Activities For Senior Citizens Helps Aging Parents Feel Independent

Activities for senior citizens needn’t be limited to bingo and chess. It may be tough to watch your aging parents decline, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring old stand-bys. Some activities can entertain them and be good for their minds, their creativity, and their sense of self-worth.

You would be amazed by how much and varied the activities can be. Your aging parents are no different than we are. They have various interests that can often be modified to their new level of abilities.

  • Raised-bed gardening is one example. Planters are raised to a height so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach them- like one lady I know who still weeds her garden daily, as a result.

  • Senior day care center visits and outings are still possible as activities for senior citizens, as well.

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Most malls, fairgrounds, farmers’ markets and other places now have wheelchairs or scooters you can rent for the day if necessary.

  • One group of older seniors I know went on an outing to a local state park. They fished from the pier at the lake (yes, even the ones in wheelchairs) and ate hot dogs and hamburgers cooked in the shelter’s kitchen.

All it took was a call ahead to park employees; they found the best wheelchair-accessible area of the park and reserved it for them in advance. There are many organizations who plan activities for senior citizens.

  • You can find tons of easy crafts for seniors for the aging parent who is creative. There are websites everywhere that give directions for crafts that most older seniors can do.

I’ve overheard some exclaim after doing a craft, “I didn’t even know I could do that!” and “See! Now aren’t you glad you came, after all?!” Those who have a hard time holding things with their hands might do best with crafts that use large pieces or where painting is the main activity.

  • You may have heard your own children or grandchildren talking about the new game called Wii. This is a device that mimics a sport, such as bowling, tennis, etc., without actually using the sport’s equipment. (Like that “holodeck” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Remember that?) They’re fun and good for keeping fit in any age.

  • Think your aging parents are too old to dance? Have you seen some of the contestants on “Dancing with the Stars” lately?? You may be surprised at their capabilities. Some senior centers have dancing and/or singing groups who perform at nursing homes and other places.

  • Similarly with barbershop quartet choruses like SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America). Their members like to do their shows because it keeps them active and get them together with friends their age. They say it is fun and also provides a rewarding community service.

  • Having speakers or workshop leaders come to visit your aging parents and their friends or club is a great idea. It is good for their minds since it’s something they can do together and learn.

One woman who came to a class in sign language was thrilled to have come, and said, “It doesn’t matter what you learn, as long as you continue to learn. That’s what keeps life interesting.”

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