Seniors can sometimes fall into unhealthy routines where they do the same unstimulating thing every day. But it’s crucial seniors keep their minds and bodies active so they can stay healthy and live a long life.
Finding activities they can do in their homes can help maintain and improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness while helping them avoid boredom.
While excursions like skydiving and mountain climbing may not be in the cards, there are plenty of other engaging and entertaining activities for seniors!
How Staying Active Can Help Seniors Live Longer
As we age, it can be hard to stay active, both physically and mentally. But maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to your health as you get older and can even help you live longer. Seniors who do not stay active, whether it’s taking strolls outdoors, playing stimulating games, or pursuing hobbies, are more at risk for several conditions, such as heart disease.
A non-active lifestyle also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, and slips and falls. When seniors consistently engage in stimulating activities, it improves their overall health, helping them manage their weight, improve bone strength, and enhance their mental health.
The list of benefits goes on, as an active lifestyle also helps seniors maintain cardiovascular health, sleep better, avoid hypertension, increase energy, and improve focus.
Moreover, participating in activities also helps seniors maintain a healthy social life, leading to better mental health and quality of life. All of these benefits result in seniors living a longer, happier, and healthier life!
Best Home Activities For Seniors
Without further ado, below are some of the best activities for seniors to keep them active and healthy!
One of the best ways to keep seniors active is to exercise with them! Seniors who exercise have a significantly lower risk of heart problems and obesity. They feel more energized and will have fewer aches and pains in their body.
The best exercises for seniors range from yoga to bicycling to swimming and more. But even regularly walking outdoors with friends can substantially improve their health and make them happier.
Cooking New Meals
This activity is especially ideal if the senior used to cook but has fallen out of the habit. Many people don’t realize the mental effort it takes to prepare and cook a meal. Choosing ingredients, considering the flavors, executing the dish, and plating it are all mentally stimulating but they’re also easy and fun. It’s also a wonderful option if the senior struggles to get out of the house.
Knitting and Crocheting
Like cooking, knitting, and crocheting require substantial mental focus, so knitting a sweater can reduce the risk of developing cognitive impairments. Taking up knitting as a hobby keeps the brain sharp and the fingers nimble, but does not put stress on joints. So, knitting or crocheting is ideal for seniors with limited mobility.
Engaging in Cognitive Stimulation Activities
Cognitive stimulation activities are anything that requires you to think! So the possibilities here are endless, from puzzles to music to journaling to reading. Cooking, knitting, crocheting, and other activities on this list are cognitive stimulation activities, but there are endless ones to choose from! Games like Scrabble and Sudoku are particularly perfect for seniors.
Doing Indoor Gardening
Gardening is another cognitive stimulation activity that is easy for seniors to enjoy. Indoor gardening is perfect for seniors who have limited mobility, as it brings some fresh air and greenery into their homes. And if they also enjoy cooking, a small herb garden or tomato plant can make the hobby even more exciting.
Organizing Photo Albums
Organizing anything requires cognitive function, but organizing a photo album combines a brain-stimulating activity with sentimentality. They can look back on their memories and admire loved ones as they sort through the photos and add them to the albums.
It can turn into an arts and crafts project if they want to scrapbook! Many people have boxes and boxes of precious memories collecting dust in an attic, so this is the perfect opportunity to appreciate those photos.
Reading is a highly beneficial activity that can stimulate your brain and improve mental wellness whether you’re eight or 80. Seniors can improve their mental health and keep busy by reading anything and everything, like books, magazines, and newspapers.
Learning New Skills
Any new skill is an exciting activity for seniors, as it can activate new parts of their brains and give them a new perspective. They can always stick with their lifelong hobbies, or they can venture into a new hobby.
Some options for new skills include drawing, painting, creative writing, singing, photography, origami, or even a new language. They don’t have to master this new skill, but learning will keep their mind sharp.
This activity is only suitable if the senior has the means to buy things on a whim. But shopping online can be a cognitive activity if they research different products, read reviews, assess features, and compare prices. And you can encourage them to shop for products conducive to an active lifestyle, like new sneakers, board games, gardening kits, and books.
While it may sound simple, even entering their credit or debit card information can be a form of cognitive function and this is also an opportunity for them to understand and assess their finances.
Participating in Charitable Projects
When seniors no longer have a job or a young family to worry about, they may search for a sense of purpose and a way to connect with others. Charitable projects are a wonderful way for them to feel fulfilled and valuable.
They can volunteer at a soup kitchen, participate in a walk for charity, or help out at an animal shelter. There are many programs specifically set up to connect seniors with volunteer opportunities.
Why Practicing Home Activities Is Significant
Some people may think it makes sense to slow down as you get older, but people over 60 need to maintain an active lifestyle more than ever. Below are the top reasons seniors should stay active, exemplifying how small activities can lead to better health and happiness later in life.
It Gives You More Energy
A quick science lesson: Newton’s first law states that an object in motion stays in motion. People who continue to exercise and use their minds into their 60s, 70s, and beyond tend to be more energized, allowing them to easily maintain this healthy lifestyle.
But that doesn’t mean inactive seniors can’t change their habits and make a difference! Having a reason to get up and outside every morning, even just for a walk, can invigorate someone, giving them more energy. So seniors who feel lethargic and weak can benefit greatly from some exercise and stimulating activities.
It Improves Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Living an active lifestyle helps to improve mental wellness and emotional well-being. Exercise can reduce stress and fight depression, while brain activities can slow the progression of mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
When seniors retire and fewer of their friends are around, it can lead to depression and a feeling of no purpose, but stimulating activities can help them feel happier and reduce feelings of loneliness or depression.
It Helps Establishing New Connections
Having a flourishing social life as a senior can be a challenge. Many seniors have lost close friends, family members, and even partners, which can make them feel very alone. But senior activities are an easy and fun way for them to meet new people and form new connections with people their age.
Whether it’s a knitting club or a walking group, doing these activities with others is the perfect catalyst for new friendships and healthy social life, which improves emotional and mental wellness too!
It Keeps You Busy
When seniors retire and their children move away, they may feel like they have nothing to do. But these activities help them stay engaged with life, giving them a place to go and people to see.
While most people dream of the day they can retire and finally relax, doing nothing is not conducive to a healthy life. Giving them a reason to get out and do things helps them feel more fulfilled and energetic.
Home Activities That Can Help Caregivers Engage With Seniors
All of the activities for seniors discussed above can be done with a caregiver. But if you’re looking for even more senior home activities, here is a list:
- Arts and crafts
- Word games
- Number games
- Feed birds
- Maintain a yard
- Play catch
- Set up a picnic
- Listen to the radio
- Model with clay
- Play checkers
- List all 50 states
- Tell stories
- Play card games
- Do manicures
- Do holiday activities (pumpkin carving, egg coloring, etc.)
- Write letters to their loved ones
- Play a musical instrument
- Start woodworking
Anything that makes them happy and exercises their body and brain is perfect!
Activities for seniors are more than just things to pass the time. Yes, it keeps them busy, but it also boosts mental wellness, which is essential to helping them stay sharp and healthy. Many of these senior home activities also keep their bodies healthy and give them more opportunities to be social. Caregivers that are part of Marks Home Health Care agency are proven professionals dedicated to providing the best possible service and making seniors’ lives happier and healthier.
Contact us to to find out more about how we can help.