Are you thinking of organizing some fun activities for seniors?
Seniors and elderly patients, especially those in assisted home care facilities, need time for leisure. Leisure time promotes seniors’ well being as they need mental, social and physical stimulation to stay sharp despite their age. This strategy is also effective in preventing depression-related problems that may arise from a sense of isolation and disconnection from the society.
If you are working in a home care facility, planning leisure activities for seniors is an important part of daily nursing care tasks. To help you get started, here are some popular ideas you can consider:
Arts and Crafts
Activities that Promote Imagination and Creativity
Painting – Painting classes is a good diversion activity for seniors. It’s a great channel for expression of their thoughts and emotions. It also helps in improving their eye-to-hand coordination and in boosting their confidence. Seniors can do three types of painting activities – acrylic, watercolor and oil painting.
Scrapbooking – Scrapbooking for seniors is a trip down the memory lane. It’s a fun and a creative way of documenting memories immortalized in photographs and memorabilia pieces. It is also a good form of exercise for the mind since they will be able to recall important events in their lives as they work on their scrapbooks.
Mosaic – Most seniors enjoy creating mosaics out of flower pots, eggshells, tiles and other tiny items. Eye and hand dexterity is essential for this art activity. It hones imagination and creativity skills as they create colorful masterpieces out of assembled pieces of art.
Activities that Challenge the Mind
Bingo – Bingo is an interactive game most seniors enjoy nowadays. It encourages social participation and mental exercise. In this game, a game master will draw numbers and players should form an identified pattern in their cards out of the numbers announced. There is no limit to the number of players for this game as long as there are enough bingo cards for all identified participants.
Chess – Chess is a classic game that is proven effective in improving problem-solving, logical and strategic thinking skills. It is a popular leisure activity among male seniors. FIDE, the World Chess Federation, even holds an annual World Senior Chess Championship for seniors aging 50 and above to cater professional chess competition among elderly individuals.
Scrabble – Scrabble is a word game that can be played by two to four players. It’s a strategic board game that exercises one’s memory and vocabulary skills. It is a good form of mental exercise among elderly individuals.
Monopoly – Monopoly is one of the oldest board games around. It reflects economic control play where one monopolist shall dominate the game. It became popular in the 1930s and most seniors become nostalgic in playing this game.
Trivial Pursuit – Trivial Pursuit is a trivial board game about general knowledge and popular culture. It challenges not only one’s memory strength as it also useful in enriching one’s knowledge. It is good for two to six players. The game is composed of a board, question cards, playing pieces, category wedges and a box.
Reminiscing – Reminiscing is a trivia game composed of 1200 nostalgic trivia questions from six different decades. It is good for two to four players. It also consists of a board, two dices, eight scoring pegs and 6,000 memory jogging cues.
Senior Moments – Senior Moments is another board game that challenges memory strength. It is good for two to eight players. To move through the game, the player must memorize a list from the game’s booklet and correctly recall it. The game is a great training for memory strength among elderly persons.
Also Read: Top 10 Educational Board Games for Nurses
Activities that Build the Body
Senior Olympics – Senior Olympics is being governed by the National Senior Games Association. The association’s goal is to promote healthy and active lifestyle for people aging 50 and above.
Encouraging and training elderly persons for Senior Olympics is a good form of exercise among seniors. However, only those fit for active strength training can be eligible for Senior Olympics.
Swimming – Swimming is considered as the best form of exercise for seniors. It’s the only non-weightbearing type of exercise that eliminates the risk of accidental fall among elderly persons.
Swimming strengthens core muscles and improves body posture. With proper supervision for regular training, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Dancing – Dancing is one of the most popular fun activities for seniors. Most elderly folks socialize through dancing sessions like ballroom, tap, Zumba and many more.
You can organize weekly dancing lessons for seniors in home care facilities as an additional socialization activity for them.
Activities that Sharpen the Mind
Jigsaw – There are jigsaw puzzles made specially for seniors. These jigsaw puzzles are larger than ordinary ones so elderly persons will find it easier to play despite decreased eye dexterity.
Assembling jigsaw puzzles improves problem-solving skills of seniors as they work on finding the right fit of jigsaw for each set of puzzle they play.
Crossword – Crosswords first started in newspapers and magazines. Seniors are very familiar with it as it became popular in the early 1950s. Providing seniors with different crossword puzzles will train their critical thinking skills as they spend their free time in guessing words out of clues.
Sudoku – Sudoku is a logic game that hones problem-solving skills. Although the game is composed of different sets of numbers, it doesn’t require mathematical or arithmetic skills. You just need to find a pattern from the laid out numbers so you can fill out the right set of numbers in the empty boxes of the game.
It became so popular in the past years that there are even specialized Sudoku sets made for seniors to help them sharpen their reasoning and logical thinking skills.
This list of fun activities for seniors are just some of the most popular ones you can consider in planning their time for leisure. Keep in mind that there are plenty of factors that need to be considered when organizing activities for seniors like their physical tolerance, interests and sense of cooperation.
Ask your elderly patients about their common interests and determine the right fit of activity for them. You can also try giving them options and let them choose their desired activity for their leisure time.