Best Activities for Seniors: Ideas to share and adopt

by juliet

As adults age, it can be harder to do some of the activities enjoyed in their youth—but loss of abilities does not mean the end of good times. One of the best things you can do for your senior loved ones is encourage engagement in elderly activities. Staying active is good for their physical and emotional health and also helps maintain cognitive skills and mobility. If you are looking for ideas on what to suggest or try, here are some of the best activities for seniors:

1. Grab a good book

Reading is a great independent activity for seniors to keep their brain stimulated no matter where they are. Scientific studies have found many benefits of reading for seniors including enhanced memory, sharpened decision-making skills, reduced stress, and aid for a more restful sleep. Reading materials can include magazines, newspapers, physical books, e-readers, or audiobooks. You can also make this activity a social one by having your senior organize a book club.

2. Keep moving

Exercise can be intimidating for many seniors – especially physical challenges. However, exercise does not need to include vigorous activity. Even the simplest exercises offer benefits such as flexibility, improving posture, and a boost in mood and energy. Listed below are some simple elderly exercises that most seniors can do to get their heart pumping and muscles moving:

  • Walking around the neighborhood or local park
  • Gardening
  • Tai Chi
  • Restorative yoga
  • Dancing at home or at a dance studio
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming laps

The main goal of exercise for seniors is to get them moving. If there is no exercise in your seniors existing lifestyle, they may start to lose the ability to do the simplest things. This can lead to a loss of independence.

3. Engaging in creative activities for seniors

Another fun way to stimulate your senior’s mind is to have them engage in creative activities. These artistic hobbies can include coloring, painting, sculpture and photography. Other creative activities for seniors or skills to learn together or recommend can include:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Knitting
  • Seasonal crafts (Christmas ornaments, Valentine’s Day heart letters, Jack-o-lanterns etc.)
  • Woodwork/building
  • Baking or cooking

To make this more of a social activity for your senior, you can also do some research to see if there are any community art classes hosted in your area. These are often offered through local colleges or schools, libraries, city programs, local businesses and senior centers. These creative activities for seniors can help provide variety and stimulate their younger creative side.

4. Connect with friends

You are never too old to make new friends. For seniors, it is important to maintain social connection, and that can include making new friends.  Companionship is as important for seniors as it is for children, because it increases feelings of worthiness, independence, and general feelings of happiness. You can help your senior pursue companionship by encouraging them to participate in social activities and meet new people. Opportunities to socialize can be limited for some seniors but getting involved in clubs, the local community and other activities will help.

If your senior is becoming less active and more isolated, you may also want to consider assisted living. Many assisted living communities provide classes and various elderly activities to encourage companionship and movement.

Aging does not mean that social and physical activities once enjoyed should cease, but they may need to adjust. Learning to adapt and incorporate these best activities for seniors will help improve cognitive functions, mobility, and overall happiness.

If you have any questions about how to best care for your senior or about our assisted living community, please contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112.