Uplifting Activities for Your Senior Residents

 

The best way to keep your mind sharp and body mobile is by using them!  Exercising both muscles is the key for seniors who want to stay physically active and have continued mental focus.

You know the sayings, “use it or lose it!” and, “a body in motion, stays in motion”? Well, I completely agree – and that’s why I have created a list of unique activities to consider organizing for your senior living community. These ideas are centered around things that will motivate residents to move, learn and, most importantly, have fun!

The key is to offer engaging activities that will WOW your senior residents.

Enjoying the Outdoors

The beautiful summer weather is still going strong and the crisp fall weather is right around the corner.  This is the perfect time of year to plan outdoor activities.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Book club on the patio
  • Game of bocce or croquet
  • Group stroll around the property
  • Gardening in the community garden

 

EXERCISE

Another great way to organize outdoor activity is to create a morning movement class. You can keep things engaging by providing different types of movement classes each morning. There is a lot of research that demonstrates the positive effects of exercise for seniors. In fact, while researching for this blog I found one article from Harvard Health Publishing that cites research through the MacArthur Study of Aging in America. In which, a ten-year investigation of healthy aging found that seniors between the ages of 70 and 80 who had never previously exercised before could still improve their physical fitness.

 

 

Seniors will benefit from classes such as, Thai Chi, Pilates, Stretching and Yoga… all are great for stability and improved posture.

DON’T FORGET THE SPF

While enjoying the outdoors, it’s always good to promote sun protection.  You can do this by providing your residents with a supply of sunblock, sunglasses, hats and visors. For a special touch, you can even add the community logo to them!

It’s also imperative that shaded areas are easy to find. Be sure that benches are placed under shade trees and umbrellas are fixtures in outdoor picnic areas. By doing these things you are promoting the enjoyment of nature and fresh air for the residents in your community.

ACTIVITIES FOR ENGAGING THE MIND

Keeping the mind sharp is just as important as keeping the body strong. Offering game days with different themes can be fun and interesting. In addition to being mentally stimulating, these activities are great opportunities for residents to socialize together. Below are some of my favorite examples of organized community fun for your residents:

GAMES

Cards are a great for senior residents to stay social with their peers.  There are so many different card games to play.  I recommend sticking to the classics to start and see how organized card games go from there. Some popular games to suggest are gin rummy, poker, blackjack, and crazy eights.
Chess is the perfect game for exercising your mind. The challenge of strategic move planning helps the receptors in the brain to remain strong.
Puzzles, crosswords and Scrabble are also great for cognitive support. These games make learning new words and brainstorming fun.
Bingo is always a fan favorite. Of course, you don’t have to play for money. It can be just as fun to offer alternative prizes, or even just the satisfaction of yelling, “BINGO!” For a twist try playing music or movie bingo.
Music bingo is a fun game that will bring back an old nostalgia, while playing residents favorite songs.  Music is often used as therapy for seniors because it is good for the mind and soul!

 

 

DINNER AND A MOVIE

Create a theme and add a complimentary dinner. For starters you could try a classic, such as the Frank Sinatra movie, “New York, New York”. This one is easy to organize an entire event around. For a meal you can serve a classic Italian pasta dinner.  Activities like this are great for seniors with low mobility, creates an enjoy able low-key experience.

PET DAY

Encourage family members to visit and bring friendly pets with them.  Animals often bring joy to seniors. In fact, petting animals is said to be a very therapeutic activity.  Research has found that spending time with animals can lower blood presser, anxiety and stress levels.

MONTHLY CLASSES

Offer residents monthly classes. You can even survey your community members to ensure you’re providing options they will gravitate towards. Some ideas I really liked while researching for this blog included cooking, sewing, scrapbooking, painting, and pottery classes!

Another great option for seniors is computer or tech classes. Empower your residents to use modern technology to communicate with their families and find other forms of entertainment.

That’s a Wrap

I hope you enjoyed my latest blog on uplifting activities for senior residents. I’d love to hear more about how your community engages your residents. So please, leave a comment below or send me a message at liz@model55.com.

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