Playing with local kids injects fun into seniors' life in Inner Mongolia
HOHHOT, China, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- A group of seniors have become weekly playmates with local children at the Shandan District activity center in Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
18 seniors could be found kicking around shuttlecocks, and playing tops and marbles in the center on Tuesday.
"These activities are my favorite in my childhood," said Ma Jun, 61, one of the residents in the district. "I've come for this play date once a week to tackle my loneliness."
Ma's wife died of lung cancer in 2016. His only son and granddaughter don't often come to see him.
Su Xiufen, residential committee director of Shandan District, said playing games in the center not only helps the elderly decrease things like social isolation, but also gives them a mental and physical workout as well.
"The games refresh me and are the highlights in my life," said Liu Lizhi, 74, who is in the early stages of dementia. "Participating in these fun activities remind me of many things in the old days," she added.
Playing child's games has been introduced to more and more residential districts in Hohhot. Zeng Xuan, 58, had attended several of these activities in the local college for the aged and then brought them to the district where she lives.
"In addition to the games, we also organize activities including singing, dancing and craft making," she said.
"I love the playfulness and interaction that we can get through the games," Zeng added.