Senior Entertainment: 7 Winter Activities for Seniors
Winter can be a tough time for finding exciting things to do for a healthy person, not to mention someone limited in their physical abilities. And Maryland winters can be cold and snowy, essentially ruling out any outdoor activities. So how do you keep life interesting for your elderly loved ones in winter? Whether you are caring for them yourself or have enlisted the help of our Maryland senior caregivers, here are a few ideas for winter activities for seniors.
Baking is great for two reasons—the baker gets to enjoy both the process and the fruits of their labor. And there are many ways you can involve your elderly mom or dad in baking, from having them wash apples for the pie, mix the dough or do the decorating. Home-made and decorated cookies will be a hit with all family members and can even be handed out as gifts. This is also a great way to bring the entire family together under the same roof—who wouldn’t come for freshly baked grandma’s famous cookies?
A paint & wine night is a social event that has gained quite a bit of popularity lately, with many bars and restaurants serving as hosts. The idea is to gather a few people, have them agree on an image to paint, fill up the glasses with a preferred beverage and get painting. At the end, everyone will have their own version of the same painting. You don’t have to serve alcoholic beverages—grandma’s cookies and milk or hot apple cider will do just fine. Let grandma or grandpa invite their friends, or have the grandchildren help out. Make sure to choose an image that is simple enough to draw for someone with poor vision or an unsteady hand. Paint night is only fun if it doesn’t get frustrating.
Winter in Maryland is the perfect time to watch the night sky due to the lack of humidity and early sunsets. Bundle up and sit outside for a bit to track down familiar constellations. Maybe you have a telescope sitting in your garage or basement? Dig it out and point it to the moon. If you have a really good telescope, you can try searching for other stars and planets, but moon is always a safe option, as it’s easy to find and big enough to see in detail. Your elderly loved ones might have never done this before, so it’s a good new thing to try. Just make sure a cup of hot chocolate is waiting inside, as nights tend to get chilly!
It is the cheerful season, so why not spread the cheer around through DIY holiday cards? Made with grandma’s or grandpa’s hands, they would mean more to the recipients than generic store-bought cards. Depending on your loved one’s dexterity, you can have them cut out shapes from scrapbook paper, glue decorations or write words with glitter glue. Or they can sketch designs for you and the kids to turn into life. If grandpa is not into card-making, see if he would rather assemble wooden car models or put together a bird house.
Show and Tell
Your loved ones have lived a long life and probably have quite a few stories to tell. Most of them you might have heard before, but there could be other adventures you never knew about. A show and tell can take many forms, but if you want to dive deep into the family history, arrange a closet raid. Gather your family members and have your elderly loved ones pull out clothes, jewelry or mementos from the back of the closet and tell the history of each item. There might be a dress grandma wore to her first job interview, a watch grandpa inherited from his father or a pair of tickets to the concert where they first met. However, this might not be the best activity for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, because you don’t want to make them feel upset about the things they can’t remember.
Learn a New Skill
Just because someone is old, doesn’t mean they should stop learning. Our brains might not be as fast at processing new information or sending signals to our hands as we age, but this shouldn’t stop your elderly loved one from learning. Even if to you it seems like a pointless undertaking, encourage your loved ones to pursue their interests and passions. It’s never too late to master a new instrument or learn a new language. Maybe, instead of bingo, your parents would rather learn to play pool, quilt or sing? Getting absorbed into mastering a new skill will make the winter fly by.
If you live close to a big city, like Baltimore, you can take advantage of the various bus tours popular in winter. This is a great opportunity to be outside and stay entertained without freezing or tiring your feet. As the city gets decorated for the holidays, there are plenty of beautiful things you can see through the tour bus window. Christmas light displays are everywhere and the bus will take you through the most scenic installations. This could be a fun and low-stress way to get out of the house this winter.
Are you going to use any of these senior entertainment ideas? If so, let us know which one was a hit with your loved ones. Of course, in some cases you have to get a bit more inventive, especially if your loved one has a disabling condition, such as poor eyesight or paralysis. Let us know if you need help maintaining a quality life for your elderly loved one. Our trained Maryland senior home care providers are more than caregivers—they can offer companionship and emotional support to your loved one, and help them maintain interest in life.
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