The pandemic was a particularly challenging time for older people, compounding feelings of isolation and limiting opportunities for socializing. Our Activities and Wellbeing Coordinator at Corton House, Maria, shares some simple tips to improve your overall wellbeing in your later years.
Don’t Lose Sight of Yourself
Hugely important for self-esteem is continuing with the interests that make you who you are. If previous hobbies are proving a challenge, there may be ways to adapt them, for example keen former footballers could try a gentler alternative like ‘walking football’ or join a football reminiscence group.
In the home, we ask residents to tell us as much as possible about their favourite pastimes when they move in, so that we continue to support their interests in this new chapter of their lives. For example, we are have previously worked with London’s Wallace Collection on a remote gallery project, ‘Out of the Frame’, which allowed the art fans among our residents access to works they may not otherwise have been able to see.
Connect with Nature
Plenty of studies have shown the positive impact of being connected with nature. At Corton House we are lucky to have beautiful and quite extensive grounds, and in the future we hope to introduce more sensory planting, encourage wildlife and even grow produce to support our wellbeing programme.
Simply sitting on a bench listening to the birds singing, taking a short walk, or enjoying some light gardening are all great ways to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and improve mood. If you can’t get outside, ask a friend or relative to ‘bring the outdoors in’ – in the home we ensure our residents who cannot leave their beds can enjoy nature too, with hand massages using lavender oil or bunches of bright cut flowers in their rooms.
Find a Friend
Friendship is key to everyone’s wellbeing, young and old. Corton House works with a wonderful local charity, Friend In Deed, which matches older and younger people as pen pals. Charities such as Age UK will often have directories of local venues and groups that are a great place to form new friendships, such as our Community Hot Spot Sessions with free hot meal, tea and coffee, and social activities, at the Jubilee Centre in Lakenham.