Activity directors and therapeutic recreation directors provide an invaluable service to seniors. They provide stimulating activities that prolong life, stimulate minds and improve a senior's quality of life. Below are a few ideas of games for seniors and other activities that they can use as a resource. These recreation activity ideas are based on a survey of our senior friends at SeniorStore.com.
5 Helpful Activity & Recreation Ideas for Older Adults
Games that ask trivia questions are the best ideas for seniors. They prompt seniors to recall events from their long term memory and have fun while doing it. Popular games like the reminiscing game can be played in a group setting, and includes trivia from the 1940's and up.
- Activity Books for Seniors
Trivia Activity Books for seniors can be helpful for a big group of older adults because there are a variety of different activities all in one place for different types of learning. For those that like verbal interaction, there are discussion questions. For those that prefer visual activities, there are puzzles like trivia matching questions, or fill in the blank activities that can be done alone or in a larger group. Answers are always provided for in the back of the book for activity directors or therapeutic recreation leaders.
- Puzzles with Bigger Pieces
If you are looking for activities for seniors that they can do in a small group or individually, one suggestion is to use jigsaw puzzles with big pieces. Seniors can help each other solve the puzzle in a small group of 4 or 5 people, or a senior who likes to work on it alone can do it on a table by themselves. These puzzles are manufactured for adults, but constructed so they have bigger pieces to see how they fit together, and are easy to hold for arthritic hands without losing them.
- Conversation Games
For older seniors that have dementia or for the elderly, a conversation game such as the Ungame for seniors makes a good activity. This is a non-competitive game that encourages conversation within a group, or one on one with a senior that you are trying to draw out. It asks questions of the older adult to have them share an opinion or a long-forgotten memory about their childhood or adult life. There are no winners or losers, so there is no danger of seniors worrying about the competition.
- Group Games
Seniors also enjoy games that are familiar to them in a group setting. Many of the components of these games have been especially adapted for older adults by the product creators. For example, you can play bingo with low vision bingo cards, or play a card game in a big group with low vision playing cards. This way the senior citizens can still enjoy the games they know and love but can still see the game well enough to play with their friends.
If your organization or assisted living center need additional ideas for therapeutic recreation programs, please contact our helpful staff of professionals.