30 Activity Ideas for SeniorsMar 22, 2023
30 Activity Ideas for Seniors
By: Generationally Prepared
Just because your Senior is getting older doesn’t mean they still can’t have healthy, engaged lifestyles! While some of their physical range of motion may be declining, or they may not be able to focus for the long stretches they may have been used to, your Senior is still capable of a quality of life that suits them and their specific needs. Research has shown that leisure activities are highly beneficial in elderly living. As a Caregiver, helping your Senior find what they’re passionate about can lessen feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression that can come in the later years. This list is meant to be an idea guide to help start both your journeys in finding a lifestyle that is still meaningful and entertaining, no matter what phase of life your Senior is in. Some of the activities below can be something you do together, and some are individual hobbies they can do when they have some time alone!
At the top of the list is a great form of physical activity that’s important if your Senior is still mobile. While it’s a boost to physical health, it’s also a great mood lifter. Find a local park or a space near where you live and go walking together!
Whether it’s a drawing or crocheting, crafts are a leisurely way to engage the mind and a good way to pass the time. You can locate kits online or use what’s around your house for a DIY afternoon.
Even if your Senior can’t cook independently anymore, making a recipe together is a great way to bond and to have something delicious you can enjoy together after it’s done!
If your Senior is technologically averse, or maybe they prefer a more intimate form of communication, letter writing is a perfect way to engage their linguistic skills and to have messages they can have forever as keepsakes. It’s also a good format to stay in touch over long distances!
Whether it’s Monopoly or Scrabble, board games can be a great setting to have a night in with your Senior. The bright colors and pieces can also help with memory retention and problem-solving.
If your Senior has some time to themselves, reading is a perfect tool to help keep the mind engaged and to broaden their horizons. Whether it’s a crime thriller or motivational literature, it can easily help lessen their isolation by connecting with other minds that have committed their words to paper. If your Senior has difficulty reading on their own, audiobooks can be a great solution.
If reading is your Senior’s thing, joining a book club in the community can help them form bonds with fellow readers and Seniors who enjoy the art of prose. You can find clubs virtually as well as through your local library.
LISTENING TO MUSIC
Whether it’s finding a radio station on Spotify they enjoy, or maybe making a custom playlist for your Senior to go through on their own time, music is perfect for emotional catharsis and stimulation. If your Senior is still mobile, finding a local show at a coffee house or park could be a great way to have them see music live.
LEARNING A LANGUAGE
Whether it’s a language learning application like Duolingo or a local class, taking lessons on a different form of speaking is an excellent way of preserving memory and linguistic ability. If travel is still an option, going to the country of origin after learning it is a fun reward!
For the Senior with the green thumb, getting outdoors and gardening can help beautify their home as well as provide some physical activity. Going with your Senior to buy some plants is also a special way to spend the day!
Including your Senior in daily activities like shopping can help them feel like they’re a part of the community, as well as keep them out and about. Even if it’s a simple errand, bringing your Senior with you can help them feel included.
While more active sports like Soccer may be challenging for your Senior, more leisurely athletics like Golf or Badminton are great opportunities for physical activity. If there are other Seniors in the area who enjoy sports, consider joining a club where Seniors meet up and play!
Facetime and other mobile communication forms can help your Senior stay in touch with you or with their other friends. Sometimes a face-to-face call can feel more intimate and engaging for Seniors who struggle with messaging applications.
For the more tech-savvy Senior, social media applications like Facebook and Instagram can help your Senior feel a part of the community, even if they can’t physically be in as many places as they used to. It’s also a great format for finding support groups, common interests, and news. These apps can help your Senior locate community spaces nearby for them to join.
If your Senior is up for it, finding a local class that specializes in activity for Seniors could be perfect for your loved one to stay fit. Whether it’s swimming or walking, a group setting can give them the encouragement they need to stay active.
Whether it’s through a meditation app or a gentle yoga class, meditation is an excellent way to relieve stress and maintain focus throughout the day. Showing your Senior some basic breathing exercises and mindfulness tips and tricks they can do on their own can benefit their cognition and sense of wellbeing.
GO TO THE MOVIES
Your Senior can always watch their favorite shows at home but getting out and watching a movie in a theater can help them feel a part of the community and can also be a fun event to do on a free night. Some theaters also do classic movie re-runs, so if your Senior has an old favorite that they’d like to see on the big screen again, it’s a perfect opportunity.
GO SEE A PLAY
Similar to seeing a movie, going to see a live show or play is also a perfect form of entertainment for your Senior. Whether it’s a local production or a professional one, engaging with stories and colorful set pieces can help them talk about their own experiences.
Whether your Senior is waiting in a doctor’s office or has some spare time at home, finding a podcast on a topic that interests your Senior can help them pass the time. Most podcasts are conversational and they can help your Senior feel like they’re a part of a broader discussion.
Even if it’s a favorite daily crossword or a jigsaw puzzle, finding something that encourages problem-solving and cognition can help with your Senior’s memory retention and broader thinking. There are numerous puzzles online that your Senior can do, though a physical one may be their preferred option. You can buy one with large print, fewer pieces, and bright colors if the more complex ones are too difficult.
Simple games like Go Fish or Old Maid offer easy ways for playing a card game with your Senior. It’s an excellent format to share some time together. There are plenty of playing cards with large print if your Senior has difficulty discerning which suit is which.
Getting a pet for your Senior as a companion could be a perfect way for emotional support and connection daily. Whether a cat or a fish, find a pet that works for your schedule, care ability, and enjoyability. It can be a shared friend of you both!
If your Senior is nature-inclined, birdwatching is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon outside. You can purchase a local guide for your area and your Senior can check off all the ones they’ve seen. Buying a birdfeeder for the backyard is also a great set piece for your home and an easy way to bring some feathered friends to you.
PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
If your Senior knows a musical instrument, playing their favorite tune or making something themselves is a perfect time-killer and creative outlet. It’s also not too late to learn! There are plenty of online courses or free Youtube videos that can help them master an easy-to-play instrument like a keyboard or recorder.
Whether it’s a letter-writing program or a food drive, getting out and about in the community will be a rewarding experience for both you and your Senior. Giving back has purpose and doing so can help your Senior feel connected and valued.
Getting a geriatric massage for your Senior or having a bubble bath is an excellent form of self-care. Get some face masks and have a spa day with your Senior! Encouraging daily hygiene is a boost to self-esteem and overall wellness. Make it fun!
An easy-to-play game, bingo can be played online or at a local meetup in your community. Find a setting that works for your Senior and enjoy the number-matching.
TAKE AN ONLINE CLASS
If your Senior has a love of learning, finding a series of lectures online or by taking a class virtually can be a good way to connect no matter where they are. Find a topic of interest your Senior enjoys and let them feel the enjoyment of discovery the world has to offer.
Going to a local exhibition can help your Senior feel the spark of art and creativity again. It’s a leisurely activity, and there are plenty of small and large curations available across the country. Your Senior will enjoy the afternoon taking in the best examples of artistic talent and visual expression. A guided tour may be the best way to keep your Senior engaged.
Marking down life events and experiences can be a boost to your Senior’s memory, as well as serving as a guide to their day-to-day life. Journaling has many cathartic benefits; get your Senior some fun pens or markers and a large-lined book for them to mark in. Even if it isn’t daily activities, putting their thoughts onto paper can help them process the later stage of living.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, the ideas and activities listed here are a great launching pad to finding ways to spend time meaningfully and rewardingly. Achieving the right balance of hobbies and life experiences will help your Senior maintain the more mundane aspects of living, as well as to help them connect and stay mentally and physically active. Work towards an approach that fits both your lifestyles and enjoy the free time you have with your Senior to the best of your abilities. It will make unforgettable memories and meaningful experiences for you both.