Finding activities that align with a senior’s interests is often a powerful way to improve their mental, emotional, and even physical well-being during retirement. Fulfilling activities facilitate socialization and community participation while promoting belonging, purpose, and self-confidence.
Specific types of activities may also offer some unique health benefits, for example:
- Regular participation in cognitive and social activities may help curb cognitive decline and slow the progression of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease (e.g., reading, board games, going to church, visiting friends).
- Taking part in physical activities can help seniors maintain good strength and balance. These pursuits may also improve mood, boost energy levels and reduce their risk of developing common physical health conditions like diabetes (e.g., hiking, tennis, yoga, dancing).
5 Great Springtime Activities for Seniors to Enjoy in Retirement
The dawn of spring presents many exciting opportunities for seniors to get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and discover brand-new uplifting activities (or a new setting to enjoy their year-round favorites!) If you need some inspiration, here are five of New Hope Senior Living community’s favorite activities to enjoy in spring and summer.
Birdwatching is a great mindful activity for seniors as the weather gets brighter. Birdwatching can be a profoundly relaxing and calming pursuit that allows seniors to connect with nature and has some hidden benefits. For example, replacing bird feeders or walking to prime birdwatching spots can promote physical activity. Identifying species may improve cognitive health or help with memory recall for the aging brain. We encourage wildlife in our community by providing several well-maintained birdhouses within our perimeters.
2. Hiking and Picnics
As we’ve already touched upon, regular exercise can benefit seniors. One of the best things about hiking is its versatility; routes can be adjusted to suit different ability levels. Even a short walk on flat terrain can produce benefits like reduced stress and depression, stronger muscles, and increased bone density. This is the perfect season to dust off those hiking boots and feel the benefits of fresh spring air.
Seniors less interested in hiking might enjoy other outdoor activities involving movements, like walking, golf, or tennis. If you or your loved one have poor mobility, getting outdoors and enjoying a picnic with friends or family is another great springtime activity. Pack a basket of favorites (plus some delicious, nutritionally dense options like grilled chicken, fruits, and salad) for an afternoon of mental, physical, social, and nutritional nourishment.
3. Creative Activities
Many of the activities seniors enjoy all year round can be adapted to incorporate the benefits of the great outdoors during spring. Seniors who enjoy painting might like to sit outside and paint landscapes or wildlife, and those who enjoy crocheting, knitting, or playing a musical instrument might opt to enjoy their hobby in the fresh air and sunshine. Participating in creative pursuits within nature may improve a senior’s sense of well-being and relaxation while encouraging personal growth, self-acceptance, and cognitive stimulation.
4. Yoga (or Outdoor Exercise)
Yoga offers a vast range of physical and mental health benefits for all age groups, and seniors are no exception. Yoga can be an excellent way to strengthen the bones and improve flexibility while reducing stress and improving sleep habits. Spending time outdoors also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, its benefits may be even more pronounced when yoga is practiced outdoors. If yoga isn’t your or your loved one’s thing, don’t despair! Physical and mindfulness activities like dancing, aerobics, and meditation can also be practiced outside.
5. Card or Board Games
Many seniors enjoy sharing cards or board games with friends during their free time. Many of these games can be played outdoors, combining the cognitive and social benefits of chess or bingo with the mental and physical benefits of spending time in nature. Many senior living communities will have fabulous outdoor patios, gardens, or seating areas where residents can enjoy socializing and playing games with friends or family.
When searching for an assisted living senior care community, ask what social groups and classes they offer. These groups can be a great way to make friends with whom you have shared interests and stay engaged in your favorite activities throughout retirement. If you’re interested in learning how a community like New Hope helps its residents reap the benefits of the outdoors, you may wish to ask the following questions:
- How do you help residents with poor mobility enjoy the outdoors safely?
- How often are residents typically able to get outside?
- Are any of the classes or groups available ever conducted outdoors?
- Do you host any special outdoor events during the spring and summer months?
As a senior living community nestled amongst 18 acres of land, we see the positive impact of the natural world on our residents each day. With the spring flowers in full bloom and fresh warm air setting in, now is the perfect time to see our grounds at their best. Give us a call to make an inquiry and arrange your personal guided tour!