brains active and to stay socially connected
- Get crafty. Grow something, build a model, paint by numbers, or pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try
- Get physical – have a boogie, throw a frisbee with friends, or have a relaxing swim
- Get out into nature. Enjoy some nature photography, lay out a picnic blanket, or fly a kite with the grandkids
Enjoy your retirement with TriCare
TriCare Retirement Living communities make it easy for you to make play a priority. Our communities are designed for residents to make the most of their retirement, and there are many activities, events, and social groups available across all of our beautiful locations. Our locations boast a range of amenities that are available to support relaxation and enjoyment, including:
- Community library
- Swimming pool
- Mini golf course or putting green
- Tennis courts
- Movie theatre
- Croquet lawn
- Indoor bowls
- Billiards room
- Craft room
- Community workshop
To find out what amenities are available in a TriCare Community close to you, please get in touch on 07 3360 9000 or use our Contact Us form here. You can also book a tour to see the community for yourself!