Senior Activities - Keeping Aging Parents Busy Indoors

Senior Activities - Keeping Busy Indoors

Seniors, just like anyone else, need to be kept engaged and active in both personal and social pursuits. Studies have shown that individuals who continually challenge the brain to learn new skills is one that resists depression, loneliness, and may even help to curb the ravaging effects of dementia. Finding indoor senior activities that elderly parents can enjoy and in which they can participate are an essential aspect of the caregivers’ responsibilities.

Keeping Senior Activities Simple

Caregivers caring for aging parents at home don't have to spend a lot of money creating indoor activities for elderly parents.

Finding enjoyable activities, hobbies or crafts for your parents may be as simple as visiting your local hobby store. Just because seniors are getting older and may be losing some vision and tactile mobility doesn't mean that they wouldn't enjoy certain crafts and hobbies.

Some crafts and hobbies that are especially elderly friendly include but are not limited to:

  • Flower arranging
  • Painting (watercolor or oil)
  • Clay modeling
  • Music (singing, or playing an instrument)
  • Scrap booking
senior activities

These are just a few suggestions that keep the elderly engaged and active and can be enjoyed in solitary or group environments. In addition to preventing boredom and depression, indoor senior activities help to keep the brain active and also ensure the fine motor movements are maintained.

Indoor activities should be catered to the capabilities, cognizance levels, and temperaments of the parent. If your mother has never liked painting, she may not be open to painting now. However, your mother may be very fond of cards, and might welcome having a small group of peers over every week to play bridge.

Solitary versus Senior Activities in a Group

Some seniors prefer to be alone, while others crave group activities. Regardless of your parents’ preference, arts and crafts are one of the most popular indoor activities for seniors. This doesn't mean breaking out a box of crayons and construction paper.

Times have changed. Today, elders are adept at scrap booking, jewelry making, and, if not suffering from arthritis or musculo-skeletal disorders, often enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting or needlepoint, but it doesn't stop there. Many senior activities include hobbies and crafts that they have enjoyed their entire life, such as building birdhouses, dolls, toys or clocks.

Before a caregiver automatically assumes what senior activities would be appropriate or suitable for a parent, it's important for the caregiver to ask the parent what he or she would like to do. The answer is often surprising. Many seniors today are very interested in exploring the world around them. After all, it's a first chance they may have gotten to spend time on themselves after a lifetime of child rearing and job responsibilities.

Many seniors today enjoy learning new languages, chatting online, and exploring the world around them through the Internet. Connectivity enables them to keep in touch with distant family members and old friends. Computer technology courses and classes are available in most communities, so don't forget to ask your parent if he or she would like to participate.

Pushing the Limits

Let's face it. Many of today's senior citizens aren't about to slow down. Sure, they may move a little slower or take a little more time to make decisions, but more often than not, caregivers are surprised that their parents want to stay involved, or get involved, in community activities.

senior activities

Seniors today were brought up in a generation where giving was a normal aspect of daily life. Many grew up in

rural communities where community spirit was more important than individual gain.

Many seniors want to stay involved in community activities, such as providing food, cooking for the needy, volunteering, and participating in community events, such as summer reading programs, tutoring, and volunteer group organizing.

For fun and games, many seniors can stay active indoors by engaging in senior friendly aerobics classes, horseshoes, and indoor bowling. Shuffle board, bingo, and chess provide attractive alternatives to watching soap operas on television every afternoon.

Keep Busy and Stay Young

How would you feel if, just because of your age, you are discouraged from participating in activities that you used to enjoy?

Just because your parent is getting a little older doesn't mean that he or she can't continue to enjoy the same activities, adapting them to physical and mental limitations.

Never assume that your parent is going to be happy making construction paper cards, but encourage them to stay as mentally stimulated and physically active as you can, for as long as you can.

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