One of the secrets to well-being in our later years is continuing to remain engaged with life through meaningful activities. Total Engagement promotes successful aging and life satisfaction with a unique collection of activities created to stimulate growth, curiosity, and enjoyment through self-discovery and creative expression.
Designed especially for older adults as well as adults with special needs, the holistic activities in this book help strengthen physical and cognitive abilities, often both at the same time. They promote well-being by meeting essential human needs for physical, mental, and emotional engagement, and they recognize the supporting role of the environment and social connections in fulfilling these needs.
Focusing on the unique benefits derived from the expressive arts—including dance, drama, music, language arts, and visual arts—these 71 innovative activities:
- transform familiar routines in novel and enjoyable ways
- can be adapted to the needs, interests, and abilities of participants
- include “Connections” to other expressive arts for 140 more creative variations
- offer the chance to try new experiences in a supported environment
- stimulate neuronal activity in the brain
- improve physical strength, coordination, and flexibility
- accommodate individual age-related limitations
- incorporate technology, multisensory stimulation, and intergenerational options for added enrichment
Activity professionals and nonprofessionals within congregate care or community settings can learn how to facilitate activities that help adults resist becoming disengaged due to losses associated with aging or disability and enjoy the satisfaction and success of remaining engaged, flexible, and resilient in late life.
What makes an activity holistic?
A finger-stretch exercise promotes joint flexibility and fine motor skills, but the same result is achieved with a knot-tying activity that is more interesting and engaging because it:
- is tactile
- produces a satisfying result
- creates a new skill
- promotes procedural memory and problem solving
- fosters neuroplasticity