Finding Fun Things to Do
Our loved ones need to be stimulated mentally, physically, and socially to maintain health and to avoid depression and isolation. Below are some ideas to get you thinking about other ways to connect - and inspire your loved one to keep learning, get stronger, and have fun.
Games and Exercise
- Chair Exercises: You can make up your own, ask your physician, purchase special DVDs, or download exercises from the University of Georgia as a guide. Check out our article on doing daily exercises together!
- Walks: Even if it is just a once daily walk or even ride in a wheelchair outside – the fresh air and change of pace can make a huge difference in mood and circulation.
- Outings: Take them shopping, to the mall, to a favorite restaurant, etc.
- Hand Strength and Coordination: Use items like therapy dough to stimulate creativity and keep the hands agile and strong.
- The Wii can offer low-impact opportunities for moving around. Look around for games or fitness Wii cartridges that your loved one may enjoy.
- Music: Get new (new to your loved one) CDs from the library to test out new music.
- Electronic Games: The Wii can also offer games that keep us sharp like puzzle and math games.
- Play some old favorites: like cards, checkers, tic-tac-toe, 20 questions, trivia games, cards.
Movie Picks for Seniors
Daily Exercises for Seniors
How to Know When a Senior Needs More Help at Home
Fun on the Go with Seniors
- Animals: Visit a pet store.
- Eating Out: Go to a favorite restaurant in mid-afternoon when it is not busy and just get dessert and coffee.
- Entertainment: See about concerts and plays at your local high school for low-cost/low-stress live entertainment.
- Special Events: See if there are senior fairs going on in your community. Check out senior day care facilities for special activities or just visit once in a while.
- Reminisce: Your cable network might carry the "oldies" stations. If not purchase old TV shows on DVD like "I Love Lucy" or the "Marx Brothers" for a laugh.
- Make Music: Fiddle around with instruments – kid instruments like thumb pianos, simple lap harps, and recorders can be inexpensive and fun just to experiment with.
- See if there are local bingo games - Your loved one will likely grow to look forward to a routine social outing like this!
- What about bowling? There are many health benefits of bowling and certainly some social perks as well!
Activities to Stay Connected
- Chores are not just for the young. It is important that your loved one feel like a contributor as well.
- Have a "Movie Night" - See our top movie picks for Seniors
- Save tasks like shelling beans, folding laundry, sorting family photos for an album, or other kitchen tasks that can be done even with physical and sensory limitations.
- Do tasks together.
- Family games like Bingo can be an enjoyable way to connect. Researchers have found that engaging in games can have health benefits for the elderly. Bingo in particular has shown to promote mental, physical and emotional health.
- Visiting: Plan and schedule visits with children that include a craft for everyone to focus the visit.
- Good with Computers? If any family members are good with computers, involve your loved one in choosing family photos to be scanned for a slide show. Recording seniors commenting of the photos would make a great narration track
- Pets: Ask relatives to bring their pets along when visiting.
- Church: See if your local church offers any sort of visiting service or phone call service.
- Perform: Sing songs and play instruments together as a family – practice for a holiday song.
- Record History: Have your loved one use a voice recorder to record family history as a gift to younger generations – you may need to structure the questions they can answer.
- Interviews: Have family members visit and “interview” the senior about family history and life events. This could be done with a video camera or just recorded in writing.
- Create: Make a family cookbook with your loved one. You can test the recipes as a family, rate them, and have your loved one take pictures of the meal. Old and new recipes should be considered.
Benefits of Bingo
Live Care Calls
Gift Ideas for Elderly
Fun Ideas for the Home
- Change Things: To often, our loved ones have mobility issues that require them to stay in one room for a large part of their day or even the week. If your loved one is in this situation, changing the scenery around can make a big difference. Move furniture, change where the person sits for a different view.
- Think about smells. Some perfumes are too much and candles can be a hazard – but small potpourri bowls can make a difference.
- Music is important – try different types to see what your loved one likes.
- Change Pictures: Have picture frames that are easy to change out. When people visit, take a photo of them with your loved one so these can be printed out and hung on the wall to remind the person of the visit.
- Make seasonal changes by making crafts together with your loved one to display.
- Remember to bring in old memories too – old photos and objects that were important to them for a long time can be a source of peace and inspiration.
Stress Relief Guided Meditation for anyone
Recipes for Seniors
Movies for Seniors