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Things To Do With The Elderly When Stuck At Home

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There are many wonderful things that you can do with your family – young and old – at home. Some may take a little creativity and perhaps even some products but in the end, it’s all about spending time with the ones you love.

Our List Of Things To Do With Elderly Loved Ones At Home

This list of things to do includes 8 categories with a total of 44 different activities that you and your family can all enjoy!

You may also want to consider creating an Activity Calendar for your family.


1. Entertainment Via Television And Internet

Of course watching TV is an easy form of activity and entertainment. If you have WiFi in your home and you haven’t yet installed a Roku or Firestick device I would encourage you to do that. It adds many more options of what to watch – many are free so there’s no additional charge except for the purchase of either one of these products.

2. Online Courses

If you are like me and enjoy learning, then you can take this time to delve into that! If you wanted to learn art or music or a different language – there are courses for that. Or perhaps you just want to brush up on theology, history, literature – you can do that too!

3. Reading

Almost everyone loves to read or listen to audio books. It could be from books, magazines, newspapers or journals – there are written and audio publications to meet your area(s) of interest.

4. Connecting With Others

  • Amazon’s Echo Show is a great way to keep in touch with a video screen. The thing is you can only connect to someone that has an Echo Show as well.
  • If you have an apple iphone then you can certainly use Facetime with other iphone users who also have the Facetime app.
  • For us android phone users you can use Google Duo, Skype or WhatsApp for video conversations. You can read more about them here.
  • If you don’t mind using your computer or laptop for video calls you can use Zoom (free for 40 minute calls).
  • Know’s a great time to get in touch with long lost friends and acquaintances. Call them, or you can take some time to search for them on Facebook or even to Google them.

5. Games and Puzzles

There are many types of games that you could play with your senior loved one and hopefully they will want to play with you. (My mother hated games so this was not an option for us!) I would just recommend to be aware of the mental acuity and physical dexterity that your senior loved one has. You don’t want him/her to get frustrated just because they aren’t able to play the game.

6. Arts And Crafts

My mother was a master at knitting and crochet and we would always encourage her to keep up with that activity. Although there are many arts and crafts types of projects that can be done, when doing these with older adults it’s important to tap into what their past experiences have been, what they have enjoyed doing in the past, etc. Activities don’t make any sense for older adults if it only ends up serving to frustrate them.

  • Craft kits – there are many different types but this Craft Crush one may be fun for everyone.
  • Artsy type of kits – for those of you who have an artistic flair (I don’t have an ounce of it) there are many kits like this string art one that may be fun.
  • Wood craft kits – for those who like to work with wood pieces and reminisce a bit
  • Lego – today’s Lego’s are not what we grew up with, that’s for sure! The Lego company has begun creating a series of products for seniors – which is so cool!
  • Youtube has lots of videos on arts and craft ideas to do with older adults. Here’s an example of one.

7. Gardening

Many older adults enjoy gardening and it’s certainly something that many can do whether they live in a home or an apartment. The trick is to make sure that it’s a safe activity. You can read about my recommendations on how to make gardening safer for your senior loved ones in my article on Senior Gardening Tips – Making It Easy And Safe.

8. Activities

There are always activities / tasks to be done in and around your home. These days you may be home more than not – so now’s the time to catch up on all those things you’ve been meaning to do but just never found the time to do them. Yes, I know – you need the motivation to do them as well but that’s another article!

  • Declutter your living spaces – we all collect stuff but don’t give away much stuff. So, get to the task of cleaning out your home of the things you don’t want and/or don’t need any longer.
  • Organize your photos – maybe you want to put your photos in an album or online or on a flash drive or just organize them in a box. It’s also a good time to get rid of all those photos of trees and rocks and landscapes that have no people in them and you can’t remember where that picture of that was.
    Now may also be a good time to put your photos on “digital”. You don’t have to discard your old photos, but preserving them on a “backup” either on a flash drive, hard drive or online would be a good idea.
  • Cooking with your family – one of the things my late husband and I used to love to do was to cook a meal together. It was a great way to spend some time with each other. You can work on a new recipe, learn to make something new or work together to make your family’s favorites.
  • Feeding the critters – whether you can feed birds, squirrels, chipmunks or deer – if you live in an area where you can provide food for these creatures then you can sit back and enjoy the time of watching them! I know my cats are loving the bird feeder that I put out!
  • Build a computer – for those of you who want to explore computers (and maybe robotics) – there are many kits available to do just that!
  • Adopt a pet – it may seem counter intuitive to take on caring for a pet if you are a caregiver for a senior loved one (one more thing to do kind of thinking) but the truth is, the right kind of pet can bring a lot of joy and love into a home. So, give it some consideration.
  • Start a blog – these days, blogging is so much more than just journaling. I personally think every family should have a blog. It’s a great way for everyone to write down their stories, store photos, events, etc. Imagine having your grandparents’ stories written down on a blog and maybe adding a video of them or audio clip of them telling the story!
  • Pamper yourself – most seniors don’t take too much time to really pamper themselves! You can create your own spa day complete with facials, manicures and pedicures, gentle massages and even a little meditation!
  • Tea time– begin a new tradition and start a daily “tea time” which I believe traditionally is at 4 pm. You can even take it a step further and “dress up” for it!

What Activities Are Good For Seniors?

It may be difficult to assess, in a general term, what activities are good for older adults. After all, every person has different capabilities, different likes and dislikes and different past experiences.

So, in my honest opinion, the best activities are ones that the person can participate in (with minimal frustration) and one that they enjoy. Here are some examples:

  • Walking – if your senior loved one can walk without great difficulty or pain and for a good distance than I would say that taking a walk around the neighborhood would be a good activity. During this time when Coronavirus is still very active – please keep 3 to 6 feet away from others.
  • Useful tasks – everyone likes to feel useful and productive. Anything that your older adult can do to contribute to the running of the household would be a good activity. It could be cooking, watching the kids, cleaning, paying the bills, handyman type of tasks, etc.
  • Passion activities – most everyone has something that they enjoy. Music, art, movies, games, sports, etc. Any task or activity around that topic that they enjoy would be a very good activity to participate in either solo or with others in the family.
  • Exercise – for many seniors – exercise can be difficult. But most everyone can do chair exercises. There are many Youtube videos on these types of exercises and I would encourage you to pull up Youtube on your TV (if you can) and start working out!

Did I List Enough Things To Do With Your Elderly Loved Ones?

I hope that this list of 44 different activities will inspire you to take some time to have some fun with the senior loved ones in your family!

If you have some suggestions on activities or projects – let us know by contacting us and we just might add them to this list.

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