Active SeniorA few years ago, the standard activity schedule for seniors in assisted living environments typically included bingo, card games and quiet reading groups. Times have changed, and today’s facilities offer much more. Everyone needs fun and excitement, but when it comes to seniors, a lively activity schedule isn’t just about enjoying life. Studies demonstrate that seniors participating in stimulating activities have a reduced risk of dementia symptom progression. It also wards off depression, a frustratingly common problem in the elderly. The effects of high-quality recreation aren’t just emotional and mental. Activities that involve physical exercise boost mobility and improve overall health. Here are a few activities offered by today’s progressive assisted living facilities that help residents live life to its fullest. 

Ideas for a New Age of Assisted Living Recreation

  • Outdoor summer picnics and barbeques, or s’mores nights in winter
  • Live indoor or outdoor music and dancing
  • Men’s and women’s interest groups with themes such as automobiles, home decorating, sports or fashion
  • Pizza and movie nights featuring vintage film favorites or lighthearted comedies
  • Humor therapy featuring funny online videos, readings from humorous books or stand-up routines
  • Hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations and recipe competitions
  • Field trips to museums, sports events, concerts or plays
  • Karaoke parties or resident talent contests
  • Gentle nature walks at local parks with wheelchair access for physically challenged residents
  • Historic walking tours or ghost walks
  • Wii games and fitness classes
  • Ballroom dance classes
  • Tai Chi and yoga programs
  • Continuing education workshops
  • Computer literacy classes and social media enthusiasm groups
  • Drama classes or participation in performance art
  • Music therapy or instruction, music appreciation classes
  • Personalized nutrition and wellness programs
  • Weekly pet therapy
  • Themed events such as costume parties or celebrations of a specific world culture
  • Community events and political activism groups
  • Charity events, bake sales and craft fairs
  • Inter-generational programs involving local schools or churches

Don’t Settle for Bingo

While there’s nothing wrong with including low-key activities, professional caregivers know it’s important to stimulate the senses. When you’re evaluating an assisted living facility, check out its activity schedule; if you only see bingo and canasta, the facility’s activities coordinator is behind the times. Aim higher; the golden years are far too precious to waste on boredom.