Whether you or a senior loved one is indoors because of the weather or for health reasons, it’s important to keep the mind and body active. Doing so helps to reduce boredom, anxiety, and depression.
Of course, being indoors for long periods of time can adversely affect one’s health if they aren’t careful.
Too much time spent indoors can negatively impact your health — and science can even prove it. A lack of sunshine and natural vitamin D will naturally quickly diminish a person’s mood. For anyone living in the Midwest, or anywhere prone to rainy or snowy weather, that makes staying active while indoors all the more important for both your physical and mental health.walkermethodist.org
Of course outdoor activities offer wonderful health benefits, but it’s not always possible to take advantage of the outdoors.
So, do your best to get out once in a while, even if it’s just to the front porch or backyard for some fresh air and sunshine. This is especially true during the winter months if you live in colder climates.
There are plenty of fun indoor activities that seniors can do to stay active, both mentally and physically. Whether your elderly loved one is living at home or in a nursing facility, it’s important that they be as active and engaged as possible.
Indoor activities are important for seniors for a number of reasons.
- First, they help to keep seniors active and engaged, which can help to prevent a decline in physical and mental health.
- Additionally, indoor activities can provide a much-needed social outlet for seniors who may be isolated from friends and family.
- Finally, indoor activities can help to stimulate the mind and provide a sense of purpose for seniors who may be retired or otherwise no longer working.
The truth is, there are endless reasons why indoor activities are important for seniors. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: helping seniors live their best life possible.
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How Do You Entertain An Elderly Person At Home?
It can be difficult to find ways to entertain an elderly person at home. Often, they may not have the same interests as you, and may not be able to perform activities like they used to.
Whether it’s due to physical limitations, limited mobility or cognitive limitations – what used to be fun to do is now difficult. So as their caregiver please understand that.
However, there are still plenty of ways to keep them occupied and engaged. Here are some ideas:
- Play simple games such as card games or board games
- Engage in conversation – ask about their life, their experiences, and their interests
- Watch television together or listen to music
- Make a scrapbook or photo album together
- Cook or bake together
- Look through old photo albums and discuss memories
- Start a book club in your home
- Plant an indoor garden together
- Do a puzzle together
We’ll go over these and more later on in this article.
Whatever you do, make sure that you are spending quality time with the elderly person. They will appreciate your company and conversation, and it will help to keep their mind active.
Free Indoor Activity Ideas For Seniors
Of course, television and Youtube videos are free and can be enjoyed by most anyone. But there are other items (that we list below) that may cost something initially, but will certainly keep you entertained.
There are many fun activities that seniors can do at home to stay active and social. The key is to choose activities that are of interest and that can be done without much frustration.
Make sure to choose activities that match the physical and cognitive function of your senior loved one. An occupational therapist can help you assess your loved one’s abilities and interests and make recommendations for activities.
Crafting can be a great activity and a great way for seniors to express their creativity and relax. There are many different types of crafts that seniors can enjoy, from craft kits to painting and scrapbooking.
Crafts are an excellent activity for helping to improve cognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. See all the crafts here.
Games can be the best way to keep seniors mentally sharp and socially engaged. There are many different types of games that seniors can play, from card games, memory games and board games to word games and puzzles.
Don’t forget to check out any of the classic games that your senior loved ones may have played when they were younger. See other games here.
Reading is a wonderful way for seniors to stay mentally active and engaged. There are many different types of books that seniors can read, from fiction and non-fiction to biographies and history books.
Large print books are favorites for many seniors. See a collection of them here.
Art is a beautiful way for seniors to express themselves and stay creative. There are many different types of art that seniors can do, from painting and drawing to sculpting and pottery.
Physical exercise is important for seniors for both their physical and mental health. There are many different types of exercises that seniors can do, from light resistance training to balance exercises to yoga and Tai Chi.
Staying social is important for seniors, as it can help them to stay connected with others. It can be a phone call, a video chat, inviting people over, hosting a weekly movie night, setting up a book club, etc.
Listening to music or playing an instrument can be a great way for seniors to relax and unwind. It can also be a great way to socialize, as many seniors enjoy listening to music together.
8. Indoor Gardening
Indoor gardening can be free or costly, depending on how far you want to take it. But generally, speaking, it can be a fun and purposeful activity for many older adults.
9. Research Your Family Tree
This can be a fun way to learn more about your family history and connect with relatives you may have never met. It can also be a great way to pass the time and keep your mind sharp.
10. Baking or cooking
Baking and cooking are great activities for seniors because they can be done at a leisurely pace and don’t require a lot of physical activity.
If your loved one is up for it, you can help them to make a simple family recipe or even just assist them with measuring the ingredients. These activities are also a great opportunity for bonding and conversation.
Make it safer for your senior loved one with oven rack guards like this one.
11. Doing puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to keep seniors’ minds sharp and engaged. They can be as simple or complex as your loved one is able to handle, and there are many different types available, such as crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and Sudoku.
Sewing is a calming and therapeutic activity that can help seniors stay sharp mentally and physically. It’s also a great way to create useful items or gifts for loved ones.
If your loved one doesn’t know how to sew, you can easily find beginner sewing kits online or at your local craft store.
13. Knitting or crocheting
Like sewing, knitting and crocheting are relaxing activities that can help keep seniors mentally and physically active. These crafts can also be used to create beautiful and functional items, such as blankets, hats, and scarves.
14. Organizing photos
For many seniors, looking at old photos is a cherished pastime. Organizing these photos can be a great way to help your loved one reminisce about happy memories.
You can help your loved one organize their photos by creating photo albums or scrapbooks. Or, you can scan and digitize old photos so they can be easily viewed on a computer or tablet.
15. Letter writing
Writing letters is a great way for seniors to stay connected with friends and family members who live far away. It’s also a nice way to slow down and enjoy the process of putting thoughts into words.
Organizations like Project Penpal offer pen pal programs. Some of them even have specific programs for different age groups, so you can find one that’s perfect for you.
16. Video chats
Video chats are a great way for seniors to stay connected with friends and family members who live far away. They can also be used to connect with doctors or other professionals.
I recommend to use the Echo Show for this purpose. You can choose your own perfect time of the day to video chat with friends and family.
17. Video games
Video games aren’t just for kids! There are many games that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The Wii Console shown here along with Wii Sports is a great video game not only for older adults but for the entire family too.
18. Social Media
Programs like Facebook are a great way for seniors to keep in touch with friends and family members. They can also be used to stay up-to-date on current events, the latest news, and more.
And although people say they can make new friends on social media, that may not be as easy or enjoyable as actually meeting others, but it can be stimulating.
Podcasts are a great way for seniors to stay entertained and informed. There are podcasts on just about every topic imaginable, so your loved one is sure to find ones that they enjoy.
20. Youtube videos
Youtube is a great resource for seniors. There are instructional videos on how to do just about anything, from cooking and gardening to exercise and crafts.
This book can help your senior loved one learn how to use their computer to see Youtube videos and much more. Here’s a link to the Kindle version.
21. Learn A New Skill
Truthfully, there is nothing more exciting and stimulating (and frustrating) than learning a new skill. It could be new recipes, a new language, a musical instrument, etc.
So pick up a book or watch a Youtube video on something new to do! And why not make it a monthly event!
You could learn to make the best chocolate cake in September. Then learn to play poker in October, etc.
Woodworking can be a fun hobby for seniors. It’s a chance to be creative and use their hands to make something beautiful. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active and get some exercise.
It could be a kit like the one shown here. Or, if you’re already skilled and have the tools you can work on creating items for your family.
23. Share your life story
One of the best gifts that a senior family member can give their families is their history. But sadly, many do not. Whether you write it down or record it on video, share your stories from your life for your children, grandchildren and other family members.
24. A Spa Day
Give yourself and/or your senior loved one a spa day at home! Pamper yourself with some wonderful lotions, scents, a bubble bath, etc.
What Is A Fun Activity For Seniors?
First thing I want to say is that I know how hard it can be for some family caregivers to get their senior loved ones to engage in some kind of activity.
My family had a difficult time getting my mother to socialize and participate in activities. She chose what she wanted to do, which was great, and would not budge to do anything else.
So, if your senior loved one enjoys doing one or two things, let them do that and don’t stress out over getting them to do something they don’t want to do.
But, having said that, if you believe that they are inactive due to depression or anxiety, I urge you to reach out to their physician for some help.
What To Do For Elderly Who Are Bored
Many elderly people find themselves bored because they no longer have the same level of activity in their lives. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
5 Things Caregivers Can Do To Alleviate Boredom
One of the best things that caregivers can do for elderly people who are bored is to provide companionship. This can involve simply spending time with them and chatting.
It can also involve doing activities together, such as watching TV, going for walks, or playing games. Companionship is important because it helps to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It can also help to stimulate the mind and provide a sense of purpose.
2. Socialization at Home
Another thing that caregivers can do is to help elderly people find ways to connect with other people. This can involve inviting others for social activities, such as coffee mornings or book clubs.
It can also involve connecting them with services that can help to reduce boredom, such as Meals on Wheels.
3. Hobbies and Purposeful Activities
Caregivers should also encourage elderly people to stay active and engaged in their hobbies and purposeful activities. This can help to stave off boredom and provide a sense of purpose. It is also important for maintaining physical and mental health.
This can include everything from home maintenance to preparing meals for their neighbors. Doing things for others can help to boost self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose.
4. Connecting with Nature
One simple way to improve mental health and reduce stress is by connecting with nature even if you are indoors.
Indoor gardening, bird watching from inside your home or front porch or just relaxing in your favorite chair viewing the trees outdoors.
Finally, caregivers should be sure to check in with elderly people regularly to see how they are doing. This can help to identify any potential problems early on, such as boredom or isolation.
Craft Activities For Seniors
As we age, our bodies and minds change. So do our interests and abilities. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop being creative! In fact, many seniors find that crafting is a great way to stay active and connected to the world around them.
There are all sorts of crafts that seniors can enjoy, from simple projects like birdhouse painting and card making to more complex ones like felt crafts and quilting. And the best part is that there’s no wrong way to do it – just let your imagination and creativity flow!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
These are just a few. There are many more different types of crafts that you can find – just click here.
What To Do On A Rainy Day With The Elderly
I love rainy days! They make me feel like curling up under a blanket and watching a movie or reading a book or both!
And, when I took care of my elderly parents, rainy days give us a chance to do things together that we might not otherwise get to do.
One thing I do want to say, if you live in an area where the skies are gray for many weeks or months due to snow or rain – I would recommend the use of a sun lamp.
When it comes to seniors, bright light therapy, or BLT (Bright Light Therapy), can be especially beneficial when it comes to treating sleep problems in the elderly. BLT for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, has resulted in significant improvement. A study outlined by the National Institutes of Health found that BLT was effective in reducing daytime nap duration, helping to advance the peak circadian rhythm and increasing activity levels during the day and melatonin levels during the night.pathwayshealth.org
Here’s an inexpensive light therapy lamp that you can use.
Rainy Day Activities For Seniors
Here are some ideas for things to do on a rainy day with the elderly:
1. Watch a classic movie or television show.
This is a great opportunity to bond over something you both enjoy. If you can’t agree on something, take turns picking the movie or show.
2. Make a homemade lunch or dinner.
Cooking together is a great way to spend some quality time together. And, it’s an opportunity to teach your elderly loved one a new recipe or two.
3. Chair exercises.
Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you can’t get a little exercise in. There are plenty of chair exercises that seniors can do to stay active.
4. Have an afternoon social.
Make some tea, cucumber sandwiches or scones and enjoy an afternoon tea party!
Take a look at the book Afternoon Tea At Home for some fun ideas on how to enjoy this wonderful tradition.
5. Take an online course.
With the vast array of online courses available, there’s bound to be one that interests you and your elderly loved one.
6. Go through old items and clothes.
This is a great way to de-clutter your home and also reminisce about old times. You can sort through clothes, photos, and other keepsakes while you chat and laugh together.
7. Virtually visit museums.
There are quite a few museums these days that provide a virtual tour which anyone can do from their own computer. Although these tours may not be of your local museum, you’ll be able to enjoy some wonderful art and history from museums around the world.
How Do You Keep Elderly Stimulated?
It’s important for everyone (no matter what age) to have their minds challenged and stay active. An inactive mind can lead to boredom, depression, and a host of other mental and physical health problems.
The elderly are no exception. In fact, they may need stimulation even more than younger people because they’re more likely to be dealing with retirement, declining health, and the loss of loved ones.
As we grow older, our bodies rely upon exercise to stay fit and strong. If we do not use our bodies, then we will lose the ability to physically function the way we desire. The mind is the same way. Seniors must exercise their minds through mental stimulation to ensure they remain sharp and maintain their cognitive skills.choosecomforthome.com
One of the best ways to keep elderly loved ones stimulated is to encourage them to stay active and engaged in their interests. This may include any of the activities that we have already mentioned in this article
In addition, it can be helpful to create a daily routine for elderly loved ones. This can provide structure and a sense of purpose, while also giving them a chance to look forward to certain activities each day.
Of course, it’s important to be flexible and accommodating as well, since not every day will be the same.
I do hope that these ideas will help you and your senior loved one to enjoy your indoors!