Summer is quickly approaching and we’ve all been looking forward to good weather! Combined with restrictions over the last year and a half, we’re also hungry to get outside, see our friends and spend some time…just having fun!
The National Institute on Aging indicates, “Engaging in social and productive activities you enjoy, like taking an art class or becoming a volunteer in your community, may help to maintain your well-being.
Research tells us that older people with an active lifestyle:
- Are less likely to develop certain diseases. Participating in hobbies and other social and leisure pursuits may lower risk for developing some health problems, including dementia.
- Have a longer lifespan. One study showed that older adults who reported taking part in social activities (such as playing games, belonging to social groups, or traveling) or meaningful, productive activities (such as having a paid or unpaid job, or gardening) lived longer than people who did not. Researchers are further exploring this connection.
- Are happier and less depressed. Studies suggest that older adults who participate in what they believe are meaningful activities, like volunteering in their communities, say they feel happier and healthier. One study placed older adults from an urban community in their neighborhood public elementary schools to tutor children 15 hours a week. Volunteers reported personal satisfaction from the experience. The researchers found it improved the volunteers’ cognitive and physical health, as well as the children’s school success. Researchers think it might also have long-term benefits, lowering the older adults’ risk of developing disability, dependency, and dementia in later life.
- Are better prepared to cope with loss. Studies suggest that volunteering can help with stress and depression from the death of a spouse or other loved one. Among people who experienced a loss, those who took part in volunteer activities felt more positive about their own abilities (reported greater self-efficacy).
- May be able to improve their thinking abilities. Another line of research is exploring how participating in creative arts might help people age well. For example, studies have shown that older adults’ memory, comprehension, creativity, and problem-solving abilities improved after an intensive, four-week (eight-session) acting course. Other studies are providing new information about ways that creative activities like music or dance can help older adults.”
We’ll take a look at some of the best ways that anyone can have fun, at any age and with anyone, including our caregivers! Although we are in the recovery and reopening phase, please remember to follow the CDC guidelines regarding Covid-19.
Fun Outdoor Activities
- Visit a zoo
- Bicycling and tricycling
- Meet friends in the park for a game of dominos or chess
- Lawn bowling
- People watch in the local park
- Take your dog to the dog park
- Play Tourist and visit local landmarks
- Go to the beach and use a metal detector
- Build a birdhouse (or doghouse!)
- Do Tai Chi in the park
- Play putt-putt (miniature golf)
- Go for a drive in the country with your windows down and fun music on
Fun Indoor Activities
- Learn how to dance – ballroom, line dancing, salsa, etc.
- Sing at an open mic night or karaoke
- Indoor fitness activities – swimming, tai chi class, etc.
- Read to children
- Crafts – even more fun with family, friends and caregivers
- Go to a museum
- Investigate, and play new boards games – they’ve come a long way since Monopoly! Find a list of fun board games here.
- Plan a socially responsible theme-party for your friends, or attend a party or small gathering
- Go to a movie in the theater
- Ride the train to a new town and take pictures along the way
- Dress up at home and dance to your favorite music
- Attend a play in the local playhouse
Fun Activities to Do With Friends and Family
- Make a reservation to that new restaurant everyone is talking about
- Host a games night. Card games, casino games, board games, etc.
- Play video games or Wii Sports with your family, friends or caregiver (There is bowling, tennis, golf, boxing and more! Learn more about Wii Sports here.)
- Cooking or teaching someone how to make your favorite food
- Join a book club
- Host a movie night for a couple of close friends or family members. Don’t forget the popcorn!
- Play gentle tug with your dog
- Have your favorite photo turned into a puzzle and complete the puzzle. It’s easy and fun! Check out how at Walgreens.
- Attend a lecture, class, or social gathering at the local senior center
- Join a walking club
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Do you have questions about how you can better support your loved one while they age in place in South Florida or regarding homecare in general? Please contact CareGivers of America here: Contact or call us toll free: 800-342-4197
*No information in this article is to be taken as medical advice. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.