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Do you have parents in this rapidly growing age group? If you have senior parents, you might be thinking about how to take care of them and enjoy your time together like organizing healthy activities for elderly parents. Keep reading! 

Some of the best time spent with family is simply talking and connecting. Whether catching up over a board game at the kitchen table, making dinner, or watching a favorite movie together, having go-to activities are great fool-proof ideas to spend time with loved ones. But it can also be refreshing and fun to shake up the routine by incorporating new ideas, especially when some of the go-to activities may feel tiring.  Engaging in healthy activities for elderly parents can be memorable as well.

These fun ideas for families focus on activities to do with seniors, including grandparents, older parents, and elderly neighbors. Some may require some planning ahead, but all ideas can be done at home, together or apart, to bring joy and make new memories.

5 Fun and Healthy Activities For Elderly Parents

  1. Yoga. Yoga offers gentle stretching to alleviate muscle pain, tension, and stiffness. It is an excellent introduction to physical activity for sedentary people. Even for the veteran athlete, it is an effective and excellent cool-down antidote to stress. Older people with mobility issues or injuries can modify yoga poses to work around limitations.  Many senior programs offer Chair Yoga where the senior members can stretch and get many of the same benefits without being on a mat on the floor.

2. Outdoor Activities and Clubs. Spending time outside provides access to the sun’s natural vitamin D, the greatest weapon against osteoporosis. It can also fight depression. For seniors who hate exercise, nature’s beauty can be an incentive to keep moving. Some are a few options for helping your elderly parents to become more active outside:

Gardening. If your parents love gardening, invest in tools that make gardening more accessible, such as raised beds that they can tend while standing. Also, consider buying your parents a garden club membership. 

* Senior hiking and walking clubs. With clubs available for every fitness level and experience, you may find the perfect fit in your parents’ area.

*Health Club Memberships. Many senior insurance programs offer free gym memberships.  Seniors can take advantage of many classes designed for their age group or have programs designed specifically for their fitness and health needs by a professional trainer.  Classes range from pool aerobic classes to fitness training.

3. Church, Social Clubs, And Other Activities. Spending time with others can encourage seniors to get moving, adopt new perspectives, and find new hobbies. So do not ignore the value of social clubs or activities like the church that get your parents out of the house.

If both of your parents have not yet found the perfect fit for their social needs, urge them to consider some of the following ideas:

* Membership at your local senior center or fitness center.

* A renewed commitment to a cause they care about, such as your local political party.

* A senior volunteer day.

* Joining the senior group at their favorite church.

* Joining a senior book club

.4. Travel. Retirement offers a great time to travel if your parents are in good health; encourage them to explore. Several organizations provide senior-specific travel opportunities and tours. For active, adventurous seniors, Adventures Abroad offers numerous chances to meet like-minded peers. For a less demanding option, consider a senior cruise.

Seniors with health issues must not be left out of the fun. A road trip to a park a few hours away can scratch the itch to travel without the risks of hiking or traveling abroad. But do not assume that your aging parents cannot travel just because they are getting older. Ask their doctor about travel limitations, then encourage your parents to be as adventurous as possible.

5. Low Impact Sports Classes. Instructional courses in golf, dance, swimming, and other low-impact sports offer great ways to challenge your parents’ minds and bodies. These classes make great Christmas and birthday gifts. They can encourage an otherwise shy parent to get outside, move, and meet new people.

Final Note

Your parents will always need stimulation and entertainment, even when aging poses specific challenges to those needs. So work with them to find activities that offer an outlet. Remember, being a senior does not mean your parents must do “senior” activities. If they are already passionate about something, find ways to expand that interest or alter it to accommodate your parents’ changing abilities.

Relatively, read Eleanor’s guidebook for caregivers, One Caregiver’s Journey. This personal memoir will make you laugh or tug at your heart as the author shares her experiences providing 24/7 care to her mother for 9 ½ years until her mother’s death at age 102. The book is an easy read, honestly written, and provides suggestions and information that all caregivers can utilize. The author wrote the book over a long time, and it is a snapshot of the reality of the stages, changes, and many challenges caregivers face over time. It is a caregiver’s blueprint. Reading this book, you will feel like you are in the author’s living room, and she is telling her story and offering great advice and information.

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