Winter activities don’t just happen automatically; they take some planning. Seniors who want to keep an active lifestyle regardless of the weather can combine foresight with creativity and plan life-enriching activities that provide ample opportunity to exercise, enjoy friends and family, and keep their mind sharp.
The Parke Assisted Living offers diverse seasonal activities for seniors to enjoy with other residents as well as family members. Some of the typical activities residents at The Parke have to choose from include:
- Entertainment—Movie night
- Exercise—Tai Chi or Sitercise
- Outings—Dollar Tree, Walmart Super Center, Brahms, and more
- Games—Bingo and Rummikub
- Challenges—Bridge and Mind Benders
- Learning—Master Gardening
- Pure fun—In-house jewelry sale
Seniors enjoy looking forward to diversion and socialization, so grab a calendar and schedule some fun with your senior loved one. Encourage them to plan activities with their friends, and schedule time with family members to strengthen your bonds and make memories this winter. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:
1. Create a meaningful craft project to give a loved one.
One way to keep the fingers nimble is to use them regularly. Knitting, crocheting, and quilting are creative craft activities seniors can enjoy doing in a group setting or alone. They offer a positive opportunity for your loved one to embrace the blessing of giving and putting a whole lot of heart into their gift. Family and friends are often extremely touched by the time invested in a gift like a quilt, knitted scarf or crocheted craft. Color schemes, math, memory, and eye-hand coordination are all part of the benefits included in creating crafts to give others, and craft making offers a healthy outlet for seniors.
- Holiday wreaths
- Watercolor painting
- Flower arranging
- Gingerbread house making
2. Get involved in a regular low-impact exercise program.
A consistent exercise program along with maintaining a healthy weight can help seniors prevent common physical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Exercise can help seniors maintain good balance, strength, endurance, and mobility. It naturally boosts one’s emotional state, offering consistent mood stabilizing capabilities. It’s wise for your senior loved one to talk with their doctor before beginning an exercise program.
It’s always fun to plan exercise with a friend or family member. Remember to stay well hydrated when adding exercise to a daily routine, and progress slowly to respect your current physical condition. Here are some ideas to choose from when scheduling regular exercise for or with your senior loved one. Check out the activities calendar for even more diverse options to choose from.
It’s easy to locate an indoor pool by checking into local gyms and community centers. Many have water aerobics classes for seniors. Plan ahead if assistance is needed in the dressing room, and offer help getting into and out of the pool if needed.
In the winter, find interesting indoor walking options such as the local mall, a favorite grocery store, a community center, or an indoor track. Be sure your loved one has sturdy shoes and walks with a family member or friend if possible. Many assisted living communities provide community outings to nearby malls and other pleasant places to get a healthy walk in during winter months.
The gentle movements, including a variety of poses and positions, offers relaxation and stress relief for seniors. It improves balance, strength, flexibility, and can contribute to building strong bones. Look for a class accustomed to accommodating seniors. Inquire about modified poses if needed, and encourage your loved one not to push themselves too hard, particularly in the early classes as they get accustomed to yoga.
Ballroom dancing and even ballet offer great physical benefits to seniors. Any dancing done with a partner or in a group offers the added benefit of socialization. Seniors increase their energy levels, improve posture, boost their happiness, and enjoy a sense of accomplishment when taking dance classes. Dance provides a fun way to stay physically fit for your loved one as they age. Begin by stretching, warm up with slow music and gentle dance steps, and stop if you become winded.
3. Incorporate live music into your seasonal activities.
Take time to search local events to find live music to enjoy during the winter, and particularly during the holidays.
- Take a trip to see the Nutcracker performed live during December.
- Enjoy a Sunday church service at a location where live music is an integral part of the service.
- Contact a local university such as ORU or TU, and schedule a trip to their Christmas concert or jazz concert.
- Attend the lights on ceremony at Utica Square.
- Discover the holiday schedule at Gathering Place and enjoy the live carolers, percussionists and more.
4. Engage in fun games that offer mind strengthening for everyone.
Any game that requires you to recall facts can help keep the brain fit. Jeopardy, card games, puzzles, dominoes, and the popular Wii can become a favorite for many seniors. The social element of playing games with family or friends offers a sense of community that seniors need, bringing smiles and laughter to all.
5. Enjoy some tasty food together this winter.
It’s always meaningful to seniors to cook together, as it offers time to visit and provides a rewarding way to keep the mind sharp and the hands active. Reading recipe books and following recipes can create good stimulation for the brain.
- Cook your senior loved one’s favorite meal together.
- Take your loved one out to lunch.
- Enjoy a coffee shop with your loved one.
- Find a new restaurant to explore together.
- Top your time off with a good movie.