It’s important to keep senior citizens active and healthy in mind and body.
Being stuck at home may make this seem difficult, but seniors can do plenty of activities at home!
If you have an elderly family member, pick up a fun activity for them here!
17 Fun Elderly Activities and Ideas for Entertainment at Home
Older adults are often at risk of social isolation, so some of these activities are generally meant to be experienced with another family member or a caregiver.
This makes them better bonding experiences!
1.) Set up a Movie Night!
A good way to spend time with your senior loved ones is to set up a mini-movie night. Cook up some popcorn, pick up a few crunchy snacks and gather the family around the couch!
Ask the seniors in your life if there are any old movies they want to rewatch, or perhaps a film they missed when they were younger.
This is a good chance for them to revisit those movies.
This is also a great chance for younger family members to enjoy movies with their elderly loved ones. Films are a fun way for grandkids to bond with their elders.
A few streaming sites don’t have a wide selection of movies, but you can still order DVDs of the classics.
2.) Keep in Touch With Friends
Many seniors have been practicing social distancing for the past few years because of current circumstances. However, technology gives seniors a way to spend time with their friends.
You can help your loved ones maintain a sense of community by setting up a social media account.
Then they can coordinate with their friends for regular video calls and catch-up sessions. Your senior loved ones can use FaceTime, Zoom, Discord and more to meet with friends.
3.) Keep Up With the Faith
If the older adults in your life have been missing out on their worship, you can fix that! Many religious organizations have adapted to the digital age.
Find an online live stream of religious services so your loved ones can remain connected to their faith without risking their health.
4.) Spend Time With Them
An older adult will greatly benefit from more socializing. Spending time with them for a chat and regular check-ins will improve their mental state.
It’s a great idea to speak with the seniors in your life and simply listen to their stories. Spending time with them doesn’t have to involve high-paced activities or exercise.
If your loved ones want to make an autobiography, then they can put their stories down in writing as a record of your family history.
5.) Fire up the Ovens!
One of the most fun ways to “play” is through cooking and baking. Everyone loves to eat, and cooking something the whole family can enjoy is a one-of-a-kind bonding experience.
Whether you try out a new recipe or fall back on old favorites, food is a surefire way to bond with your family members, plus you get to eat everything you’ve made.
You can also get exposed to new cultures via food. Your family may have to stay indoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring another country over through their food!
6.) Communal Interactions
Chair exercises are fine, but a change of scenery can do wonders and break routines. If your loved one feels up to it, you can take them on fun field trips.
Go somewhere you think they’ll enjoy themselves, like an opera, a nice dinner, or a baseball game when their favorite team is playing.
You can replace a night out by simply seeing other faces. Seniors in a group home can set up a book club with regular meetings.
This gives them something to look forward to and helps them focus on reading more. As a bonus, it can also help the seniors in your life to meet new people.
7.) Keep Busy Outdoors!
If you have the space around your property, your loved ones can get some fresh air by doing some outdoor activities.
This could be sports, gardening or even woodworking for your handier relatives.
You can do gardening in a smaller space. With a few small pots and herbs, you can bring some greenery into your senior’s life and use what they grow for cooking.
Being around nature can positively impact one’s mental well-being, and the physical aspects of these activities can serve as a good workout for seniors.
Creative and Crafty Activities for Seniors
A good way for seniors to keep active is by creating things. Here are a few methods they can try!
8.) Make Family Photo Albums
Many older adults have special memories tucked away in books full of old photos. Help the seniors in your family look back at their life with a catalog or scrapbook.
This is also a fun way for your grandparents to bond with their grandchildren and give young kids a better idea of their family.
Going over their favorite memories will also help ground them mentally.
Apart from requiring lots of organizing, scrapbooking is a mental test of making connections and picking up patterns.
9.) Learn Something New!
Learning new things is crucial to keeping a healthy mind. Don’t be afraid to pick up new skills!
There is an undeniable fun to be had in learning new things, and it has a bonus for older adults: It can reduce their chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Seniors can use their time to learn a new language to help widen their horizons and familiarize themselves with different cultures.
These new grammar rules and the unfamiliar connections between words will push their minds to grow and learn, which is important for mental health.
Music and Better Living
If there’s a musical instrument that your elderly family members have always wanted to pick up, now’s the time! Learning to play music is a challenging and entirely new skill.
Plus, you can share the benefits with anyone who wants to hear them. It is assumed that picking up an instrument is more difficult for seniors.
This may be true, but that doesn’t make it impossible! Patience is needed to learn how to play an instrument properly, not raw talent.
10.) Pick up Some New Toys
As people age, ideas like “Having fun” and “Playing around” are slowly put aside in favor of better manners and sitting still. But seniors can take the time to relearn how to play.
Take Lego, for example. These tough building toys are an excellent way to train your hand-eye coordination, whether young or old and their unique colors and pieces allow you to get creative.
Don’t forget about board games! Backgammon and Mahjong are enduring classics that help develop memory retention and strategical thinking.
11.) Set up a Self-Care Day
You don’t have to head outside to make your elderly family feel pampered! Set aside time to care for your loved ones in small and personal ways.
If you have the right equipment at home, you can set up a manicure for the seniors in your life or a spa day with some hot towels, a relaxing massage, and a facial cleanser.
Part of feeling good is looking good; this fun activity is ideal.
Home Activities for Seniors With Dementia
Your senior loved ones may be going through dementia, which can limit the activities they can engage in. But there are still plenty of things that seniors can do!
12.) Audio Books and Podcasts
Your loved one has many services they can tap into online, and a fun way to keep their minds growing is to keep them listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
It’s easy to tailor your loved one’s listening experience to their preferences, thanks to services like Audible.
There is a wealth of podcasts and audiobooks to choose from online, so your loved one won’t be starved for choice.
You can set up a Guided Meditation podcast to help your elderly family member relax or a cooking podcast if your favorite senior is a culinary fan.
13.) Find a Show or Film to Bond Over
Seniors with dementia won’t always have the mental acuity they used to. Watching TV is a good way for them to spend quality time with another person.
Keep the show accessible for your senior family members by choosing something with a fun and lighthearted plot and a small number of characters.
This will make it easier for an older adult to remember the story and follow along. If your loved one is a nature lover, they might enjoy nature documentaries.
Nature documentaries are a good alternative because they often have relaxing music, which can be soothing to older adults.
Activities for Seniors With Limited Mobility
Mobility issues are common with elderly people, especially as they become more advanced. Keep your loved ones physically active so they can stave off the effects of old age!
14.) Get Some Exercise In!
Most seniors will eventually experience limited mobility as they get on in years. A lack of physical activity can compound this.
Keep your loved ones healthy and physically active by guiding them through regular exercise routines.
It would aid them if you demonstrated the movements first, then helped them through the routine.
Remember to keep their mobility issues in mind. Start with chair exercises to get your loved ones moving, and move on to a routine.
15.) Play More Games!
Playing games is a fun and wonderful way to bond with an older person. For those families with young kids at home, they can join in these activities too!
You have several tabletop choices, like board and card games. Card games like Rummy or Crazy Eights are ideal because they require skill over strategy.
Don’t forget board games! Play games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Chess for family game nights. These activities are ideal because they’re interactive brain teasers.
Apart from being fun to play with, they also help keep your loved one’s mind in shape.
If you have the right gear, video games are a good option too! However, consider your senior loved ones’ fine motor skills first.
They may not be able to play video games full of action and require split-second decisions. Instead, aim for more relaxing and slow-paced games, like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing.
The above video games have very relaxing music, and they prioritize maintaining a sense of community and fun over winning at all costs. This makes them perfect for seniors!
You can also mix exercise with play by picking up a Nintendo Wii. This console has many options that encourage active play.
Instead of interacting with the game only through a screen, players must act out their characters’ actions. This translates into stronger bodies and more exercise for senior citizens.
16.) Puzzles and Coloring Books
Puzzles are great for seniors because they help train your organizational skills and short-term memory.
Another benefit that puzzles provide is their relaxing qualities. As the pieces fit together, they can lower your loved one’s stress levels and boost their spirits.
Coloring books are another calming activity and a mentally stimulating creative outlet. On the physical side, coloring books improve hand-eye coordination and hand nimbleness.
Plus, your loved ones don’t need to stay within the lines! Encourage them to be creative with their coloring.
17.) Get Reading!
We’ve mentioned audiobooks above, but classic books are also ideal, especially for seniors with mobility issues.
Reading is a mentally engaging but not physically demanding activity that’s perfect for keeping one’s mind sharp.
However, remember to keep your loved one’s visual problems in mind. If small print may be an issue, you can pick up an e-book reader with adjustable font sizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn about the importance of activities for seniors here!
Why Are Home Activities Important for Seniors?
Keeping busy is vital for a senior citizen’s physical and mental well-being and will reduce the number of health risks they may go through.
Seniors who have mobility issues will also benefit from being active. Getting about and moving will help them stay healthy and independent for longer.
Another proven way to keep your elderly loved ones in good shape is to help them stay active and eat healthy for a better quality of life.
Are There Mental Health Benefits for Doing These Activities for Seniors?
Physical health isn’t the only goal for these fun activities. It’s also important to ensure that seniors get lots of mental stimulation to reduce their chances of cognitive decline.
Adults and seniors especially are afraid of looking incapable or weak. Maintaining relationships and being more active can help seniors gain their confidence back.
Staying physically and mentally active is a great way to strengthen existing relationships and make new ones. It also helps seniors stay sharp as they age.
These indoor activities provide plenty of positive effects for seniors and are a great way to bring the family closer.
Remember to keep your loved one’s preferences and health when planning any of these activities. Use exercises if they need the movement and a spa day if they need self-care.
You may have to stay indoors, but you can make the most of your time with these fun activities!