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Weve all heard of the common forms of therapy, including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and therapy for behavioral and mental health. But did you know there are many other therapeutic approaches available for seniors to engage in to improve their physical and mental health?From art and music to gardening and pets, many varieties of therapy exist that take a more holistic approach to seniors health and wellness. These alternatives can be a supplement to standard therapies, or they can be done as a standalone practice. Either way, alternative therapies can be a powerful tool for enriching the lives of seniors. Lets explore five of the best alternative therapies for seniors in Florida.1. Art TherapyArt therapy for seniors is based on the notion that being artistic and creative helps promote healing, self-expression, and mental well-being. Art therapy is led by trained experts in both art and psychology. The focus of this type of therapy is not on artistic abilities or final products, but instead on the process of being creative and expressing oneself.Some techniques commonly used in art therapy include painting, drawing, doodling, coloring, sculpting, and photography.Art therapy is intended for people of all ages and abilities. It is often utilized in settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior centers, assisted living, and memory care communities. Art therapy is highly beneficial for seniors as it helps keep memory sharp, reduces stress, promotes communication and self-expression, improves mood, and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. So channel your inner Picasso and start reaping the many benefits of art therapy!2. Music TherapyMusic therapy for seniors is similar to art therapy, but it instead uses the power of music to enhance mental wellness and emotional health. It is commonly used for seniors to encourage socialization, reduce stress, and promote self-expression. Music therapy utilizes four main techniques: receptive, re-creation, improvisation, and composition/songwriting. During receptive music therapy, the therapist plays music and in response, the senior is free to express themselves through dancing, writing, or with words. Re-creation music therapy involves various musical activities such as singing songs, playing instruments, and doing rhythmic exercises. Improvisation therapy involves the senior creating simple music with their voice, body percussion, or instruments. Finally, during composition/songwriting therapy, the senior is able to create their own music or lyrics.All of these techniques help seniors express their emotions, feel a sense of purpose and achievement, improve their cognitive functioning, feel joy and nostalgia, and foster social interaction and community involvement. After all, who doesnt love a good jam session?3. Pet TherapyOne of the most beloved forms of alternative therapy is pet therapy. This type of therapeutic intervention uses animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and more to improve seniors physical and mental health.Animals involved in pet therapy are thoroughly trained to be well-socialized and interact with seniors, especially those who may have limited mobility.The three main types of pet therapy are ownership therapy, visitation therapy, and animal assisted therapy (AAT). With ownership therapy, the senior actually owns the pet. This option is best for seniors who are active, mobile, and able to successfully care for a pet. Visitation therapy, the most common type of pet therapy, involves animals coming to visit seniors, either in their homes or senior living communities. Visitation therapy is what most people picture when they think of pet therapy.Finally, animal assisted therapy is an intensive form of therapy for seniors who need extreme rehabilitation. Oftentimes this type of therapy involves highly sensitive animals like horses and dolphins to improve and practice physical skills. Pet therapy has been proven to be extremely beneficial for seniors. Pet therapy requires seniors to increase their mobility and physical activity by walking or playing with the pet. It also promotes mental activity, increases communication, reduces loneliness, encourages affection, decreases stress, and lowers blood pressure. Not to mention, therapy pets bring love and joy to everyone they meet.The power of pets is incredible!4. Aquatic TherapyAquatic therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatherapy, is a technique that has been used for thousands of years, including for seniors. It involves the senior performing certain physical stretches and exercises in temperature-controlled water for physical rehabilitation, relaxation, and fitness. The goal of aquatic therapy for seniors is muscle relaxation, increased strength, improved joint motion, and pain reduction. Aquatic therapy is especially beneficial for seniors, as it puts less pressure on joints, reduces inflammation, and provides a safer environment to practice balance, mobility, and strength exercises. Studies have shown that water-based exercises can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health, and can also help people improve their exercise habits.Some techniques used in aquatic therapy include underwater walking and stair training, strength training with water weights, stretching with flotation belts, and more. Aquatic therapy can be done in both indoor and outdoor pools. Seniors in Florida have the unique advantage of having access to outdoor pools year-round, making aquatic therapy more accessible. 5. Horticultural TherapyHorticultural therapy, sometimes known as gardening therapy, is the use of gardening, plants, and plant-based activities for the purpose of healing and rehabilitation. This practice has been used for thousands of years to improve peoples physical, mental, and cognitive health, and has gotten more popular and widely recognized in more recent years.Horticultural therapy is often used with seniors as it is accessible for those with limited mobility. Research has shown that working with plants promotes relaxation, heightens senses, improves physical health, and increases cognitive awareness. For seniors in particular, gardening is also an opportunity to socialize with others, work toward a common goal, feel a sense of purpose, increase self-esteem, be engaged in the community, decrease stress, and spend time outdoors. Some activities used in horticultural therapy include tending to gardens, sowing seeds, drying herbs, harvesting produce, potting plants, creating floral arrangements, and many more.Like with aquatic therapy, Florida seniors are at an advantage by having nice weather year-round, allowing them to be outside and work in gardens no matter the season. So bring your green thumb and get gardening!How to find alternative therapy for seniorsAs you can see, there are many options available for Florida seniors to engage in alternative therapies to improve their health and wellness. But how can you find these opportunities?One of the best ways to access alternative therapies is through assisted living communities. These communities often have regular therapists on rotation who specialize in alternative approaches such as pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and more. If you are interested in finding a senior living community in Florida that offers a specific type of therapy, reach out to Florida Senior Consulting!Our expert senior advisors will find you a community that meets all your needs and interests, whether it be regular pet therapy, water aerobics classes, gardening clubs, art classes, or other offerings!Best of all, we offer these services at no cost to you or your family.So give us a call at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to get started finding the perfect community for you. Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.
Indoor Gardening for SeniorsIf youve transitioned from a home with a sizeable yard and sprawling garden to an apartment or condo, you may be suffering from a mild case of the green thumb blues.Relax. Downsizing doesnt mean you have to give up growing your favorite veggies, herbs and flowers. In fact, indoor gardening allows horticulturalists to plant and harvest year-round!Gardening has many benefits for older adults. It encourages the use of motor skills, improves endurance and strength, reduces stress levels and promotes relaxationnot to mention the opportunity to enjoy nutritious, home-grown produce!Check Out 5 Benefits of Indoor Gardening and Get Growing!Natural Air Purification Indoor gardens act as a natural air filter and can help rid your home of toxins. The bigger and leafier the plant, the better. The famous 1989 NASA experiment, found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. Since then, other research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants aid in cleaning indoor air.Bonus: Indoor plants are also a natural humidifier. Spider plants are able to remove toxins like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from indoor air.Ease of MaintenanceVertical gardens, or living walls, are a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance alternative to traditional garden plots. Forget about the painstaking process of pulling weeds or ridding your plot of pesky vermin. A little nutrient-rich soil, the right amount of light and water are the main ingredients for the perfect indoor oasis.Its now easier than ever to create your own indoor vertical garden with modular planting systems and hanging planters that require minimal assembly. Check out 9 Best Vertical Gardens for Indoor and Outdoor Planting and get started!Accessible to AllUnlike traditional gardens, theres no need to get down in the dirt with a living wall. An indoor vertical gardens ease of access makes it attractive to both new gardeners and anyone who has difficulty with mobility. Using containers also makes maintenance easier, since problems like weeds, ground-dwelling pests and soilborne diseases basically become non-existent.Liven Up Your DcorImagine a wall of beautiful, tropical plants on display in your living room. How about succulents or fresh herbs, 10 different shades of green, in your kitchen? Indoor gardens are as aesthetically pleasing as they are beneficial and practical. A lush green wall has the ability to make any space look beautiful!Easy Fresh VegetablesEnjoy home-grown, fresh herbs, veggies and flowers all year-round! Harvesting vertically also reduces bending to pick and find vegetables. In addition, growing a vertical garden will help keep the fruit and vegetables clean. Some crops that grow well in a vertical garden include tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, peas, melons, zucchini, grapes and more.Consider starting your own indoor garden and give your new abode a unique look and feel.Life at American HouseTransitioning to senior living doesnt have to mean giving up gardening. Many American House communities offer opportunities to dig in the dirt, either in your apartment or in outdoor gardens and patio spaces.At American House, we offer maintenance-free living at its finest. Our charming communities feature spacious apartments with a variety of amenities and services. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, weekly housekeeping, salon and barber shop services, fitness centers and so much more. With locations across the Midwest, Southeast and New England, youre sure to find the proper level of care and services to fit your needs.We offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care* and Respite Care. Contact us to find out which American House community is right for you.
Gardening is a great way for seniors to feel a sense of purpose, gain a renewed appreciation for nature, and grow something beautiful to enjoy. Its also a fantastic way to stay active. Not everyone has the space or ability to maintain a large garden, which is where patio gardening comes into play. With these seven tips, you can create a beautiful and manageable garden right on your own patio!Start small: If youre new to gardening, we suggest beginning with a small garden that is easy to manage. Choose a few plants that are low maintenance and require minimal effort, and grow from there.Use containers: One of the biggest advantages of patio gardening is the ability to maintain your plants in containers easily. This allows you to control the soil quality, water levels, and sunlight exposure for each plant. Plus, it makes it easier to move your plants around as needed for optimal growth. You can even get creative with your containers by using repurposed items like old buckets or teapots.Ensure proper drainage: Look for containers that are the right size for your plants and have adequate drainage holes to prevent overwatering or waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot. Also, use a good-quality potting mix with good drainage properties.Choose the right plants: It's important to choose plants that are well-suited for container gardening and can thrive in the limited space and conditions of a patio. Look for plants that are labeled as "patio" or "container" varieties, and consider factors like sunlight, water needs, and temperature tolerance. Some great options include herbs, succulents, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and flowers like marigolds, petunias, and geraniums.Provide sufficient sunlight & water: Most plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Make sure your patio garden is located in a spot that receives adequate sunlight. Container plants dry out faster than plants in the ground, so youll need to check the soil regularly and water as needed to ensure your plants are moist but not waterlogged.Use the right tools: The best gardening tools for seniors offer lightweight materials, ergonomic shape or design, longer handles, and electric or automated features. These tools can help reduce strain on joints and muscles and make gardening enjoyable. If you need new tools, Amazon has a great list of senior-friendly gardening supplies!Ask for help: Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members if needed. Gardening can be a fun social activity, and sharing the workload can make it more enjoyable. In fact, gardening is a favorite pastime for many residents at Resort Lifestyle Community. Here are a few recent highlights.Many of our communities love growing plants and nurturing friendships along the way. If this sounds like a lifestyle youd love, contact Stone River Retirement Community today. Wed enjoy the opportunity to welcome you!
Designed for your comfort, our community will feature studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom senior living apartments with a variety of floor plans and smart details to complement your lifestyle. Each apartment is unfurnished but includes window coverings, a climate-controlled thermostat, carpeting, ceiling fans, and ample storage. Enjoy the freedom to decorate your new home to your individual taste. The kitchens are fully equipped with a dishwasher, range, microwave, refrigerator with ice maker, and a garbage disposal. Our bathrooms are well lit with a vanity sink and storage cabinet, plus high toilet seating and a walk-in shower with handrails. Washer/dryer hook-ups are located in a separate laundry closet within the apartment. We also offer residents the option to use our community laundry room on-site. Our professional staff provides as-needed maintenance repairs and light housekeeping on a weekly basis.