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Beyond Bingo: The 50 Best Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

Assisted living communities offer a variety of activities to suit residents’ abilities and interests.
Jeff Anderson
By Jeff AndersonMay 7, 2020

People have the same basic needs at any age: to explore, have fun, learn, and live life to the fullest. Senior living activities do much more than just pass the time. They help seniors lead healthier, happier lives.

Assisted living facilities offer activities to suit all seniors’ interests

Assisted living communities offer a variety of activities to suit residents’ varying abilities and interests. Here are some of the top ways A Place for Mom’s partner communities help seniors stay active.

Learning new skills

Lifelong learning is crucial to feeling energized and interested in life. Workshops and classes in senior living communities include:

  • Painting classes
  • Educational lectures
  • Book clubs
  • Computer classes
  • Foreign language classes
  • Writing workshops
  • Woodworking classes

Dance

Dancing remains ever-popular at senior communities and is a daily event for most. Dancing is not only fun, but it helps keep residents fit. Plus, it’s an excellent social opportunity.

Residents often enjoy:

  • Ballroom dancing
  • Line dancing
  • Swing dancing
  • Square dancing

Entertainment

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. Sometimes, friends and family are even invited.

Types of senior living entertainment include:

  • Stand-up comedy
  • Visiting choirs
  • Pedigree dog shows
  • Drama groups

Fitness

Exercise promotes healthy blood flow to the brain and increases mobility. This is why fitness at assisted living communities involves more than just “the morning stretch.”

Today’s senior communities strive to make fitness fun and easily accessible through activities such as:

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga and chair yoga
  • Meditation
  • Gardening
  • Swimming
  • Zumba
  • Spin class

Music and karaoke

Singing is great for the soul. There’s no such thing as bad singing if it comes from the heart.

Many communities stage their own competitions like “American Idol” or “The Masked Singer,” but even old-fashioned karaoke is a blast. You may even find yourself being serenaded by community choirs or other talented musicians.

Whatever it may be, sit back, relax, and enjoy:

  • Singing contests
  • Karaoke
  • Private musician’s shows
  • Children’s choir visits

Special events

Many 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.

Each community hosts different kinds of special events, so be sure to explore ones that interest you. Examples include:

  • Classic car shows
  • Art shows
  • Fashion shows
  • Pool parties
  • Happy hours

Games

It’s not just bingo! Whether you prefer traditional or virtual games, the majority of assisted living facilities have a combination of both.

Many communities have Nintendo’s Wii, a video game system in which users interact with the game by moving their body rather than manipulating a joystick. Most residents find the Wii easy to learn and downright enjoyable.

Popular Wii video games include:

  • Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Tennis
  • Golf

Traditional brain-boosting games include:

  • Trivia
  • Sudoku
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Chess
  • Checkers

Field trips

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. Some examples are:

  • Concerts
  • Local museums
  • Sporting events
  • Plays or musicals
  • Movies

Outdoor excursions

People of all ages need opportunities to breathe fresh air, smell wildflowers, or walk among the trees. Senior communities provide frequent outdoor excursions to help residents immerse themselves in nature.

Some outdoor activities include:

  • Picnics
  • Nature trail walks
  • Community service projects
  • Trips to farmers markets
  • Visits to the park

Health benefits of activities for the elderly

Activities can stimulate older adults’ minds and bodies in three key ways:

  1. Inactivity may be more important than age when it comes to losing the ability to do things on your own, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Exercise has been shown to decrease depression, falls, and blood pressure while improving strength, balance, and sleep. Physical activity also stimulates blood flow to the brain, which may help improve cognitive function.
  2. Keeping your mind sharp through activities can reduce signs of memory loss and cognitive decline. For this reason, many assisted living communities provide mentally stimulating activities or “brain games” to exercise residents’ minds.
  3. Researchers are learning more about the dangers of social isolation and loneliness among older adults. Too much time alone increases a senior’s risk of dementia, as well as other health problems including high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and heart disease.

Find assisted living communities with activities seniors will love

Interested in finding out about the classes, clubs, workshops, and additional unique activities at assisted living communities near you? Contact our Senior Living Advisors to find out what’s on the activities schedule at local senior living communities.


Jeff Anderson
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Jeff Anderson
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