Will cold weather put the kibosh on wintertime fun for the seniors in your life? There’s no reason it should. Older adults need to stay physically and mentally active during the winter months just like any other season. The trick is finding the right indoor and outdoor winter activities for seniors and generating a fair amount of enthusiasm in them to participate. This is where you come in. Your creativity and encouragement in leading older loved ones to include at least one fun wintertime activity each day this season will help them keep busy, healthy, and in high spirits. These 6 fun winter activities for seniors will get you headed in the right direction.
1. Bring a Bit of the Outdoor Garden Inside
Gardening is beneficial for people of all ages. The activity stimulates all the senses and awakens the fundamental connection with nature. For seniors, it’s especially rewarding when the activity is done in pairs or groups, so enlist as many family members as you can to join in and offer moral support. Start with something simple. Amaryllis is easy to grow indoors and lasts for weeks. Eventually you can add herbs, low-light plants and flowers to your indoor repertoire by using one or more indoor window boxes. This is also a great way to create starter plants you can look forward to replanting outside together during early spring.
2. Cultivate the Habit of Crafting
Art-based therapy is a great way to ward off the winter blues. Depending on physical ability and dexterity, your older loved one may enjoy dabbling in painting, pottery or clay sculpting. Adult coloring books are very popular these days. Craft projects keep hands and minds busy and are among the best cold weather activities for seniors. Crafts can range from beginner to expert level, providing a fun challenge with a delightful payoff. Just use your imagination and the Google search browser to develop a list of fun, easy, senior-friendly projects to enjoy with your loved one throughout the winter months. Where to begin? Try making holiday or seasonal wreaths together.
3. Make the Kitchen Your Hub of Activity
Winter months are perfect for spending quality time making something satisfying and delicious. Simple cooking and baking projects are rewarding for everyone in the household. Spending time together making a meal or baked treat is a social activity that gives seniors a sense of inclusion, purpose and accomplishment. You can schedule these sessions for a time of day when kitchen traffic is low, and you can enjoy one another’s company and perhaps a cup of tea afterward.
4. Feed the Mind with Reading and Thought
Why not start a two-member book club with your older loved one? Choose a title you both can relate to, and set aside an hour each day to read and discuss what you’ve read. You can do this with shorter works of poetry or even daily news items. Reading does wonders for mental well-being and can provide hours of stimulating thought and relaxing pleasure for the seniors in your life. Visiting the public library or bookstore together is a natural next step.
5. You Can’t Forget Physical Activity
Exercise is one of the most important ways to maintain overall health, and the cold shouldn’t cause a decrease in physical activity. Low-impact exercises that can be done indoors include stretching, tai chi, yoga, and chair exercises. Resistance band exercises are perfect for indoor workouts and can keep seniors strong and flexible throughout the winter months. Just dedicate 30 to 60 minutes a day to “gym time” for your senior, and you’ll soon see impressive results — better appetite, fewer aches and pains, improved sleep patterns, and a better overall attitude.
6. The Great Outdoors is Still Out There
Colder temperatures and snow are no reason to stay away from fresh air and sunshine for an entire season. In Phoenix, the dip in temps can be a welcome relief for many seniors. Hiking and walking along the many local trails are often impossible for seniors during the scorching heat of summer. Visiting the Desert Botanical Garden during winter will let your senior see the Sonoran Desert in its full glory. The Phoenix Zoo lights are one of the most popular local attractions in December and January. But getting outside a little every month during the winter is good for the constitution and a morale booster we all need. Check out our article on senior-friendly activities in Phoenix if you’re looking for fun activities to do!
The Fun Activities Continue Year-Round at Sagewood
The Sagewood lifestyle lets you keep active and engaged in every season. From fitness classes and lifelong learning opportunities to painting class and bridge club, you’ll find lots to do with friendly people who share your interests. Bocce ball and pickleball. Concerts and music lessons. Book clubs and golf clubs. Discover everything Sagewood can offer you. Contact us anytime.