One of the most crucial aspects when checking out senior communities is to inquire about the activity schedule. A diverse activity schedule will have mass appeal and inspire community members to get involved. Senior activity is extremely important since inactivity can adversely affect a person’s mental and physical well-being.

Activity Benefits

A varied senior activity schedule for a senior has a huge impact on his or her mental health. When seniors get involved, they will feel as though they are making a positive contribution to society. Activities give the seniors purpose and can help them avoid getting overcome by feelings of futility. Seniors often feel put off by relying on others to do things for them. With a regular activity schedule in place, they will regain a strong sense of independence, in addition to a self-esteem boost as they prove their competency. Stress levels will decrease as they find themselves engage in activities they enjoy. Studies have found that seniors who are involved in activities have fewer incidences of generalized anxiety disorder and depression.

Cognitive abilities are likely to improve as a senior participates in organized activities. For instance, games such as board games and cards can help improve strategic thinking. Crafting and artistic endeavors stimulate the creative side of the brain. Mental stimulation has been shown to stop steep declines in cognitive abilities. According to a 2004 study, participation for seniors in social activities was linked to a decrease of dementia risk. Furthermore, those individuals who are already suffering from cognitive impairment can still reap the benefits of organized activities. Improvements can be seen in memory, attention span, and decision-making capabilities.

Organized activities also have social benefits. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, seniors without spouses spend an average of 10 hours per day alone. As a person ages, it’s very common to suffer from bouts of loneliness. A varied activity schedule helps the senior connect with others immediately within the community. The senior can find those who have shared interests. New friendships and relationships can form outside of the organized recreational activity. Moving into a new senior community can feel like an overwhelming transition and meeting established members of the community during a scheduled activity will ease the transition.

Physical benefits can occur for seniors involved in organized activities. This doesn’t necessarily mean the seniors will have to join a running club to enjoy the health benefits. Getting involved in any form of physical activity can help energy levels and improve sleep. Flexibility and range of motion improvements can be seen in seniors who keep up an active lifestyle. Physical activity sessions can be just 10 minutes at a time. Ideally, older adults should perform a total of 150 minutes weekly of some form of physical activity. Low-impact exercise such as walking and swimming is extremely beneficial and will not put stress on the joints.

Seniors who don’t participate in social activities are at risk for developing more physical and mental ailments as they age. There are declines in mobility, motor function, and memory. Not only will getting active make you feel better, but also a 2008 study linked social activity to longer lifespan rates.

Senior Activities Calendar for Athletics

Physical activities in a senior calendar can consist of a blend of low-impact exercises and competitive games. Here are a few activities that are likely to appeal to senior who are looking to stay physically fit:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton

Many activities can be modified for seniors who have certain physical limitations. For instance, there are buggies and ramps available for seniors who wish to bowl, but who are in a wheelchair. Seniors with issues lifting can use a bowling ball handle that releases as you launch the ball down the alley. The following are a few types of activities that may be modified or more appropriate for individuals with physical limitations:

  • Mini bowling
  • Bowling
  • Bocce
  • Horseshoes
  • Frisbee
  • Miniature golf

Artistic Fun

Any type of artistic endeavor is always popular on a senior activity calendar. Seniors can discover a hidden skill within or refuel a long forgotten artistic passion. Seniors will feel accomplished once they see their finished product. Events may include jewelry making, canvas painting, photography lessons, holiday theme crafting and so much more. Getting a group together to work on a quilting, crocheting, knitting, or beading project is also a great part of senior living. Many senior centers can also tie in these projects to community service. For instance, the seniors can work together on crocheting hats for infants in the hospital.

Although a varied activity schedule has large-scale appeal, there should be some events that are reoccurring. This can help seniors meet up with the same group of people and build upon their relationships. A regularly scheduled event can also give the senior something to look forward to. For instance, if they are feeling lonely, they have the reassurance that the next day they will be attending their weekly chess game. Religious services and game nights are good to have always on the schedule on a weekly basis. Bingo is popular with seniors, but a board game night can be fun as well. Game suggestions that could be rotated into game night include:

  • UNO
  • Monopoly
  • Poker
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Bridge
  • Canasta

Getting Outdoors

Encouraging seniors to get outdoors is extremely important. After a winter of cold and wet weather, sometime outside can benefit all of us. Warm weather activities that are perfect for a senior activity calendar are:

  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Bicycling

Healthy Living Activities

Not all senior activity calendars have to focus on fun and games. Seminars are very popular and can help seniors make informed decisions about their health. For instance, a calendar may include cooking classes for diabetics. Technology is something seniors tend to struggle with, so an activity schedule that includes a class on computer basics can be extremely beneficial. A senior may not feel comfortable attending a computer course at a local college. This allows for them to learn in an environment with others he or she can relate to.

PPH has a team of dedicated staff who works tirelessly planning senior events. Our senior activity calendar has events suitable for individuals at all stages of life. We strive to create a warm, family-oriented setting for all seniors living within the community. Contact us today to find out more about our wonderful senior living community in the Philadelphia area.