Spring is a great time to think about doing an activity with a senior.
The weather is nicer than just a few weeks ago. Sunny warm days can be a great reason to spend time in a fun activity with a senior.
Recently Tyra Ford asked me if she could write a guest post for Caregiving With Purpose about fun activities that can be done with a senior friend or relative.
As I thought about her request, I remembered one of the most memorable visits I ever had with an elderly relative. My Great Aunt Katie and I had a lovely visit at a family reunion.
We sat together eating at the table. During the meal, she told me all about her new life in a nursing home. She was full of excitement about her new friends and fun she was having.
What did I do?
I’m not sure I had more than a half a dozen words in the conversation. It cost me nothing. I enjoyed making her day.
And as an added bonus, she made mine!
Here’s Tyra’s article. As you’ll see in my suggestions that follow, there are some additional things to consider -
Fun Activities for the Elderly!
People can have fun at any age.
Do you know many elderly can still take part in a variety of activities the same as anyone else? Including loved ones makes any activity more enjoyable.
There are both cognitive and physical activities that can bring enrichment to anyone, regardless of age.
Wondering which is more important? They are equally important, because staying fit is the key to longevity, and “brain-games” keep the mind sharp.
In other words, your brain is a muscle too, so exercise it!
The following activities can be enjoyed alone or in a group of all ages.
Walking has no age limits.
A walk can be as brisk or easy as you want. If someone needs to lose weight, you can even keep track of calories burned. Several people can enjoy walking at the same time.
If you’ve already been walking or it starts to get boring, changing the setting can make it more exciting. Hiking along a nature trail is one option. Most cities have several different trails with easy access.
Plus, visiting natural areas with friends and families is an enjoyable way to spend a weekend or extended holiday.
Games are another way to make the most of the elderly years.
Why? Because there are a number of benefits associated with regular mental exercise, such as fighting the effects of aging.
Preferences about which games to play vary with the tastes of different people. One option is to visit a local chess park. Often, these parks offer various levels of competition and are the perfect way for the elderly to enjoy an intellectual challenge.
If there are no parks close by, the Internet has plenty of ways for people to play the game online too!
3. Social connections
Social connectedness is just as important as mental and physical health.
Unlike many activities, such as working out, socializing is both good for you and fun at the same time. There are several ways for the elderly to have fun with their friends and family.
Going out to eat is one way for families to get together, and this can also be something that encourages people to try new things. One meal, your grandpa can choose where to eat, the next, you can choose!
4. Golfing or Biking
Outdoor sports are another fun activity that can be enjoyed together.
Biking and golf are two pretty reliable choices, because biking is a low-impact aerobic sport that is easier on the knees than walking. And a ride can be any length.
There are also a number of large cycling gatherings that are held around the world for all skill levels. Attending one of these events is a great way to spend some time in a different part of the country or at the very least, meet new people.
Golfing is another fun activity that appeals to many older people because it’s a great way to get in some great walks without being too challenging.
Aging does not mean that life loses its zest. Numerous activities are fun and enjoyable for people of all age, they just have to be tailored sometimes.
As long as an activity is enjoyable and healthy, you can’t go wrong!
Tyra Ford likes to write about recreation, outdoor activities & websites.
Like any group of people, seniors are individuals. What works for someone at age 68 will probably not be suitable at age 91.
If I had suggested a bike ride or golfing to any of my relatives, they would have looked at me as though I were crazy. And you know, they would have been right!
They either were not in physical shape to ride a bike, or didn’t like biking. While biking may be fine for younger seniors in good health, it can cause some serious injuries. Even in younger folks.
Biking can be physically challenging for someone who is not in optimal shape. Or hasn’t ridden a bike since childhood!
If you have questions about the advisability of an activity, check with the elderly person’s doctor or other health care provider first.
What are some simple steps to consider when choosing spring activity ideas for seniors?
- Are there any physical limitations?
Consider if walking is a problem for your elderly person. Even a short walk can be challenging for someone using a cane or walker. Or someone who should be using them!
Include any physical limitations in considering activities.
- What do they want to do?
Maybe checkers is what they like to play, instead of chess. Or maybe bridge or Monopoly. Or even an old-fashioned game like cribbage.
Can you help them with a hobby or an activity they haven’t been able to do all winter – or longer?
Does she miss grocery shopping or going to the mall?
Would a fisherman like to go look at the local streams? Even if it’s too cold to fish – yet.
Or maybe, like my Great Aunt Katie she just needs someone to listen.
Spending time with someone in the way they want can be the greatest gift you can him or her.
Do you see why?
Because it shows you care and you value who they are and what they want.
- What are the time limits?
Time limits may be yours or maybe your elderly friend or relative’s. If you only have an hour, you won’t get in 18 holes at the golf course.
And maybe the person you’re with can only tolerate an activity for less time than you. Be sure to consider his or her needs, checking frequently to be sure the activity is not too tiring.
The bottom line is to put yourself as much as possible in their shoes. This can be a special time when you consider their wants and needs, not your own.
And can be a great escape from caregiving. Whether you are relieving a caregiver, or you are the caregiver and doing a different activity.
Caregiving can be the best thing you ever did, and the hardest. And sometimes it’s both at the same time!
A HEART PLAN is designed to help you with a road map for more than surviving – for thriving – in caregiving. Now you can get a free download of the steps in A HEART PLAN.
Just leave a comment on this post, and you’ll get your free download automatically. You need to leave your comment on the original post on Caregiving With Purpose. Just click here right now to leave your comment on the original post.
And enjoy your road map!
To your healthy & happy caregiving,
Bestselling Author of “What Do I Say In a Sympathy Card?”
Creator of A HEART PLAN