How to Plan Activities for the Elderly

Socialising is a vital part of day-to-day life. Humans are social creatures, after all, and the benefits of spending time together extends far beyond just enjoying one another’s company. Research shows that having social support from our loved ones can actually help us to live longer.

 Being able to enjoy a social life is especially vital for elderly individuals, with Age UK finding that 1.9 million older people in the UK feel ignored or invisible. An active and socially integrated lifestyle in our later years can dramatically improve our quality of life and may even have the potential to lower our risk of dementia.

Planning activities for elderly loved ones

Spending quality time with elderly friends and family members may require extra considerations, such as working around reduced mobility. However, with some careful planning, you can engage in fun activities and create memories that you will cherish forever. If you’re wondering how to plan activities for elderly loved ones, then here are some handy tips.  Or browse our ideas for the types of activities ideal for socialising the elderly.

  • Get them moving

Of course, their physical fitness will affect which activities you can plan, but even elderly individuals with reduced mobility can engage in chair-based exercises or gentle cardiovascular exercises, like dancing or swimming. Not only will this increase their confidence, but the World Health Organization also found that regular exercise can increase lifespan and reduce the risk of suffering a hip fracture by 40%.

  • Go outside

Walking doesn’t just help to boost physical health but can also have a positive effect on our mental wellbeing too. Spend some time together out in nature, whether that’s walking to a great picnic spot in your local park or sharing a stroll along the beach. Research has found that walking, especially in nature, can reduce anxiety and depression.

  • Encourage new hobbies and interests

Choose activities that can last for more than just one day. From gardening to painting and singing in a weekly choir together, helping your elderly loved one to develop new hobbies can have long-lasting benefits. They can find new passions and watch as their skills improve over time, which is a rewarding experience at any age.

  • Invite people of all ages

There are huge advantages to building relationships between young and old individuals. According to research by the Stanford Centre for Longevity, older people experience emotional satisfaction when spending time with younger people and, in return, those younger people can learn new complex problem-solving and emotional skills. So, next time you’re planning an activity with your elderly loved one, don’t feel you need to leave the kids at home. They could end up teaching each other valuable life lessons.

  • Capture those memories

Don’t let a special day fade from memory. Take your camera with you and take lots of photos of your activities. Being able to look back at them together will bring you both a lot of joy.

Planning activities for elderly care residents

At Melrose Care Home, we pride ourselves on providing a diverse calendar of activities for our residents to enjoy. We encourage everyone at Melrose to share their input, so they can pursue the meaningful activities they are interested in.

When it comes to how to plan an activity for the elderly residents of a care home, it requires a lot of thought, consideration and planning. Here is some professional advice from our very own Melrose staff, so you can put together an activity calendar that creates an engaging and fulfilling environment.

  • Get the residents input: Host a coffee morning to find out what they want to do and what they’ve liked that you’ve done before.

  • Reach out to the local community and your carers: Lots of people will have interests or hobbies that they can share with residents as activities.

  • Get creative: Think about group activities where you can make things, draw, paint or sing together!

  • Out and about: Look up places that are accessible in your local area for a day trip out. Garden centres or Hobbycraft stores are great days out and you can purchase supplies for more activities at home!

  • Consider all resident’ needs: Remember to take into account the fact that not all residents will be as mobile or mentally capable as others. So, ensure you have some activities in chairs, or one-2-ones in bedrooms for people who are less mobile