As we get older, our physical and mental abilities change. You may notice that your loved one’s days increasingly consist of sedentary behavior, activities of daily living and rest, but this provides them with little physical, mental and social stimulation that is necessary for a high quality of life. The good news is that there are many fun activities for the elderly people can take part in to keep their minds sharp, bodies strong and spirits high. Whether it’s spending time outdoors, playing games with family and friends, or spending time working on a favorite hobby, doing things they love can benefit their overall well being.
To come up with some fun and creative activities ideas, take inventory of your loved one’s strengths, weaknesses and personal interests. From this list, you can brainstorm ideas for outings and activities and then determine if they might need to be adapted to accommodate their capabilities.
Types of Activities for the Elderly
Not every senior has the same interests or physical and mental abilities. What delights one person may seem completely uninteresting to someone else. Some of the kinds of activities to consider include arts and crafts, being outdoors, games and puzzles, exercise, and field trips. One great way to experience all of these activities to is join a Naamcare Elder Services. Our Companion and Recreation services are generally offers,
- Card and board games
- Arts and crafts
- Exercise, yoga or tai chi classes
- Educational programs
- Support services and resources for seniors
As far as games and puzzles go, many seniors enjoy traditional games like bingo or bridge, while others have fun playing nostalgic board games, games that challenge the mind, and computer games. Some of the well-known board games seniors love include Life, Dominoes, Yahtzee, Operation, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble and Monopoly.
One of the best games to keep seniors mentally stimulated is the reminiscing game, a game made for senior citizens that challenges the memory with great nostalgic questions. Senior Moments is another memory game that is good for cognitive functioning.
Exercise is not only a fun activity, but it is also a great way to stay active, keep your bones healthy and maintain cardiovascular health. The most underrated exercise, especially for seniors, is walking. Even if it is for just 10 minutes a day, the fresh air and change of pace can make a huge difference in your mood and circulation. Other low impact exercises include tai chi, yoga, dancing, and balance exercises.
Activities to Stay Connected
The most important activities for seniors involve those that keep them connected to family, friends and the community. As we age, we tend to lose a sense of connection to the world around us, but keeping that connection is the key to staying healthy and vibrant. Doing activities together, therefore, offers both a fun and therapeutic way to stay engaged. Some of these activities for the elderly include playing family games, cooking together, going on a movie night, visiting with children and grandchildren, going to church, singing songs and playing instruments together, eating out as a family, and even doing chores together.
Arts and Crafts
Whether it’s learning a new craft or continuing with a favorite hobby, most arts and crafts activities can be modified as needed so seniors with certain physical limitations can still enjoy a favorite pastime. A very popular activity for the elderly is ceramics. Many ceramic projects only need light sanding and painting, resulting in a beautiful and rewarding finished piece. This type of services offers a wonderful way for seniors to pass the time either at home. Other suitable crafts for senior citizens include:
- Making greeting cards
- Sponge painting stationary
- Woodworking projects such as building birdhouses or making clocks
- Making foam magnets
- Flower arranging
You are never too old to go on a field trip. In fact, field trips represent the ideal activity for seniors as long as they are not too strenuous. It is important to prepare properly for any field trip you plan for a senior loved one. Some of the more popular field trip activities for seniors include going to sports games, luncheons, holiday festivals, parks, libraries, art museums, science museums, zoos and aquariums, picnics, concerts, fair and carnivals, hikes and walks, holiday lights and movies.
More creative field trips may include making and delivering gift baskets to children’s hospitals, veteran organizations, charitable organizations. Seniors may also enjoy helping at a food or clothing bank, or helping serve meals to those in need.
For nature lovers, you can visit bird and animal sanctuaries where you can watch birds and other local wildlife in their natural environment. You can go to nature parks, local wetlands, farms, beaches, caves, natural springs, and historic trails. These types of field trips provide a sense of connection with nature and a calming affect on the mind.
Ideas for field trips are endless, and most communities offer a plethora of options that are listed in community calendars and local newspapers by category, including food, music, hobbies, culture, education, nature, spiritual, and more.
All of these activities can help to strengthen a senior’s abilities, improve flexibility and enhance the likelihood of retaining independence long term.