Finding Creative Ways to Keep Seniors Engaged
Combating Boredom at Home During the Fall and Winter
As senior care professionals, we like to pose the question, “What do 80-year-olds do for fun?” Many family members and caregivers can overthink this question or wrongly assume their elderly loved one’s hobbies are limited to watching television and playing cards. In fact, most seniors would respond that they like the same activities, entertainment, and games as they did when they were younger. While they may not have the same physical stamina or agility as they once did, they can still enjoy a variety of activities that will appeal to the entire family.
As we approach the colder months in Cleveland, finding ways to combat boredom and keep seniors engaged and active will be essential. So what does an 80-year-old like to do for fun? We have some ideas.
- Enjoy some self-care. There is no age limit on prioritizing self-care! Consider taking your senior with you to enjoy a professional haircut or styling, manicure or pedicure, or a skin treatment. These services can provide a great mood boost and instill confidence. If you would rather not visit a salon, take a DIY approach and enjoy an at-home spa day.
- Join a book club. If your senior loves to read, help them connect with others who do, too! You can register your loved one for a national book club like Reese’s Book Club or Oprah’s Book Club and help them download and learn to use the club’s app on their phone or tablet. With a little digging online, you can also find local book clubs that might hold discussions virtually or in person on a regular basis.
- Take continued education classes. Lifelong learning is a passion of many, and there are great opportunities in Northeast Ohio for seniors to participate in continuing education classes through Encore Cleveland and Encore 55+ Learning. Whether your senior decides to participate virtually or enroll in an in-person class, these courses can be a great way for them to keep their mind active, engage in discussion and critical thinking with others, and learn something new.
- Have a movie night. With the rise of apps like Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services, the entire family can enjoy newly released movies in their own living room. Consider planning a family movie night with special snacks and treats and inviting your senior to join you in the excitement of a movie premiere.
- Get outside. In Greater Cleveland, there are countless parks, nature preserves, and lakefront beaches to enjoy. Create a list of places that would accommodate your senior’s physical needs, and ask him or her to pick the destination. Depending on your senior’s unique physical abilities, a day excursion to the lake or a scenic walk in a nature park can be energizing.
These are just a few ideas, but we hope they inspire you to think outside the box and engage the seniors in your family in new opportunities this fall season. If you or your loved one is struggling with boredom, loneliness, or anxiety as the colder months approach in Cleveland, please reach out to our team to learn more about the PACE program.