Figuring out the best way to spend time with the elderly can involve navigating a few hurdles. For instance, older adults may be more sensitive to temperature or face a variety of mobility limitations. But with the right approach, it’s not that difficult to learn fun things to do with old people. And being successful means could mean helping to prevent loneliness, improve emotional wellbeing, and even improve a person’s health.
Simple Things to Do with Old People
Reading keeps our brains engaged with the world. It can help manage stress, improve sleep, and can slow down age-related cognitive decline. And reading doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. Just like a book club, reading something with friends or family can be an enriching experience that gives you something to discuss.
Another great thing about books is there’s literally something for everyone. Outside of fiction, you can start learning about anything from performing magic to learning a foreign language.
If health problems make reading difficult, you might try enjoying a podcast or audiobook together instead. Another good option is reading aloud.
Creative Things to do with Elderly People
Reading is also a gateway to a variety of new hobbies. For instance, seniors with limited mobility have a ton of options for things that can be learned and practiced at home. That might include baking, crochet, birdwatching, and so on. Finding fun things to do with the elderly at home is often as simple as thinking about their interests, allowing you to rekindle an old passion.
Creative options are another thing to consider. It’s easy to overlook creative activity while looking for things to do with elderly parents because those activities are often considered solitary. But there’s a ton of creative things to with the elderly at home. Drawing, painting, sculpture, or scrapbooking are all good options.
Creative activities have proven therapeutic benefits that can help people manage negative emotions like anxiety. You can find plenty of free art classes online, and relaxation has been proven to help improve medical outcomes. But keep in mind, relaxation isn’t exactly the same thing as turning off your brain in front of a television. It’s an active process that involves mental engagement, which is one of the reasons creative activity is such a great option.
On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with planning a movie night. We’re living through a golden age of new media, with thousands of new shows and movies being released every year. Provided you’ve got access to a broadband internet connection, it’s also easy to get your hands on old favorites. While movies aren’t the most social activity in the world, they do give you something to talk about.
Learn & Play
You don’t need to head to a Bingo hall in order to have fun playing games. Card games, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku — there are tons of options. You can also find a huge number of social online games that can be played through tablets or smartphones. Just don’t make all your activities sedentary. It’s important for everyone to get regular exercise, which can provide a wealth of mood and health benefits.
Looking for things to do in a nursing home can feel a little limiting at times. But there are always opportunities to interact with the outside world, even when you’re staying home. Try reaching out to local hospitals, religious groups, and charities in order to learn if there are any projects you and your loved ones can help with. Giving back the community can be rewarding, and it’s often possible to contribute to a good cause with simple activities you can do in a group.
Figuring out things to do with a senior citizen doesn’t have to be tough. It helps if you can find a shared interest or passion, and it’s great if you can manage to work in physical stimulation, mental stimulation, or relaxation. But ultimately, none of that matters as much as deciding to spend time together.