Activities for Elderly Men

by Mary Ann
(Ocala, FL)

Activities for Elderly Men

Activities for Elderly Men

I've found whether a loved one lives in a nursing facility, assisted living, or at home, it can often be quite challenging, and frustrating, to get Dad, Grandpa, or an Uncle or other male relative interested in a variety of activities.


However, engaging and encouraging likes and dislikes of the man in your life or in your facility is not that difficult. I think men get bored quite easily, so it's important to find activities that will keep them stimulated, engaged, and interacting socially with others.

In my experience, I have found that men tend to talk about sports, old hobbies, and, depending on geographical region, fishing and hunting. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box when it comes to activities for elderly men. For example, once I had the men in my activity group engage in a whistling contest. Some were just as enthusiastic about karaoke, and to my surprise, several also did magic tricks.

Many men like to play a variety of games, from gin rummy to canasta, to horseshoes and Bocce ball. Of course, it's important to cater activities to cognitive levels, physical ability, and interest.

A lot of men like to garden and get their hands dirty, so planting a late spring or early summer garden is an excellent way to keep the guys engaged for several months while they cultivate and harvest the garden. Others like to play cards. Keeping money off the table, ask if they'd like to have a poker night, complete with poker chips and snacks (dietary restrictions may apply!).

The key is to engage them in things they like to do, whether it's building or painting birdfeeders, making fishing tackle (excellent for maintaining digital dexterity) or creating wind chimes to give away as gifts.

The important thing is to take the time to find out what interests the man or men in your life and cater activities that build on their skills, keep them engaged, and most importantly, offer them some fun.

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Elderly Crafts - Painting Birdhouses
by: Anonymous

My dad always thought that certain activities or crafts were nothing but a waste of time. Then he started painting birdhouses (mainly just to please me) and now he creates exquisite works of art that I sell at the local craft fair.

He gets the proceeds.

I often buy old birdhouses at antique stores, or just purchase the plain wooden birdhouses from the local craft store. He doesn't care as long as he gets to paint them. His creativity shines and he really enjoys it!

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Seniors and Dominos
by: Anonymous

My elderly uncle is a domino fanatic. He played dominoes with my aunt every night for 40 years before she passed away.

When he went to the nursing home, he had no one to play with. I mentioned it to the activity director of the nursing home and she found someone in the nursing home who enjoyed playing dominoes as much as my uncle.

Now, those two sit at a table in the dining room every night and play a game or two before bed – ever night. It's something that he looks forward to every day and has brought the sparkle back in his eyes.

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