Winter months can be a boring and dreary season for some people, particularly seniors. It’s because there are shorter days and the weather conditions make it challenging for seniors to go out and stay active. When the weather is cold, it can be difficult to get out of bed or get off the couch. However, physical activities are good for people of all ages, especially older adults, as these can help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions and improve mood, balance, and strength. For the elderly, winter hobbies are mostly focused on sharpening the mind. It is true that exercising the mind always comes first, but it is also important to incorporate movement into their routine. The winter season can make it challenging to keep up with a physical activity routine due to unpleasant weather, but it is still vital to health.
According to the National Institute on Aging, seniors should try including around 30 minutes of vigorous activity in their daily routines, as exercise is as beneficial to the mind as it is to the body. The most beneficial activities for seniors should help support balance, endurance, strength, flexibility, and deep breathing. If you are wondering what hobbies the elderly can try during the winter season, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you more ideas on winter holiday activities for seniors.
Winter Physical Activities for Seniors
Therefore, activities are very important for aging adults who are at risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, and cognitive decline. Below are some of the best physical activities that seniors can try during the winter holiday:
Dancing is among the best forms of exercise. It can help keep both the body and brain healthy. It is also easy to do as you only need to find a clear spot on the floor and play some music. In fact, the music itself has a lot of benefits. It has been known to help lower agitation and boost mood for seniors who are experiencing dementia. But whether or not a senior needs extra cognitive support, they can still benefit from the therapeutic effects of music.
For seniors who are less mobile, singing can be a great activity during the winter season. It is among the several ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, which helps maintain the functions of major internal organs. It can help reduce stress, increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, and put the parasympathetic nervous system or the rest and digestion system in control. These may also result in better digestion and sleep. Singing along to your favorite songs or bonding with the family over karaoke are among the best ways to enjoy this activity.
There are lots of health benefits that seniors may enjoy by practicing yoga. It can also be a great winter holiday activity, especially if you are unable to go outdoors. It is a gentle, low-impact exercise that usually involves holding different poses while focusing on relaxation and breathing. This type of activity is known to promote bone strength, improve balance, reduce anxiety, and more. It may also help seniors relax their stiff muscles and increase their range of motion.
The most natural form of exercise is walking. However, during cold and icy months, it is not safe for seniors to be walking outdoors. With this, it is great if you can find an indoor spot to walk around in. Some examples are in a community center, library, indoor walking track, mall, or in a local university. Visiting museums and botanical greenhouses with family and friends is also a good idea. Not only can they get some light walking in, but they may also keep their minds and imaginations stimulated by the surroundings.
Best Indoor Holiday Activities for Seniors
Gardening is beneficial for people of all ages, as it stimulates all the senses and awakens the fundamental connection with nature. For seniors, indoor gardening during the winter season can be a fun activity to do with other seniors or with some friends and family members. They can start with something simple, such as planting Amaryllis. It can be planted and grown indoors, and it lasts for weeks. Aside from that, herbs, light plants, and flowers are also great for indoor gardening.
Seniors may find flower arranging a nice activity to do during the winter holiday. There are many demonstrations and tutorials that they can watch online that may guide them to put together memorable holiday centerpieces. You may also give them indoor plant and flower kits, which can surely keep them busy during the winter season.
One of the great ways for seniors to ward off the winter blues is through art-based therapy. Depending on their physical ability and dexterity, seniors may enjoy dabbling in painting, clay sculpting, or pottery. There are also adult coloring books and lots of craft projects that may keep their hands and minds busy during the cold winter season. Crafts may range from beginner to expert level, which can give challenge to seniors with a delightful payoff.
The winter holiday season is perfect for spending some time in the kitchen and making something delicious and satisfying. Simple cooking and baking projects can also be rewarding for seniors, and they can also be a great bonding activity for the whole family. Spending time together making a meal or baking is a social activity that may provide seniors a sense of inclusion, accomplishment, and purpose.
Another fun and interesting activity for seniors during the winter holiday season is reading. Starting a book club with your senior loved one is also a great idea. You can select a title that both of you can relate to and set aside an hour a day to read and discuss what you have read. In addition to being an interesting activity, reading can also do wonders for mental well-being and can provide hours of stimulating thought and relaxing pleasure, especially for seniors.
Make Greeting Cards
Seniors can also make greeting cards for their family and friends. Aside from that, they can also participate in making cards for soldiers overseas or for children who are spending the holidays in the hospital. There are organizations in some towns and cities that do community service, helping seniors link up with those who would appreciate cards.
Share Stories with Kids
Another fun way to spend the winter holidays for seniors is by bonding with their grandchildren and sharing stories with them. Talking about how things used to be and how they are now help in closing the so-called generation gap. This may also promote appreciation and understanding. Swapping between the “good old days” and the new ones with lots of food can be great for seniors and for kids, too.
Other Great Winter Holiday Activities for Seniors
If you are looking for more interesting activities that seniors may enjoy during the winter holiday, below are some more ideas to help you:
Visiting an Indoor Greenhouse or Conservatory
For seniors, taking quick day trips is a fun holiday activity. Beautiful indoor gardens may be found in many places as a means to escape the chilly weather (if you live in one). Additionally, the structure can have seasonal decorations in various locations. There are typically discounted rates for senior citizens when there is a fee (other events are only on a donation basis).
Admiring Department Store Displays
Another enjoyable day for seniors that can include shopping is going to see the holiday displays in the big department stores (perhaps along with some lunch). The imaginative settings, which feature lots of lighting and animation, change every year.
Attending Holiday Concerts or Ballet
Seniors may also enjoy holiday activities where they dress up and have an afternoon out, complete with hot chocolate and dessert somewhere afterward. There may be a church or choir in town that seniors may visit and watch concerts and recitals. They may also enjoy watching performances in a local ballet school or attending other events in town for entertainment.
Playing Games with Family or Friends
There are also lots of holiday games that seniors will enjoy playing with their family and friends. Below are a few examples to give you some ideas:
- Marshmallow Toss: The biggest ones you can find are tossed into a holiday basket or tin or through a wreath. Dust them with a little flour first so they don’t get too sticky.
- Guess How Many: How many cranberries, colorful gumdrops, or candies are in a large glass vase? The person with the closest guess wins a prize.
- Break Your New Year’s Resolutions: In advance. Why not? We all do anyway, so we might as well make it into a game. Before your party, have a team write some outrageous (or real) resolutions on pieces of paper, slide them into balloons with a bit of candy, then blow up the balloons. Tie them up with ribbons around your party room. At the designated time, everyone can break a balloon and read their resolution — then rip it up and eat the treat.
- Board Games: Playing board games with seniors is also a fun winter holiday activity. Some of the great games that you can play include scrabble, chess, and monopoly. These games can be great for improving relationships with the elders. Aside from that, they can also help them increase brain function, set a goal, and be patient. These games are also excellent ways to reduce stress and increase overall happiness.
There are surely a lot of activities that seniors can enjoy during the winter holiday. In fact, active seniors may even choose to travel to different countries if they can, especially if they find the winter season in their country too cold for them. Elders can engage in so many fun activities in the winter season while staying at home. They can play games, bake cookies, join light competitions with family members, read books, and a lot more.
When choosing activities for seniors, you just need to ensure that they are suitable for their health and that they will have lots of fun. Finding worthwhile activities for seniors during the winter holiday is essential to prevent them from experiencing seasonal depression and loneliness. Ensure that they always have something interesting and fun to do or that they always have someone to talk to or bond with. We hope this post helped you learn more about winter holiday activities for seniors.