Healthy Spring Activities for Seniors
Fun, Fresh and Healthy Spring Activities for Seniors and Aging Loved Ones With Dementia
Spring’s in full swing at Sodalis Senior Living and most of our residents have been making the most of it. But as they get midway through the season, most of the spring gardening may be done and they’ve had many walks. What else is there to do?
Plenty! There are other fun and healthy spring activities for seniors (including elders with dementia) that make the most of the warmer and longer days. We’ve broken the activities down into two categories, depending on your aging loved one’s current needs.
Fun and Healthy Spring Activities For Active Seniors
Going outdoors is a favorite springtime activity. Walks in the park and gardening are good ways to do so. Here are other creative ideas that encourage seniors to have fun and stay healthy for spring.
Set Up (And Enjoy) An Outdoor Animal Habitat
If the spring garden is looking fine, why not encourage animals to enjoy it, too? Animals add a peaceful element to a spring garden. And as animals visit the garden area, they will need food, water and safe places to linger.
The activity of keeping a small outdoor area “wildlife-friendly” could keep a senior busy all spring – and summer! Some activities that encourage wildlife visits include:
- Setting up one or two (or more) hummingbird feeders and making sure they’re always filled with nectar
- Building and/or placing birdhouses outside and making sure that they are regularly stocked with plenty of seeds
- Adding a small water feature or fountain that serves as a bird bath or place for animals to drink from, as well as keeping it filled with fresh, clean water
If space allows, add a bench or chair in the animal habitat area to view the birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other surprise guests.
Make A Weekly Visit To A Local Farmer’s Market
Eating healthy keeps a senior in tip-top shape. And the healthiest, most delicious food options can be found in the local springtime farmer’s markets.
Make it a habit to take your aging loved one for a weekly visit to a local farmer’s market. Encourage them to speak with the farmers and growers and to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables. Since the fruits and vegetables are fresh and packed with flavor, try new ways of preparing them. Smoothies are a great way to make the most of farmer’s market finds.
The best part of visiting a local farmer’s market is that your loved one may be so busy enjoying meeting new people and trying different foods that they forget they’re also walking and exercising!
Here’s a list of local Texas farmer’s markets.
Fun and Healthy Spring Activities For Seniors With Dementia
Activities like arts and crafts are gentle yet stimulating for seniors with dementia. Art encourages a senior to express themselves freely and in a different manner. There is little need for verbal communication, which can lessen the frustration of being unable to communicate as they once did. Making something is the best form of self expression!
Believe it or not, coloring is a big trend among adults. The simple, childlike activity has been proven to ease the mind into a meditative state. This state is not only relaxing, but a study into meditation found that being in a peaceful, zen-like state can also fight Alzheimer’s by increasing brain connections that delay or fight off the brain’s deterioration.
A large variety of beautiful coloring books are available. You can also search online and print some pages out. Some popular and spring-inspired coloring books feature intricate patterns like mandalas or flowers.
Set up a nice outdoor table in the shade or a sunny indoor nook, complete with a variety of colorful markers and easy-to-handle “chubby” crayons. Serve some ice tea or lemonade for a fun and healthy spring senior activity.
Working with Playdough or modeling clay encourages the use of creativity, imagination – and a senior’s hands. Imagination has been found to improve mental flexibility, which comes in handy for many things, like dealing with change or solving problems.
Sculpting is therapeutic in many other ways. Creating small spring chicks, bunnies or flowers keeps a senior’s fine motor skills working. Squeezing, kneading and rolling the clay into shape works much like a stress ball to release tension.
Another craft that is a fun and healthy activity for seniors with dementia is scrapbooking. As the senior decorates old photographs and clippings, they tend to reminisce. And walking down memory lane is very powerful for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence, as a senior’s abilities decline, reminiscing is one of the few ways left that they can use to connect with themselves and others.
These springtime activities are divided into memory-related and health-related senior activities, but everyone can participate. Some of these fun spring activities for seniors can also be enjoyed year-round. The most important part is to encourage your loved one to try new things. It’s good for their heart, soul and mind.
Don’t forget to check our calendar of fun and healthy activities at your closest Sodalis Living and Memory Care communities. We’re happy to host your aging loved one for a few hours, a day or overnight. We provide healthy, home-cooked meals and plenty of fun – designed just for them.