Despite their disability, visually impaired senior citizens enjoy socialising and participating in recreational activities. The desire to connect and communicate doesn't dissipate with age or deteriorating physical health. By getting creative and thinking about what special assistance they need to take part, you can help visually impaired seniors feel included in retirement home activities and group gatherings.
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Lectures, Discussion Groups and Gatherings
Seniors with vision problems can enjoy auditory activities without much extra help or extensive program modifications. Bring in guest speakers from nearby universities to discuss topics of interest. Some older people enjoy listening to scholars who specialise in WWII history, especially those who once served in the military. Visually-impaired seniors can also participate in group discussions. Consider organising a book club, or a group to discuss current political issues. Seniors with vision problems can keep up with current events by listening to the news. They also appreciate literature available through audio books or Braille versions of well-known classics. Seniors with visual impairments also appreciate opportunities for good food and discussion with others. You could stimulate this by holding afternoon tea parties to give visually impaired seniors a chance to nibble and socialise.
Learn what kinds of music the visually impaired senior likes and design activities around her preferences. Women and men with good voices can participate effectively in singing groups. Those with a good memory for song titles and artists might like a rousing game of "Name That Tune." Group sing-a-longs are another option. Be sure the group picks songs that the visually impaired person knows. If you're trying to improve life for a visually impaired senior in a retirement home, see if you can host a pub night with live music played by talented community members. With assistance, seniors with vision difficulties can get out on the dance floor and groove to the music.
Adapted Games and Activities
Seniors with little to no vision can still play games that are typically visual in nature, as long as they have adapted materials. You can buy large print and Braille playing cards for games of poker, cribbage or euchre. Other players must remember to say which cards have been played. Dominoes with indented spots, draughts identified by shape rather than colour, and chess sets with pieces easily discernible by touch are all potential options. Even games like bingo come in large print and Braille versions.
Seniors with some vision who like intellectual stimulation may enjoy large-print crossword puzzles. Some visually impaired seniors can complete simple jigsaw puzzles if the pieces are large enough.
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