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July 2, 2014

Elder Care Activities for All Seasons

Exercise benefits seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally. It helps them stay healthy and enjoy a more independent life.

While snow, rain, and cold sometimes prevent outdoor activities, there are plenty of indoor options family members or elder care providers can encourage seniors to take advantage of. This article highlights fun ways for seniors and their caregivers to stay active together during each season.

Winter Activities

Look for ways to combine activities. While looking for holiday gifts, try to walk the entire mall. This turns shopping into a healthy exercise and a way to stay warm. It’s also a good opportunity for seniors and their caregivers to spend enjoyable, relaxing, productive time together.

Tango or salsa dancing is a fun way to beat the cold with a caregiver or significant other.

When grandchildren or other family members come over, bundle up, go outside, and build a snowman together. Also, many fitness centers offer New Year specials, so this is a great time to join a gym or fitness center. Ask if the facility offers fitness classes developed specifically for seniors.

Spring Activities

Many seniors and caregivers look forward to spring cleaning; however, some see it as a dreaded chore. No matter what your viewpoint, make housework fun by playing upbeat music and cooking a special treat together.

Warmer weather presents the perfect opportunity for gardening. Stretching, lifting and bending are excellent ways for seniors to exercise, so planting flowers or working in the garden is healthy and fun.

The month of May is National Bike Month, so depending on the abilities of each senior, caregivers should encourage seniors to go on a light bike ride.

Summer Activities

When the weather is hot and humid, cool off in a local pool. Many community centers offer water aerobics classes, which provide great ways to make friends and stay in shape.

Many local malls offer mall-walking clubs for seniors; walking in an air-conditioned mall lets seniors get exercise and stay cool in the hot months.

Fall Activities

September is National Yoga Awareness Month. Yoga provides great benefits to seniors, helping them stretch and stay active in a safe way.

Once the leaves begin to turn, take a hike with the grandchildren or a caregiver. There are many local farms that offer pumpkin and apple picking, both great ways to get fresh air and exercise. Once the leaves have fallen, raking them with the grandchildren or a caregiver is a fun activity.

Elder care providers should encourage seniors and loved ones to participate in these or other activities to promote stronger and healthier bodies and minds. It’s also important that all seniors check with their doctors before beginning an exercise program.

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