A physiotherapist, Dr Benjamin Oyedele, has advised Nigerians to engage elderly people in fun activities to improve their overall well-being.
Oyedele gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja ahead of the International Day of Older Persons marked every Oct. 1.
NAN reports that the Day is marked globally to highlight the value of older people and promote their dignity.
The theme for 2019 is “The Journey to Age Equality“
He said that Nigerians should be patient, polite and friendly to the elderly, as well protect them from abuse and neglect.
Oyedele said that there were many fun activities that would keep their minds and bodies sharp, strong, and in high spirit.
“Whether it’s spending time outdoors, playing games with family and friends or working on a favorite hobby, fun activities can benefit a senior’s overall wellbeing,” he said.
Oyedele advised Nigerians to build relationships and combat isolation for the elderly.
He also suggested that aged persons should be allowed to connect with others.
“Continuing to learn and engaging all of their senses could help them keep their brain active and sharp.
“This can significantly improve the quality of life for an older person, especially if mobility is beginning to decline.
“Encourage them to explore what they feel passionate about and to branch out and try new fun activities for them.”
Oyedele said that regardless of age, everyone loves to have fun, and elderly individuals were no exception.
He stated that having a good laugh and sharing enjoyable activities would be a wonderful way to stay actively engaged in life.
“Whether it’s learning a new craft or continuing with a favorite hobby, most arts and crafts activities can be modified as needed so that elderly individuals with certain physical limitations can still enjoy a favorite pastime.
“ Get crafty with ceramics, many ceramic projects only need light sanding and planting, resulting in a beautiful and rewarding finished piece,” he said.
According to him, ceramics help to combat depressive symptoms because it triggers the reward circuit in the brains that releases the feel- good neurotransmitter dopamine.
He said that working with ceramics was a great creative opportunity to work on dexterity while engaging the senses.
NAN recalls that in December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly by resolution 45/106 designated October 1, as International Day of Older Persons.
The theme for 2019 supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of achieving development through the inclusiveness of all ages, which helps in addressing inequality in the society.(NAN)