Senior Activity Ideas for Breaking Boredom
One day, Suellen realized it was time for a change around her house.
Her preschool children had memorized the entire script of John Wayne’s movie “Hondo” all because Gramps watched “Hondo” day after day, every day. Not just the movie had to change. No, she decided that Gramps needed to do something different, not just the same old routine every day.
Days of caregiving at home can become the same old thing, over and over. It can get boring, just like watching the same movie over and over.
When this happens, caregivers need to do something different, something meaningful each day with the loved one you’re caring for. You need some senior activity ideas.
Remember the pastimes, hobbies and interests your loved one used to have? As a caregiver, you might be tempted to think of the person’s limitations. Their brief level of endurance or short attention span present obstacles that means those days over for your loved one.
But are you sure? You may be able to find another way to help your loved one enjoy that pastime once again. Let suggest some senior activity ideas.
Did your loved one enjoy cooking, but has given it up? Perhaps, preparing Thanksgiving dinner for ten would be far too ambitious. So how about helping her with some very simple foods such as a cornbread or pudding mix. If your mom has always liked new kitchen gadgets, then helping her use a blender, a juicer, a slow cooker, or a bread maker might make for an enjoyable learning experience.
Just opening a package of refrigerated cookie dough, cutting the cookies, and baking them can make a dull day a better day. Not only could you enjoy eating them, you can spread the pleasure by sharing them.
There is a lady in our area who bakes cookies each week and mails them to overseas military members. There’s probably someone who would enjoy the cookies you and your loved one could bake: a neighbor, a Sunday School class, the staff at your doctor’s office, and of course, the grandkids.
Many seniors were once gardeners who took pride in their lawn and garden. While they may not be able to mow the lawn or prune the hedges any more, they can continue to garden on a smaller scale. What about getting some seeds that you can both start indoors in a pot, then tend them in pots or window boxes as the plants grow? Planting flowers and vegetables in a raised box can assist a gardener who can’t bend over or needs to sit while working.
Bird watching can be fun and interesting. You may even be able to involve kids or other family members. You can prepare a “nest” for your loved one in front of a large window with a comfortable chair an end table or foot rest. Outside set up a bird feeder and bird bath close by. Think secluded and comfortable.
Your elderly parent once took care of household chores independently and probably could still do routine things like folding towels or clothing. They may enjoy sorting through the photos and organizing the albums or dusting and re-shelving books in the bookcase.
An occupational therapist might have some senior activity ideas about how to make it possible for your loved one to pursue their hobby or help with an activity.
Keeping active is good for mind and body. People need to feel useful. I like John Wayne as much as the next person,… but the same movie every day? Then you know, it’s time for something to change.
If you have some senior activity ideas, please share them with us.