10 Best Social Activities for the Elderly

//10 Best Social Activities for the Elderly

Are you in the process of trying to choose an assisted living facility for a loved one?

You should, of course, look for a facility that can provide your loved one with the services they’ll need. The facility should offer everything from meal preparation and diet planning to professional medication management.

The facility should also have an experienced and highly skilled staff that can tend to your loved one’s needs. You want your loved one to be as comfortable as possible at all times.

But there’s one other thing a facility should facilitate: Activities for seniors in assisted living. Your loved one should have regular access to activities designed to keep their bodies and minds sharp. These activities should also encourage them to socialize with others.

Here are 10 of the best activities for those staying in assisted living facilities.

1. Book Club

Studies have shown that people over the age of 65 are a lot more likely to read than younger people. Assisted living facilities should take advantage of this by organizing book clubs.

Book clubs provide people with a clear task—read a book—and give them a goal to work towards. They also bring people together to share their interpretations of what happened in a book and allow people to connect with one another over literature.

2. Board Game Nights

Playing board games is one of the most fun ways for seniors to pass the time when they’re living in an assisted living facility. It’s also an excellent way to improve a senior’s brain health.

Just about any board game would do the trick. But some great games for seniors include:

  • Jenga
  • Backgammon
  • Chess
  • Scrabble
  • Scattergories

The best assisted living facilities have all of these games (and more!) set up in a game room for seniors.

3. Puzzle Parties

Puzzles can be beneficial for those of all ages. They can help people improve their memory, increase their IQ, and boost their mood.

But puzzles can be especially beneficial for older people. They’ve been shown to delay the symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s why so many assisted living facilities encourage residents to work on puzzles together.

4. Exercise Classes

Assisted living facilities need to be careful about the types of exercise classes they offer to the elderly. Anything that’s too intense could be a recipe for disaster.

But there are many low-impact exercises that are great for the aging population. They include exercises like:

  • Tricep stretches
  • Chair stands
  • Side leg lifts

Exercise classes will motivate the elderly to get up and welcome some much-needed physical activity into their lives.

5. Group Walks

As we just mentioned, seniors shouldn’t push themselves too hard when it comes to exercising. But one of the best ways for older people to work out more is by going on regular group walks.

Some of the benefits of walking are:

  • Improved heart health
  • Reduced chronic pain
  • Improved mental health
  • Reduced blood sugar levels

Group walks also get seniors outside so that they can enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. Most of them are happy to get away from their facility for a little while.

6. Film Festivals

Most assisted living facilities will show residents a movie every now and then. Often times, these movies are meant to cheer people up and provide them with a laugh.

Rather than just showing a single movie, why not ask older people to put together an entire film festival complete with movies that stick to a specific theme? It’s a great way to watch the classics while creating a mood within an assisted living facility.

7. Bingo Nights

Bingo is one of the most popular activities for seniors in assisted living. Many older people love getting together with a big group to play bingo.

First and foremost, bingo is a lot of fun to play. But it also encourages people to use their cognitive skills, and it promotes socialization as well.

Regular bingo nights should really be a no-brainer for every assisted living facility.

8. Pet Therapy Sessions

Pet therapy is something that more and more assisted living facilities are trying. They’re welcoming dogs, cats, and other pets to provide older people with a long list of benefits.

By simply sitting and petting a dog or cat, older people can:

  • Lower their blood pressure
  • Bring down their heart rate
  • Eliminate stress
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Enjoy a lot of smiles and laughter

Some older people might be allergic to pets and therefore unable to take part in pet therapy sessions. But for those who can tolerate having pets around, it’s a great form of therapy.

9. Cooking and Baking Classes

When seniors move into assisted living facilities, one of the things they miss most about living at home is cooking. They hate that they aren’t able to fire up the oven and cook whatever they want anymore.

Those who love to cook could benefit from cooking and baking classes in a big way. These classes get them back into the kitchen and keep them safe while they’re figuring out how to cook new meals.

10. Arts and Crafts Projects

Many people associate arts and crafts with little kids. Most kids love showing off their creativity by completing arts and crafts projects.

Lots of older people enjoy working on arts and crafts projects, too. These projects give them a chance to feel like they’re young again as they color, paint, and bring their works of art to life.

Make Sure a Facility Offers Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

As you can see, there are so many activities for seniors in assisted living. Make sure an assisted living facility offers at least some of them before you send your loved one to live in one.

Encourage your loved one to take part in as many activities as possible, too. It’s the best way for them to continue to develop their physical, mental, and social skills over the years.

Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about some of the activities that we offer to our assisted living residents.