People of all ages are always looking for things to do, and older adults have more time on their hands to explore new hobbies and generally have a good time. Activities for the elderly are no longer limited to the occasional bingo game (although that’s still fun). Seniors these days are interested in learning new skills and experiencing new things. So whether you are aging at home, a resident of an assisted living facility, or caring for a loved one, here are some great activity ideas for senior citizens of the 21st century.
Music and Dancing
Music feeds the soul, and dancing is a great physical activity that everyone can do. Even a senior with mobility issues or advanced dementia can enjoy an activity centered around music. In fact, music therapy recognizes the cognitive benefits of listening to music, and studies show that it can trigger feelings of happiness and contentment. So bring your senior to events such as a live concert, musical, or turn on the radio and chair dance. Typically, Senior living communities offer musical guests for entertainment as well.
Group Exercise Activities
As we get older, moving our bodies becomes more and more important. Taking daily walks with friends and family is a wonderful way to release stress and engage with the outside world. Group exercise classes like chair yoga, senior aerobics, or tai chi are a great way to let loose those endorphins and experience something new. If you want to step it up a notch, look for a senior sports league and join a soccer, basketball, or softball team. When you can combine exercise and socialization, you’re taking care of both your physical and mental health.
Reading and Writing
Take some time for yourself and have some fun with reading or creative writing. Book clubs let you share about what you’ve read, or you can just lose yourself in a book in solitude. Reading is a great elderly activity. If you love books but have trouble reading because of failing eyesight, audiobooks have exploded in popularity over the past 10 years, and the performances are fantastic. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at telling your own story. If so, grab a computer or a pen and paper and write it down! It doesn’t have to be a novel. You can write an essay, short story or even some letters! Whether you’re reading one or trying to write one, books help seniors escape real life for a little while and immerse themselves in another world.
Whether it’s your own garden or a community garden at your assisted living community, gardening calms the soul and puts you back in touch with nature. Tending a garden takes time, and seniors can spend hours planting, weeding, and just enjoying the outdoors. It’s a great way to stay active. Plus, all that work is rewarded with a bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers!
Sometimes you just want to have fun, and games are the perfect elderly activity. There are so many different games to choose from. Putting together puzzles is a good game for your brain and can help maintain fine motor skills. Board games are an enjoyable activity to share with others, as are card games like poker, bridge, and rummy. Assisted living communities also have a variety of activities for seniors that include events such as bingo and trivia nights. Besides being enjoyable, your game of choice exercises your brain, helps with memory, and breaks up feelings of isolation. If you don’t feel like hanging out with a group, play a solitary adult game. Doing crossword puzzles or playing a game on your computer or tablet are good ways to relax and engage your mind.
Art classes cover a broad range of activities for seniors and include everything from painting to jewelry making to even cooking. Anything that piques your interest and promotes creativity is bound to give your cognitive health a boost. People of any age can learn to draw, cook good food, make a scrapbook or make things out of modeling clay. In addition, residents of different communities could come together to interact and learn new skills.
Senior Living Doesn’t Mean Being Bored
It doesn’t matter if you live at home or in one of the many senior living communities, seniors are demanding more out of their retirement years. They want to be busy, active, and engaged. There are many, many elderly activities available, no matter what challenges they may be facing. So come up with a list of ideas and enjoy living life to the fullest!