Make the best senior care decision
People have the same basic needs at any age: to explore, have fun, learn, and live life to the fullest. The best activities for assisted living residents do much more than just pass the time — they help seniors lead healthier, happier lives, and the ideal community has plenty of activity options to choose from. So, we’ve created an assisted living activity calendar to use ahead of a move-in. Give it to your loved one, or join them to create the perfect schedule. Collaborating should make the assisted living activity calendar ideas flow and excite you both about the possibilities that await.
Assisted living communities offer a variety of activities to suit residents’ varying abilities and interests. And, though the primary goal of diverse activities is to keep residents happy, there are major health benefits that come from an active lifestyle.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), seniors who make an effort to engage themselves mentally and physically may be able to do the following:
What follows are some of the top ways assisted living communities help seniors stay active. Because senior living communities are always looking for new ways to delight and engage their residents, this list is not exhaustive, so be sure to ask any prospective community for their list of activity offerings.
Ongoing learning is crucial to feeling energized and interested in life. And, learning is a brain workout that can stave off memory loss and worse.
Workshops and classes in senior living communities often include the following:
Note: A quality senior community will poll its residents to ensure offerings match residents’ tastes.
Dancing remains ever-popular at senior communities and can even be a daily event at many. Dancing is not only fun, but it also helps keep residents’ bodies and minds fit. Plus, it’s an excellent social opportunity. Residents often enjoy a variety of dancing styles:
The show must go on! Entertainment is a mainstay of most assisted living facilities. Entertainers often perform at communities so residents don’t need to travel, and sometimes friends and family are even invited. Types of senior living entertainment can vary:
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Today’s senior communities strive to make fitness fun and easily accessible through on-site, ability- and skill-relevant gyms plus a diversity of activities. More and more communities are also offering mindfulness-supporting activities.
Fun fitness opportunities:
Singing is great for the soul, and there’s no such thing as bad singing if it comes from the heart. Many assisted living communities stage their own competitions like “American Idol” or “The Masked Singer,” but even old-fashioned karaoke is a blast. Residents may even be serenaded by community choirs or other talented musicians. These activities benefit the mind, as well: music therapy is fast becoming very popular in memory care communities.
Whatever the kind of music, residents are sure to find something they’ll enjoy:
Many special events are holiday-themed, but no special occasion is needed to have fun. Some communities hold carnivals for residents complete with cotton candy and dunk tanks, while others host senior proms or screenings of major events such as political debates and sports championships. Of course, personal celebrations — birthdays, anniversaries — are always highlighted.
Each community hosts different kinds of special events, so be sure to explore ones that interest you or your elderly loved one. Here are a few types of special events you’ll likely find in assisted living:
Bingo is a classic, but it’s not at all the standard anymore. The majority of communities now offer a menu of traditional live and virtual games as activities for seniors in assisted living communities.
Nintendo’s Wii, a video game system in which users interact with the game by moving their body rather than manipulating a joystick, is one popular virtual option. Most residents find the Wii easy to learn and downright enjoyable. Popular Wii sports video games include:
However, no one is tossing traditional games just yet, especially as most have noted brain-boosting benefits. These can include:
Who doesn’t love going to new places, spending time with friends, or simply trying something new? Many assisted living communities plan field trips to help residents bond and learn. Here are some common ones:
People of all ages need opportunities to experience, not just see, nature. Sensory rooms, screenings of nature shows and movies, flower arranging, and more: These all have benefits. But engaging all the senses in a true natural setting is essential to holistic well-being.
Many assisted living communities help residents immerse themselves in nature by scheduling events like the following:
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If your loved one is in senior living and you like what you’ve found in this article, take those ideas to their community to see what activities are offered. Or, if you and your loved one are considering senior living, and what you’ve read above sounds like a good fit for them, consider reaching out to one of our Senior Living Advisors. At no cost to your family, their advice can help you discover activity-rich communities in your area.
Disclaimer: The recommendations contained herein are based on the opinions of the author.
National Institute on Aging. (2022, March 28). Participating in activities you enjoy as you age.
Rosetti, H. (2018, October 3). Ballroom to boogie: How dancing can improve seniors’ brain health. U.T. Southwestern Medical Center.
Franco, L.S., Shanahan, D.F., & Fuller, R.A. (2017, August 1). A review of the benefits of nature experiences: More than meets the eye.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.