Fun Activities to Keep Seniors Busy
When we approach or enter into retirement, many of us may feel afraid, or develop the sense that we are losing our self identity. The opposite is actually true as you now have the extra time to do the things you really enjoy, solely for the fun of doing them. It’s important to stay active and engaged. Your body may feel older, but you can absolutely stay young at heart by engaging in fun activities. Lots of research has been done over the past few decades on the benefits of hobbies for seniors, and the ability they offer seniors for healthy aging.
People over the age of 65 are in the most sedentary age group, spending an average of 10 hours a day either sitting or laying down, often due to limitations on their health. While these increasing health limitations can restrict your ability to participate in certain activities, the good news is that there are lots of great hobbies that you can still take part in to keep your mind and body as active as possible. These include both indoor and outdoor activities.
We’ve listed below some of the best activities for seniors:
Get a Pet
It is a proven fact that pets help reduce stress by helping the body release the hormone serotonin. More recent research suggests that seniors who own a pet also suffer less from depression, and have a lower risk of developing heart problems. For seniors who are healthy enough, walking a dog several times a day is a great motivator to get outside and get moving.
Be sure to choose a pet based on your physical ability to care for it. Think outside the box if necessary. A turtle can be a great pet too!
You heard that right! Dancing is one of the best activities for seniors because it helps to improve your function, balance and gate. Not only does it get you moving, but some studies have shown it can also decrease your chance of developing dementia. It’s not about how great your dance moves are, it’s about having fun and staying fit and healthy.
Gardening clubs and community gardens are the most popular activities offered to seniors in retirement homes and assisted living communities around the country, and for good reason. Gardening provides a way for seniors to get outdoors and interact with nature, and various types of gardening are available that can be adjusted to suit your physical abilities. It also provides a way to get sedentary seniors the right level of stimulation while improving mobility. Sunshine is great for everyone!
One of the best activities for any age group is reading, because it helps keep the mind sharp and engaged. This is especially important as we age, and far better “brain food” than sitting and watching television all day. Not only does it keep your brain active, it has been shown that reading can help reduce stress and improve sleep. Audiobooks are a good alternative for those with eyesight or dexterity issues. You can also join a book club for social interaction.
There are many volunteer opportunities available for seniors. Volunteering helps you to feel valued and connected to your community. You can choose the type of charity work you wish to do based on your physical ability, skills, religion, or anything else that interests you. You may be surprised at the number of volunteer opportunities that are available to seniors in your local area.
Good, friendly competition is a great way to engage socially with games like chess or bridge. Studies have shown that group game play at senior centers helps to relieve a lot of the social anxiety seniors often suffer from. A regular group of friends to play games with can greatly reduce the feelings of loneliness that can creep up in later years, while helping to decrease the symptoms of depression. Board games and card games not only help reduce stress, they can also reduce memory loss by enhancing memory formation to help keep cognitive function sharp. Many games require some level of skill and coordination, which are vital to keeping seniors active.
These are just a few of the most common hobbies available for seniors. Every individual has their own interests, and the wide variety of hobbies you can participate in are only limited by your imagination. Even if you have physical limitations, there are plenty of options to keep your mind and body active.
At Terrace Ridge, we feel that our community is truly unique. From the parlor you enter to outdoor exercise walkways, everything is carefully planned for our residents and their families. Comfort and convenience was designed into our spacious resident rooms, living areas located throughout the community, and the inviting dining room. We’ve incorporated the very best planning in providing a community that has a very special feeling. Once you visit, you’ll immediately recognize that everything has been done to enhance the quality of life for your loved one. Contact us today for more information!