It’s one thing to be bored as a teenager and another thing entirely to be bored as a senior. The difference is that boredom for older adults may affect mental health and contribute to mood shifts and other behavioural issues. If you have a senior loved one who is routinely bored or in search of something to occupy his or her time, here are some fun and beneficial activities to suggest.
Exercise can be a great way for seniors to shake off boredom because of the variety of available options. For instance, your loved one could take a class online to learn how to safely do yoga poses. Other options for exercise most seniors can safely enjoy include:
- Doing chair-based exercises
- Moving, swaying, or stretching to their favourite music
Exercise activities for seniors can even include fun floor games like ring tossing and oversized dice rolling or chair-based options like fly swat tennis, which is played with a flyswatter and balloons. Exercise also provides a natural mood boost due to the release of hormones called endorphins.
For seniors with mobility issues or other health conditions that make it challenging to exercise safely on their own, professional caregivers can be a great asset. Elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Arts & Crafts Projects
The possibilities are nearly endless if you’re looking for arts and crafts projects your loved one can do when he or she is bored. If you need some suggestions, options include:
- DIY door wreaths
- Table-based painting or drawing
- Confetti-decorated drinking glasses or vases
- No-sew sock dolls/puppets (also a good gift for grandkids)
Prolonged or frequent bouts of boredom can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but they don’t have to handle them alone. In Waterloo, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Home Movie Nights
If your loved one has a bunch of old VHS home movies, have them transferred to DVDs so he or she can enjoy a fun trip down memory lane in a way that’s easily accessible. Watching home movies is also a great way to trigger fond memories and sharpen cognitive functions. Similar memory-triggering activities include:
- Scrapbooking with family photos
- Playing conversation-starting games like “I remember when …” (you or your loved one starts with that sentence and shares a fond memory)
- Watching favourite old TV shows or movies online
4. Cooking & Baking
Your loved one doesn’t have to whip up a full meal every time he or she is bored, but there are plenty of simple and fun cooking and baking options that can be both productive and enjoyable. For example, your parent can make a healthy salad or dust off an old recipe. Your loved one can also create treats for the grandchildren or even prepare baked goods for a worthwhile local charity.
5. Board & Card Games
Even if your loved one isn’t initially keen on the idea of playing a board or card game, he or she may be more receptive to this idea if you get specific or associate your suggestion with fond memories. For instance, you might say “We used to play Scrabble all the time when I was a kid. How about playing a game with me now?” Other options that can be fun, stimulating, and engaging for seniors include:
- Word-based and puzzle games
- Theme-based games such as Ticket to Ride or Dixit that help with mental agility
- App-based games such as Lumosity, which has more than 60 games
If your loved one usually relies on you to alleviate boredom but you need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Waterloo families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.