Our physical and mental abilities change as we get older. You may notice that your loved one’s days increasingly consist of sedentary behavior, activities of daily living (ADLs) and rest, but this provides them with little physical, mental and social stimulation that is necessary for a high quality of life. However, it can be challenging to offer activities and opportunities they are interested in and that are appropriate for their ability levels, especially when we are so busy juggling countless responsibilities.
Hobbies and activities are productive, engaging ways for loved ones to pass the time rather than just watching television or relying solely on you for entertainment. If they can do these things safely on their own, with friends and other family members, or at a senior or adult day care center, they also have the potential to free you up to see to your own care needs, household tasks, interests and social life.
The best way to keep seniors active and excited about life is to encourage their hobbies and interests and try new things together as often as possible. To come up with some fresh 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.
Bookworm + macular degeneration + low vision aid = Literary adventures
Classic movie fan + hearing loss + personal listening system = Old Hollywood home theater
Animal lover + limited mobility + rollator = Outings to the zoo and local humane society
There are many fun activities 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 the overall well being of all seniors.
There are many fun activities 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 the overall wellbeing of all seniors.
Seniors who enjoy being outside may find bird-watching a fascinating hobby. They can spot birds or look for feathers while taking a nature walk, or identify species from the comfort of their own backyard while they listen to the birds sing.
Other fun outdoor activities include:
Outings to parks and other places of interest
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 that 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 project offers a wonderful way for seniors to pass the time either at home or at senior community centers
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
Games and Puzzles for the Elderly – Many elderly people enjoy spending time playing games working on puzzles with family or friends.
There are a number of companies that offer a large selection of games and puzzles that are adapted for people who have physical limitations such as low vision or arthritis. Some of these companies include: Senior Sez and Masters Traditional Games.
While many seniors enjoy traditional games like bingo or bridge, others have fun playing nostalgic board games, games that challenge the mind and computer games. Break out one of the following well-known board games when you want to liven things up. Examples:
Other examples of games that are fun for senior citizens to play include:
Senior Moments, a memory game
The Reminiscing Game, a game made for senior citizens that challenges the memory with great nostalgia questions
Working on puzzles, helps keep the mind sharp and alert. The same companies that offer adapted games for people with physical limitations also offer jigsaw puzzles with oversized puzzle pieces and crossword and word search books printed in large print.
Visit Senior Centers
Naturally not every senior has the same interests or physical and mental abilities. What delights one person may seem completely uninteresting to someone else. Joining a senior center is a great way to meet other people who share similar interests and engage in a wide range of activities.
Although each senior center is different, they generally all offer:
Card and board games
Arts and crafts
Exercise, yoga or tai chi classes
Support services and resources for seniors
Never Too Old to Have Fun
Regardless of age, everyone loves to have fun, and older seniors are no exception. Having a good laugh and sharing enjoyable activities can be a wonderful way to stay actively engaged in life.