When the weather is either too hot or too cold to enjoy outdoor activities, the need to switch attention to activities that can be enjoyed indoors is a priority for seniors and their caregivers.
It is helpful to have pre-planned tips and tricks up your sleeve when home-based activities are the only option.
7 Indoor Senior Activities
Staying indoors can significantly limit the physical activities a senior enjoys. And, because exercise is so vital to senior physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing, we’ve divided this list into two sections.
The first few points offer ideas for exercising safely at home. The second portion of the list provides several suggestions that keep the brain engaged while lifting spirits.
1. Chair yoga
The internet offers a wealth of exercise classes, hosted by professional trainers. Many of these are specifically geared for seniors. We’re fans of chair yoga classes, which keep seniors safe, stable, and balanced while intentionally increasing strength, flexibility, and stamina.
These classes are great for any senior – chair-bound or not – and able-bodied caregivers can exercise along with their clients for their own daily workout. Click here to view a list of chair yoga class options. The first ones on the list are led by renowned Yoga instructor, Adriene (Yoga with Adriene).
2. Dance in the living room (or kitchen or bedroom)
Dancing is a fantastic way to get exercise while listening to your favorite tunes.
In addition to the physical benefits of dancing, music therapy is commonly used with seniors to promote positive memories and emotions. As a result, clinical music therapists are go-to resources for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients since studies continuously show how music therapy improves memory recall, positive states of mind, and can also relieve physical discomfort and pain.
So, in addition to being a great workout, your spontaneous dance parties have a myriad of other benefits.
3. Exercise with a walker
Internet famous physical therapists, Bob & Brad have a wonderful YouTube video that outlines the Top Three Exercises with a Walker. That is a good place to start and is also an excellent video for seniors who are new to using their walkers. Exercising with the walker simultaneously “trains” the user to operate a walker safely and more confidently.
Once you’ve mastered Bob & Brad’s exercises, branch out into other online options, like this 10-minute walker yoga video from licensed yoga instructor, Sherry Zak Morris.
4. Join a book club
Did you know that public libraries offer a range of book club offerings based on reader interest? Connect with your local library to find out what they’re reading and either join their book club or start your own with family members, neighbors, or caregivers.
If the library doesn’t have what your senior loved one is looking for, numerous book clubs for every genre exist online. This is a fun way to meet others who enjoy reading the same types of books from the comfort of home.
5. Plant an indoor garden
Do you have a room or window area that gets plenty of light? You’d be amazed at all of the plants that grow well indoors. From gorgeous greenery and blooms to edible plants and herbs, you and your senior loved one can garden all winter long.
Not only does this provide an outlet for born garden enthusiasts, but growing your own veggies means more delicious and nutritious meals for the household.
6. Play video games
If seniors are interested in interacting with their grandchildren, there is a wide range of popular “card” and “board” games that can be played online via Facebook and other online platforms. Examples include Uno, shared puzzles, checkers, chess, Yahtzee, dominoes, and more.
Sure, this is a fun and engaging indoor senior activity, but it is also a fantastic way to support seniors spending more time connecting with their grandchildren, which is a win-win for both sides of the screen or controller.
7. Create a family photo and story/memory tree
Online genealogy websites such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, or MyHertiage.com are great resources if your family records have some blank spots. Using those old albums or shoe boxes full of pictures, seniors can tell stories and share memories of their past while interested family members and caregivers help to organize the information into a visible family tree.
In addition to becoming a wonderful visual and archive for the family, this process also serves as a form of reminiscence therapy. Like music therapy, reminiscence therapy is used in senior centers, adult day care centers, and in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to keep memories alive and improve the emotional and mental wellbeing of dementia patients.
Keeping Mind & Body Active With Indoor Senior Activities
Poor weather and sheltering-in-place are no reason to become stagnant. Do your best to keep senior loved ones social, having fun, and actively engaged with the world around them.
Click the links below for more resources related to indoor senior activities and overall wellness: