Reading is a fantastic activity for seniors. It’s a fun way to spend time and keep the brain engaged. It can also improve memory, reduce stress, improve sleep, and delay cognitive decline.
Whether your older adult likes reading physical books, magazines, using an e-reader, or listening to audiobooks they can immerse themselves in a well-told story, look at photographs, or learn about an interesting new topic.
Organizing a book club among their friends is another way for seniors to enjoy reading and socializing.
2. Explore Hobbies
Hobbies are great for older adults with limited mobility. Activities that don’t require a lot of moving around include cooking, baking, birdwatching, knitting, crochet, indoor or container gardening, playing a musical instrument, or practicing languages.
This is also a perfect time to learn something new – maybe there are hobbies or interests they’ve never had a chance to explore before. Learning is also a great way to stay sharp and keep boredom at bay.
Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile, there may still be exercises they can do to get their bodies moving. Whether they’re sitting or standing, they can still get the health and mood benefits, especially from chair exercise or chair yoga routines.
4. Be creative
Drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpture are all wonderful ways to be creative. Fun projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums, or making a family recipe book.
As a plus, being creative also comes with health benefits. Research has found creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.
5. Get outdoors
Getting outside to spend a little time in nature is relaxing and a great mood booster.
Even if their limited mobility means that your older adult can only get to the porch or sit next to a big window, getting some fresh air or viewing the scenery is a great everyday activity.
6. Have fun with visitors
Asking family or friends with babies or friendly pets to stop by for a visit is another fantastic way to engage an older adult.
Almost everyone perks up in the presence of young children. And playing with pets is another surefire way to bring cheer and reduce stress.
7. Play games!
Games and puzzles are a fantastic source of fun times. There are so many to choose from and most can be played in groups with visitors, one-on-one for quality time together, and solo.
8. Enjoy movies, TV shows, or music
Watching TV all day isn’t a healthy pastime, but a movie or a couple of TV shows can be an enjoyable part of the day or week.
Watching TV could even intersect with a hobby. For example, your older adult might be interested in watching a documentary on a topic they’re learning about. Or, channels like the Food Network or the Travel Channel could inspire new recipes to try or travel destinations to learn about.
Listening (or singing along!) to music they enjoy is another great activity. Music has the power to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. It also improves immune function and sleep as well as helping memory.
9. Participate in charitable works
Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile or is homebound, they can still give back to the community. This is a wonderful way to stay engaged and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Contact local charities, hospitals, or religious organizations to find out if they have any projects your older adult could contribute to. That could mean knitting or crocheting blankets or hats, creating no-sew blankets, or helping to assemble care packages.