Fun Things to do with Older People

Oftentimes, we can find it hard to find fun activities for seniors which bring the whole family together, especially when multiple generations are involved. But getting together with older relatives or friends can be incredibly rewarding for everyone. The benefits of social activity for the elderly go well beyond the simple pleasure of enjoying time with family; it can have an incredible effect on health and longevity.

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Spending time on activities with older generations can also be rewarding for younger generations, and a great way for young and old to bond over shared experiences. At Care For Family, our clients love spending time with their friends and family in a range of ways, and we’ve found that there are no shortage of activities to choose from which can delight the whole gang! Here are just a few of the wonderful fun things to do with older people.

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts are something that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age, but they’re also an excellent activity to do together in pairs or groups. Things like painting, drawing, or creating craft projects for special seasons are all easy-to-do activities that can be enjoyed by young and old and all ability levels. Here are a handful of arts and crafts projects you might like to try with your older adult relatives:

  • Painting on canvas: Painting each other’s portraits, or painting scenery or still life can be a lot of fun for everyone, and the paintings themselves can make for great gifts once they’re done. All you’ll need is canvases from your local arts and crafts supply store, paintbrushes, and some watercolour or acrylic paints. You can choose a common theme, or choose one each, and swap your paintings as gifts once your masterpieces are complete.

  • Colouring books: Colouring books are great fun for younger kids and can be a nice and relaxing way to spend time doing something creative together with older adults. Colouring is not only easy to do for those younger kids, it’s also manageable for seniors experiencing dementia or limited mobility. Adult colouring books are also incredibly popular these days, and offer a great way to relax and unwind, beat boredom, and get creative. You can find adult and children’s colouring books at your local department store, book store, art and craft store, or online.

  • Fabric mosaics: These are a fun craft for young and old, and also make for great decorations and gifts. Fabric mosaics are made just like a traditional mosaic, but with scrap pieces of fabric. This means they’re incredibly cheap to make, and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels. They can be made as hanging art pieces, coasters, and more. All that’s needed to get started is a base (such as a small canvas, or ceramic tile, for example), some scrap fabric, a pair of scissors, and some fabric glue or PVC glue. Here are some helpful instructions for getting started.

You can also take a visit to one of your local senior centres, where they will have loads of fun activities, including arts and crafts, for senior citizens and their relatives to get involved in.

Play games

Games and puzzles, including jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and board games, can also be enjoyed by the whole family and are a wonderful way to connect with the older adults in your life. For seniors experiencing limited dexterity, these kinds of activities are especially easy to enjoy, as they don’t require quite the same level of dextrousness as arts and crafts often do. What’s more, younger family members can assist their older relatives with things like placing jigsaw pieces or moving board game tokens when necessary, so that no matter your loved one’s level of ability, they can still join in the fun.

Picture of a Scrabble box on a table. Scrabble is a fun game to play with older people.

For those super competitive types, these games can go on over weeks and even months and be an ongoing source of fun for everyone.

Sightseeing trips

Getting older can make it a little more difficult to get out and about, which is why sightseeing trips are one of the most fun things to do with older people! Taking your older loved one out to see a new attraction or visit a beautiful spot can be fun for family members of all ages and can help the senior in your life to get a bit of fresh air and give their bodies a workout too. Depending on their level of ability, you can take a walking trip, or simply jump in the car and head for your chosen spot, before picking a nice spot for lunch or a coffee. Taking photos and sharing them later can be a wonderful way to relive these shared experiences for months and years to come.

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Scrapbooking

Speaking of taking pictures – scrapbooking is another excellent memory-making activity to do with older adults. For those suffering from dementia and memory loss, scrapbooking of fond family trips and other memorable events can also be very helpful in relieving distress and reconnecting. Best of all, young kids can get involved with scrapbooking too – giving them a valuable way to spend time with their older relatives and make more memories together.

Scrapbooking is a fun activity to do with older people.

All you need for a family album scrapbook are some printed photos (if you don’t have a printer at home, your nearest Kmart or printing shop will be able to print these for you), a blank album, and some glue. You can get extra creative with the use of stickers, glitter, and even pressed flowers, to make the album especially decorative.

Relaxing activities

Getting together with your older relatives doesn’t always need to be go-go-go. For those moments when it’s nice just to sit and relax together, watching TV or listening to music can be fun activities to do with older adults. Pop on a favourite TV show or music album and enjoy some time together watching, listening, or laughing along to something that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes, just spending time together doing not much of anything can be just as fun as other, more active activities.

Older people looking at photos together as a fun relaxing activity to do together.

Exercising

For elderly people, getting the recommended amount of daily exercise can sometimes be a bit of a struggle. If you’ve got a senior loved one who could use a little help to stay active, doing exercises together can be a really fun activity. For those with restricted mobility, this is still possible, with chair exercises. Chair-based exercises can be done in the comfort of a living room, with nothing more than a comfy chair for equipment. Regular exercise is great for the blood pressure, joints, bones, and of course, the mental health! So, next time you’re visiting your older relative, why not try out some chair exercises together. This YouTube video has some great yoga exercises and stretches specifically for seniors.

 

We’ve seen first-hand how the quality of life of our wonderful clients is improved by spending time with their loved ones, which is why we love to see family and friends of all ages getting together for some fun activities. The next time you’re planning a visit, we hope this list of fun things to do with older people will give you some inspiration for some much-needed quality time. For more information on how we can help your loved one to remain at home, with a little extra care from us, get in touch with our team today.

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