As the days get shorter and the evenings get colder, many seniors become homebound until the temperatures will start to rise in the spring. However, it is important for seniors to get fresh air and exercise even in cold winter weather, and to find indoor activities to occupy their time. Here are a few suggestions to provide fun winter activity ideas for seniors.
When You Cannot Be Outside
Whether the temperatures are too cold, the roads are too slippery, or you do not feel safe to get out, there are plenty of fun indoor winter activities for seniors. Here is a short list to get you started:
- Pick up an indoor hobby – You can pull out the knitting needles or crochet hook to create some fun items for gifts or for yourself. If you have not learned a craft, you can watch instruction videos online to teach yourself the basics. it is fairly easy to crochet or knit a scarf if you are good at working with your hands.
- Join a book club – If you can get out in nice weather, you may want to look into your local book club. This is a fun way to pass a cold afternoon with new friends.
- Go shopping (if only for the exercise) – A mall provides a great space for exercise and you can invite a friend to go walking with you.
- Invite other seniors (or people of various ages) to your home – have a game or music night. Everyone can bring a game or a musical instrument they can play (it can even be bells or a tambourine) and have a fun afternoon or evening of conversation and entertainment. If this is a success, you can plan a fun day once a month.
- Start a large jigsaw puzzle – that will take you at least a week to finish.
- Learn a new skill – such as how to use the computer or create a profile on Facebook.
- Teach others a skill – such as crafts or how to play an instrument. It will pass the time and give you a way to help out others.
- Visit your other seniors friends – in the hospital or a nursing home if you are not homebound. They are probably bored, too, and would enjoy the company. You can also cook a dish for people who do not feel like cooking for themselves.
How to Get Exercise in the winter
If it is difficult for you to get enough exercise in the winter, there are several activities that you can do regardless of the outdoor temperatures. One way is to get some exercise DVDs that allow you to stretch, lift weights, or do aerobics to stay in shape until you can get back outside in the spring.
You can also find dance classes and events designed for seniors. They have everything from ballroom dancing to jazz to zumba. Another way to exercise during the winter is going to an indoor pool. If it is too cold to be outside, you can use an indoor swimming pool to get some much needed exercise.
When You Go Outside
When the weather is nice with bright sunshine, it can be tempting to go outside even if it is cold. While the fresh air will be good for you, take extra precautions to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to let you enjoy the outdoors even in cold weather and still be safe.
- Dress in layers to keep warm.
- Do not go too far from home or stay out for more than a few minutes at a time.
- Let someone know you will be outside. It can be a quick phone call to one of your children, a neighbour or a friend. Let them know how long you will be out and call them when you return.
- Ask your homecare services caregiver to join you for a winter walk.
- Wear boots with skid-proof soles and take a walking stick or a cane for added balance.
- Wear a hat and gloves to keep you warm and do not wait until you are cold to go back inside.
Spending a short time outdoors in the winter is beneficial for active seniors as long as they are careful and think about safety. Carefect Home Care Services provide caregivers to assist with many housekeeping tasks and personal care chores. Our caregivers can go for a walk with the seniors or help them organize group activities to pass long winter evenings.