Spending time alone at home doesn’t have to be boring for seniors. Even older adults who have health issues or limited mobility can enjoy interesting pastimes that stimulate the mind and body.
Aside from keeping boredom at bay, these activities can also provide surprising benefits, including sharper memory, better balance, an improved mood, and a sense of fulfillment in life.
If you’re eager to find ways on how to keep your elderly loved ones occupied and active at home, then you’re in the right place! Read on to discover exciting hobby ideas, engaging tasks, and fun things for bored seniors to do alone.
1. Enjoy the Sights and Sounds of the Outdoors
Nature works wonders on humans’ physical health and emotional well-being. Simply opening up a window or taking a seat on the front porch can provide seniors with a much-needed breath of fresh air, warm sunshine on their skin, and a dose of natural feel-good hormones.
The sights and sounds of trees, flowers, pets, passing cars, and small children walking to school can provide hours of pleasant entertainment. Observing the growing plants in the backyard or birdwatching in a nearby park are other options that allow seniors to get their bodies moving.
Being outside also gives seniors the opportunity to communicate with neighbors, interact with animals, or experiment with a new hobby, such as nature photography!
2. Connect With Loved Ones Online
Did you know that keeping in touch with family, friends, and old acquaintances significantly enhances an elderly person’s quality of life? Studies from the National Institutes of Health show that communication relieves feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression in older adults.
A healthy social life also helps seniors preserve their sense of identity and find purpose by offering advice and comfort to others. With the help of modern technology, seniors can easily make video and voice calls, send messages, or comment on their loved ones’ social media.
3. Engage in Puzzles, Video Games, and Brain Teasers
Mental stimulation can be an effective and enjoyable way for seniors to beat boredom. Keeping older adults’ brains active with a variety of jigsaw puzzles, crossword activities, and trivia games prevents mental decline and boosts their memory, cognitive speed, and reasoning skills as well.
Through video games, seniors can play Scrabble, Solitaire, chess, and other board and card games with a virtual partner. Additionally, there are plenty of brain-training challenges and games developed specifically for seniors that are accessible on the computer.
Sports-loving seniors with limited mobility can try Wii interactive console games to exercise their minds and bodies at the same time. Wii sports allow the elderly to play golf, tennis, bowling, and basketball with less strain and physical exertion.
4. Do Light Forms of Exercise or Household Tasks
Another fun and health-boosting activity for seniors is regular exercise. Movement is medicine, and even gentle activities like chair exercises, walking, and stretching can get their blood pumping and promote healthy bones, stronger muscles, and better balance to reduce fall risk.
Yoga is an ideal form of exercise for seniors with arthritis and mobility issues because of its low-impact and relaxing nature. Meanwhile, completing household tasks like decorating walls, repairing doorknobs, or building birdhouses provides seniors with a sense of accomplishment.
Seniors can also stay productive, engaged, and happy indoors by cooking their favorite recipes or baking yummy and nutritious treats.
5. Explore Virtual Cities and Landmarks
Through virtual tours, seniors who love sightseeing and traveling to exotic places can now do so without having to leave the house! From museums and historical monuments to natural attractions, they can immerse themselves in the scenery and culture safely and at no cost.
Websites such as ToursByLocals and Airbnb Experiences even provide virtual tour guides and opportunities to ask questions, learn, and have social interaction. Flyover Zone’s teletours allow visits to world heritage sites in the company of field experts.
6. Get Creative With Arts and Crafts
Whether it’s pencil sketching, watercolor painting, basket weaving, sculpting, writing poems, or making jewelry, arts and crafts can be a powerful form of therapy for older adults. It lowers stress hormones, activates the brain’s reward centers, and encourages positive thinking.
Seniors can also take online art classes to nurture their creativity and expand their imagination. Creative writing and journaling are other great ways for them to express themselves, recall past experiences, clear their minds, and come up with beautiful ideas.
Older adults with limited mobility can enjoy other art forms, such as classical music, exciting films, interesting TV shows, and arranging family photo albums.
7. Start a Small Garden
Tending to a simple indoor or outdoor garden can be greatly beneficial to seniors’ health and wellness. Digging in the soil, taking out weeds, planting tiny seeds, and watching them grow into lovely flowers or tasty veggies can be rewarding activities for them to engage in.
If seniors don’t have access to a yard, a few containers, some soil, and plants that are compatible with the indoors will do. A bright windowsill or balcony can be the perfect spot for these green companions. Succulents are some of the easiest houseplants to take care of.
8. Learn a New Language or an Interesting Skill
Unlocking new skills and gaining additional knowledge can help seniors stay mentally sharp, engaged, and excited for each new day. Being able to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, or use a skill like sewing after weeks of practice can feel highly rewarding, too.
In addition to reading books, seniors can attend online classes or webinars on subjects and skills that interest them. There are also plenty of apps, such as Duolingo, edX, LinkedIn Learning, and SketchAR, that can help them hone new skills and have lots of fun in the process.
Beat Boredom With These Fun and Engaging Activities for Seniors
Finding games, hobbies, and activities that seniors enjoy is essential to their continued physical, social, and mental well-being. Whether your elderly loved ones prefer to stay indoors or outdoors, our list contains plenty of lively and exciting things for bored seniors to do alone.
From gardening and painting to virtual tours and video calls, these activities are guaranteed to keep seniors’ minds sharp and their bodies active. They can also prevent older adults from feeling isolated and instead promote feelings of productivity, fulfillment, and fascination.
Remember, it’s never too late to try something new! Do one of these activities today!