Ah, spring! A time full of joy, a season full of hope. There’s just something about it that makes you want to celebrate. And who is more deserving of joy and celebration than the special senior in your life? After a long and tedious winter, you both deserve some relief. Even if you live in a mild climate, cold temperatures can affect an older adult’s circulation, making it difficult for them to get outside. A negative consequence of this is that being cooped up in the house can lead to depression and isolation in older adults. Perhaps your loved one is just beginning to heal from SAD, or “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
The solution to shaking off the winter blues may lie in some of our fun senior activity ideas below — ones that you can enjoy together!
Spring activities for older adults
- Feeding birds, ducks, or geese by a pond. Alternately, you can both fill bird feeders and watch the wildlife they attract.
- Planting a garden, or even just some border flowers or potted herbs and plants.
- Doing spring cleaning. Tasks for older adults may include sorting through items to donate or discard.
- Walking outside, preferably around the neighborhood or an attractive park.
- Trying new spring recipes made with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs – maybe even some from the garden!
- Relaxing outside on a porch, deck, or patio.
- Doing crafts related to spring, such as painting birdhouses or making spring decorations.
- Exercising outdoors. For aging adults, this may consist of simple stretches or other exercises that are easy on the joints, or that correspond to the person’s level of fitness.
- Going fishing. If this is something your loved one enjoyed when they were younger, there’s no reason for them to give it up now as long as you can assist them if needed.
- People-watching. Don’t underestimate this timeless activity! Simply observing people at a park, outdoor café, or another public place is especially good for older adults whose health limits other forms of entertainment.
- Attending an open-air concert, movie, or event. Many municipalities offer these shows during the warmer months – sometimes free of charge!
- Visiting a farmer’s market. This is a wonderful opportunity for your loved one to people-watch, shop, and enjoy the fresh flavors and scents of spring.
- Picking flowers. There is nothing more quintessential to springtime than flowers. Whether they’re picked from your loved one’s garden or bought at a farmer’s market, displaying various blossoms around the house is sure to bring smiles for days!
Celebrating spring with professional caregivers
Perhaps you’re looking over this list and thinking, “It would be great to do all these things, but I just don’t have the time!” Or perhaps your work, health, or family responsibilities prevent you from being as involved with your loved one as you’d like. Not to worry! The activities listed here work just as well with a professional home health aide as they do with a family member.
In fact, these activities are great ways for your loved one to build rapport with their caregiver, leading to a closer bond and better communication over time. It also helps while away the long hours with a caregiver, providing mental stimulation that is crucial for aging adults. Finally, it gives your loved one something to talk about when family members visit, whether it’s giving them a tour of the garden or showing off their craft project.
Rejoice and renew with special senior activity ideas!
Spring is a time of renewal, and taking the time to celebrate can bring you and your loved one closer (or closer to their caregiver). The sense of pride, accomplishment, and rejuvenation that can accompany the activities listed here cannot be overstated. But don’t be afraid to add your own items to the list as well! By making your spring celebration individual and personal, you can help older adults feel even more important, valued, and loved.
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home care for older adults. Contact us to find out more.