50s Lifestyle

Importance of play at any age

PLAYING and having fun on a regular basis is vital for any age but especially important as you age.

Studies show that seniors who stay socially active and engaged, experience a variety of benefits, including better cognitive function which helps prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and reduces the risk of chronic loneliness which can also lead to health problems.
With its doors always open to newcomers, Kitchener Day Club, based at Bankstown RSL and funded by its sub-branch, has been providing a home away from home for the retired every second Monday for nearly 25 years.
In its heyday (when it operated on a Thursday), there were around 70 members but the group has dwindled to about 20, aged 65 to 70.
“We always have fun and look forward to our catch-ups,” organiser Jeanette Durston said.
Meeting from 9.45am-2pm, members are provided with morning tea and lunch (sandwiches, tea and coffee) and start off with a gentle Tai Chi routine.
Then there are range of games on offer like quizzes, Trivial Pursuit, puzzles, cards and even colouring in with a prize for the best.
Experts believe that colouring in, now popular in aged care facilities, dramatically reduces brain activity, creating a blanket of calmness.
This calming effect transfers to other benefits for seniors as they colour; by sidetracking the mind, colouring takes control of any anxious or fearful thoughts.
“After lunch we often have musical items, managed by my husband Ivan, and sing-a-longs,” Jeanette added.
“Sometimes we have bus trips and can pick up and drop off anyone who needs a lift.
“It’s very important for older people to get out and socialise and our club is ideal for that.”
For more info, call Jeanette on 9727 7524.