Keeping activities for the elderly interesting and fun can prove to an enormous challenge for caretakers. Fall is the most nostalgic season, evocative of cool days spent picking apples, carving pumpkins, and walking through the woods. When older adults cannot do extensive amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, there are still a number of seasonal activities they can participate in. Here are just a few ways to celebrate the season and bring the outdoors indoors for your senior.
- Create costumes - Halloween gives everyone permission to pretend they’re something or someone new, which is fun regardless of your age. In 2010, French photographer Sacha Goldberger took a series of portraits of his grandmother in superhero costumes to cheer her up - it worked, and the photos went viral online. You’re never too old to laugh at yourself!
- Learn to Knit Together - Knot as hard as it looks, knitting is one activity that allows you to create festive and unique gifts for everyone in your family. Soon it will be time for warm sweaters, blankets and scarves, and it’s better to give than to receive. If your older loved one already knows how to knit, you can find hundreds of free patterns to try together online.
- Pumpkin Carving - Make the house "Halloween ready" by carving pumpkins together. You can even decorate without carving, as there are plenty of creative ways to paint and otherwise decorate the festive gourd without knives.
- Classic Monster Movies: Many campier than scary, classic monster movies are something most of us grew up with. If Disney and Marvel Studios can continue building a billion-dollar industry on the same superheroes, why can’t we revisit some of the monsters we love (Godzilla, The Creature of the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man) around the holiday the celebrates them? With scary movies on television, streaming options on certain websites (click here for more information), and MGM’s recently released “double feature” DVD series, there are plenty of ways to bring classic scary films into your home.
- Fall Crosswords - Fun for all word lovers, crosswords test your knowledge of everything under the sun while challenging spelling skills. Making your own crosswords online is easy and gives the activity a more personal touch.
- Fall Crafts - With leaves of red, gold, and yellow brightening the skies, fall is truly magnificent. Collecting leaves will get shut-in seniors outside, enjoying the smell of fresh autumn air and earth. A companion or caregiver can aid in selecting pieces of nature to add to craft projects. Natural leaf wreaths, leaf-print t-shirts, and pressed leaves in scrapbooks make wonderful mementos or gifts for family members. Crafting sessions stir up creativity, promote engagement, and aid in the creation of new ideas and memories.
Make the most of these crisp, sunny days for as long as possible before the snow starts to fall. Like anything worth savoring, the fair weather won’t last long.
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