Having Fun Keeps You Young at Heart – and Healthy Too!
Your golden years are generally looked at as a time for you to relax. However, that doesn’t mean being relegated to a chair in front of a television for the rest of your days. Living life that way would be incredibly boring for anyone!
Finding ways to stay active in engaging with the people and activities that we enjoy keeps us active, which is great for our mental and physical health. It’s especially important if you currently live in a long-term care facility, where enjoying quality time with family and friends and taking part in activities and hobbies can help you combat feelings of isolation.
At Nursing Home Reviews, we aim to provide seniors with information that can help them make their golden years healthier and more peaceful. Today, we’re going to discuss 5 meaningful activities for seniors that can help those of you living in long-term care facilities cure boredom.
1: Find Ways to Stay Connected With Your Family
One of the toughest parts of living in a long-term care facility is having less contact with your family than you’d like. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that, at some point, we all seem to be too busy to connect with the ones we love, or we lose track of time. Making that time to reconnect with friends and family is one of the most important things we can do in life.
For that reason, finding ways to connect, or reconnect, with family is one of our top 5 activities for the elderly. It’s one of the most enriching things that you can do if you live in a long-term care facility.
In some ways, you may see family members who live close by more than others. There may also be family members living nearby that you rarely see for a number of reasons. One way to connect with family members that you rarely see is to ask the ones that you see most to bring visitors with them. This includes:
- Younger grandchildren
- Your siblings
- Long-time family friends
If your loved ones live far away, arranging video chats and staying connected on social media are great ways to keep up with siblings, children, and grandchildren. Are you currently connected with family members on social media? If so, encourage them to post photos or videos of family activities, trips, and milestones. This way, you can remain an active participant in the lives of family members that you are unable to see.
2: Tackle New Hobbies
There are plenty of things that seniors who live in long-term care facilities can do for fun.
No, not just bingo. If you’re not one to take part in many planned facility activities, there are plenty of meaningful hobbies for seniors that you can enjoy on your own or with others. That’s why tackling new hobbies is next on our list of meaningful activities for seniors.
Despite what others say, you can learn how to do something new at any age. When it comes to learning new hobbies, the only thing that matters is your willingness to stick with it. Activities that engage you mentally and physically offer numerous benefits, including:
- Keeping you engaged and active within your community.
- Helping you maintain positive mental health.
- Helping you stay physically fit by helping you stay active.
- Potentially slowing cognitive decline by keeping your mind active.
Some of the hobbies that you may choose to help you fight boredom include:
- Building model kits
- Taking a cooking class
- Learning a new language
- Joining a hiking club
- Learning a musical instrument
Of course, these are only a few examples of positive hobbies for seniors. If we kept listing, we’d be able to make a book out of this article alone!
3: Listen to – or Make – Some Good Music
Number three on our list of meaningful activities for the elderly ties into learning new hobbies. There’s nothing that soothes the soul like listening to some of your favorite songs, recent or classic. Listening to, or making (for those who play an instrument), some good music can be one of the best activities for seniors around.
Much like learning a new hobby, listening to or making music is fun whether you choose to share it with friends or do it on your own. If you’re looking to make new friends in your new home, sharing some of your favorite songs with them can be a great way to bond. If you and your new friends play instruments, having impromptu jam sessions can be even more fun than just listening to your favorite songs.
When family and friends visit you, listening to music can help everyone involved recall wonderful memories. Music is a universal language of love, evoking positive emotions and nostalgia for all, especially for those who may be combating cognitive decline. Certain songs or jingles may help you recall memories of family trips or holidays, which can make family visits a warm, enriching experience for all.
Of course, if you prefer solitude, listening to music can help keep you happy and relaxed. Don’t have a particular song in mind you’d want to listen to? Put on some classical music. It definitely helps keep you relaxed, and can do a great deal to help keep your mind engaged.
4: Spend a Little Bit of Time Outside
One of the worst things about living in an assisted living facility is having to spend most of your time in your room. Though your new home may host plenty of activities for seniors, a great deal of your time is spent in solitude. A little bit of time to ourselves can be good, but too much can become a problem.
This is why one of the most important activities for the elderly is finding ways to spend a little bit of time outside. For those who are mobile and relatively healthy, taking a walk around the grounds or spending time in the facility garden is easy enough. Those who have mobility issues need some extra help getting out to get some fresh air, but it’s not an impossible task.
Whether spending time with visiting family members or new friends you’ve made in your new home, it’s crucial to find a little bit of time at least every few days to spend some time outside. Even if that means just spending a few minutes chatting in a gazebo or at a picnic area somewhere on the facility grounds.
5: Join Your Family for Outings When Invited
The last pick on our list of meaningful activities for seniors is perhaps one of the most versatile, as it allows you to combine any or all of the activities on this list! When your family invites you to tag along with them for outings, joining them can:
- Give you a chance to get some much-needed fresh air.
- Enjoy listening to music.
- Provide an opportunity for you to share a new hobby with your family
- Spend some quality time with loved ones.
When you don’t get to see your family as much as you used to, outings and quality time become more important than ever. Whether it’s for a few hours or for a few days, when the opportunity arises, take it to join your family by:
- Going to favorite restaurants
- Revisiting beloved tourist spots around town
- Walking on local trails or greenways
- Going to the hair salon or the mall
- Taking in a movie or a concert
Keeping Active is the Best Thing You Can Do
It’s important at any age to keep your mind and body as active as possible. However, as a senior, keeping active and engaged with hobbies and activities can keep you happy and healthy in many ways. Sure, the common joke is that all seniors who live in long-term care do nothing but play bingo all day long. In reality, the happiest seniors are fulfilled by plenty of meaningful activities – not just bingo!