You probably know by now that one of the best ways to protect your aging loved one from loneliness, depression, and even dementia is by equipping them to live an active, social life. But it can be challenging to regularly plan new, exciting activities for seniors.
Protect Your Aging Loved One
Don’t dismay—here at Morningside, we’re the daughters of aging parents ourselves. We’ve spent a lot of time planning program ideas and fun activities for seniors, and we thought we’d share them with you because your loved one’s well-being is our highest priority.
1. Get moving with physical activity.
There’s nothing that releases endorphins and improves someone’s mood like physical activity. And the greatest part is that as long as your loved one is moving, it doesn’t matter how! That means there are lots of opportunities for your loved one to try new things and find a new, fun activity that gets them excited about moving.
For example, at Morningside, we offer yoga, pilates, seated tai chi, Zumba, dumbbell and band workouts, and even a walking club! As you look for physical activities for seniors in your community, be sure to check out community centers and gyms—they often have great options. Just don’t forget to encourage your loved one to stretch before and after!
2. Slow down for contemplation.
Enjoyable activities for seniors don’t have to be overly active! Many seniors enjoy connecting with friends and family during religious services or study groups. Additionally, it can be incredibly beneficial for everyone to take time to pray or meditate each day.
That’s why we offer a variety of religious services, study groups, and facilitated meditation times at Morningside. You can find many of these contemplation activities for seniors and more through your local worship centers.
3. Get creative!
Nothing spurs on mental agility like creative endeavors! That’s why no list of things to do for seniors could be complete with creative offerings like art classes or music lessons. It may be fun to visit your local art museum or other local attractions for inspiration!
Personally, our residents are big fans of sip and paint classes, as well as jewelry making lessons and craft projects. We also provide music therapy and live musical entertainment. Most cities these days have excellent senior art and music classes—be sure to put them on your list!
4. Plan a day—or weekend!—away.
Don’t forget that just as you occasionally need a day out or a weekend away, your aging loved one would probably appreciate this, too! Take time to plan a mini-vacation right in your own town, visiting a new restaurant, stopping by a nail salon, or strolling through a favorite shopping destination. Or consider making a weekend getaway to a nearby town or—if your loved one is up to it—a city they’ve always wanted to see!
While we can’t offer faraway locales to our residents, we work hard to bring the destinations to them with tea parties, happy hours, manicures, and mimosa bars. Additionally, we offer our residents lunch outings, shopping trips, and destination getaways to nearby locations.
5. Check out the night scene.
Just because most restaurants offer senior discounts for the early dinner hour doesn’t mean your loved one has to be tucked into bed before 7. Many seniors are night owls and enjoy evening activities. Consider finding a concert, comedy routine, or theater production your loved one would enjoy.
For example, at Morningside we work hard to bring in live entertainment, mobile ballet shows, and other intergenerational programming you can enjoy alongside your loved one.
6. Heat up the competition.
Often the best social groups begin not with existing friends but around a common interest—and frequently those interests involve games. Chess club, Mahjong groups, Bingo halls, Backgammon or Bridge: all of these games are delightful ways to spend a morning or afternoon, and provide a fun way to get to know new people.
That’s why we work hard to integrate regular game time into our programming, so our senior residents can easily meet new friends over a shared passion for a favorite game, and allow the laughter to ensue.
Encourage Your Aging Loved One to Join in!
Remember—it’s not the activity in and of itself that is important. The true game changer is finding a few things your aging loved one enjoys doing that encourages him or her to get out of the house and engage in relationships. A healthy, active social life is one of the best gifts you can give to a senior.
Curious to see how we do it? Tours are a great way to see Morningside’s program ideas to keep senior activities fun and engaging all year round! If you’re ready to get started with a visit, schedule a tour now at Morningside. We can’t wait to show you around!