Activity Ideas for Seniors
Maintaining a level of mental stimulation, physical activity, and social engagement is important for health and vitality, especially for seniors who can easily succumb to isolation and depression. Depending on your loved one’s state of health, he or she may not be motivated to seek out activities on their own, so it is important to initiate different things to do. At the same time, it can be difficult to come up with ideas, so we’ve compiled the following list of activity ideas for seniors…
Family Engagement Ideas
Photo Album – Get the family involved in putting together a photo album. You’ll learn more about each other, have fun in the process, and create a beautiful keepsake at the same time.
Biography – Sit down with your loved one for short periods of time each day reminiscing about moments in his or her life. Compile it together into a biography. This creates a beautiful keepsake as well as more beautiful moments to share with your loved one.
Record Interviews – Have your children interview your loved one while you video record it.
Read to Your Loved One – Whether your loved one can still read on their own or not, reading to him or her can be a fun and relaxing way to spend time together.
Perform Skits – Have your children create skits, songs and/or dance routines to perform in front of your loved one. There is no better entertainment than that!
Book Clubs – If your loved one has a love of reading, now is the time to get involved in a book club, where they can socialize with other people who have similar interests and learn new perspectives on book topics they enjoy.
Magazines – Everyone enjoys magazines that cater to their hobbies. Make sure your loved one has a subscription to their favorite magazine(s).
Gardening – For many seniors, gardening can be an enjoyable and relaxing hobby, while providing some important exercise at the same time.
Repairing – If your loved one had an interest in how things work and repairing objects, purchase some small appliances and gadgets at thrift stores and ask him to repair them.
Cognitive Engagement Ideas
Sorting – Seniors who have trouble doing many of the tasks they have been used to doing find enjoyment in sorting objects, such as crayons and beads. They can help you get a lot of organizing done!
Folding Clothes – Folding clothes is another simple task that most seniors can get some enjoyment out of.
Word Searches – There is no better way to keep the mind active than to break out the word search book!
Large Piece Puzzles – Puzzles are another great way to enhance cognitive skills and engage the mind.
Music – Whether it is a musical instrument that your loved one plays or just music they listen to, music is a wonderful way to pass the time because it is fun and it sparks creativity and cognitive function.
Knitting – Knitting is an easy yet engaging activity because it is relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Seniors will love discovering all the things they can create.
Seasonal Crafts – Keep your house ready for each season by giving your loved one seasonal crafts to create and display.
Scrapbooking – Scrapbooking is relaxing and fun, and it’s a great way to get all of those photos you take out of your phone and onto paper.
Engaging With Technology Ideas
iPad – Many seniors love working on an iPad. You can load it up with their favorite music, give them access to email and Facebook, and get them engaged with iPad games like Words (scrabble) and Mahjong.
Wii – The Wii has many active games that can even be played from a wheelchair, such as the bowling game. There are also many Wii games that provide mental stimulation.
Walks – Walks are great exercise, but they are even important for those seniors who are in a wheelchair because getting fresh air helps to invigorate the soul and keep us feeling vibrant.
Chair Exercises – There are many exercises that can be done from a wheelchair if mobility is an issue.
Water Aerobics – This low impact exercise is perfect for seniors.
Tai Chi & Yoga – These exercises help seniors stay flexible and balanced, not to mention happy and fit.
Out & About Ideas
Outings – Whether you take your loved one to the mall, a restaurant, a hair and nail salon, the movies, a pet store, Bingo, or to see a play, they will love getting out of the house and having some fun with you.
Volunteer – There are many opportunities for seniors to volunteer at churches, hospitals, libraries, etc. to maintain a sense of purpose and to keep active.
Bird Watching – This relaxing hobby is enjoyed by many seniors and is a great way for them to socialize.
Fishing – This is another relaxing way to get out and enjoy some fresh air and activity.
Take Classes – The senior years are the perfect time to take all those classes you wish you could have taken when you were too busy with work, such as pottery making, jewelry making, wood carving and more.
Dancing – It’s always fun to get out dancing, no matter what age you are!
Other Fun Ideas
Games – When in doubt, there are always the classic games like cards and checkers. People of all ages have been enjoying these for ages.
Pets – Pets are a great way to boost your loved one’s mood. They can have fun petting or brushing the family dog or cat.
Yard games – Yard games like horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball, and beanbag toss are great go-to activities for seniors as well.
These days, we are busier than ever and though we may have good intentions, it can be difficult to keep our loved ones as active and entertained as we’d like. We can’t do it all and that’s okay. That’s why there are several services available to help!
Adult Day Care – Adult day care can be a great way to provide your loved on with the mental, physical and social stimulation they need to be happy and healthy.
Respite Care – If you are a caregiver for your loved one, there will be times when you will need a break. That’s where respite care comes in. It allows you to bring a caregiver into your home only during the times that you need her, providing you with the rest you need while ensuring your loved one is cared for.
Companion Care – Socialization is so important for your loved one, and although they might not need care from a nurse, they may need simple care that a companion can provide. Companion care is when you hire a caregiver to perform simple tasks for your loved one, such as meal prep and personal care, while also engaging your loved one in activities like a friend or family member would.
Accompaniment Transportation – Perhaps your loved one wants to get out more often than you are able to provide yourself, but you don’t feel comfortable just hiring a taxi service. Accompaniment transportation puts your loved one in good hands by providing a caregiver to drive your loved one to where they want to go and ensuring their safety at the same time.