If the elderly loved one you’ve been caring for has been asked by his doctor to get more active, now is the time to help him find activities he enjoys so that even if you’re gone, he’ll keep doing them. While walking is often one of the most suggested activities for seniors, not everyone likes it. Your parent may find walking boring or tedious and want something to do that’s a little more “fun.” Having a home care aide can provide companionship for the activities too.
Here are some suggestions for activities he should try. He might just find something he loves!
This fun team sport is great for seniors. This game is a racquet game that can really get your senior moving. The good thing about it is that it’s less stressful on joints, muscles, and tendons. It’s also a great social opportunity, which can make the exercise even more enjoyable. Your parent can look for a league to join or can pick up a game here and there with a partner, such as a family member or even his home care provider.
Miniature golf is another fun way to get some outdoor exercise. Because of the small course, it’s usually not too strenuous to walk around and take the little putt-putt shots needed to land the ball in the hole. This is another one that a friend or home care provider can join your parent at since it’s much more fun with someone else.
Frisbee or Frisbee Golf
Your parent may think of young adults being the only ones to play frisbee, but frisbee is a great game for an elderly adult, too. While it can require having the ability to walk on uneven ground surfaces, it’s not too physically taxing and can be played at whatever pace your elderly parent desires. Whether he just tosses a frisbee back and forth in the yard or decides to head out to a frisbee golf course, it’ll be a great time.
Horseshoes or Bocce Ball
Both of these are great activities if your parent is unable to walk around a lot. They still get your elderly parent moving and enjoying fresh air while playing. And again, they provide social interaction which has positive health benefits as well.
This might be a great time for your parent to learn a new dance such as ballroom dancing or salsa dancing. If he’s already got the moves, you can help him look for local spots that hold dance nights that he can attend and find like-minded people to dance with.
There’s healing power in the dirt. Spending time in a garden can be very therapeutic. Your parent may need help with some aspects of gardening (especially the bending and lifting), and a senior home care provider can be just the person to join him on gardening days to assist with those types of tasks.
If your parent loves birds, get him a pair of binoculars, and a good bird book (or phone app) and send him out into the parks to look for his favorite birds. He’ll be so distracted, he won’t even realize he’s getting exercise.
No matter what your elderly parent likes to do, just getting some more movement into his day will be beneficial.