After busy and exciting holidays, January and February can be long, lonely months for many seniors. Our recent frigid temperatures and snowfalls not only interfere with social activities, but also routine outings such as grocery shopping and doctor visits. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Fortunately, there are still activities that can help fight those seasonal blues and keep seniors active and engaged.
Wintertime Activities for Seniors and Caregivers
Enjoy Your Hobbies
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find others that share your interest. Whether it’s quilting, scrapbooking, or genealogy, there are online groups and public library programs for virtually every pastime. Many senior centers also host group events. You can find more info at MeetUp.com, Indianapolis Public Library, or your local library (check the “Events” tab).
Play a Board Game
Call some friends and host a group for a classic board game such as Monopoly. You might even dust off your Bridge or Euchre deck. Make it a group effort; ask one friend to bring a snack and another to provide the tea or coffee.
It’s difficult to get out and exercise when the temperatures dips, but several local malls offer open hours in the early morning for mall walkers. Make it more fun by inviting an exercise buddy to walk with you! There are also yoga, swim, and water aerobic classes at the YMCA and other healthcare facilities. You can search through the International Council on Active Aging’s (ICAA) website and the Silver Sneakers program to find the right program for you. *Please check with physician before engaging in any activity.
Cook a Meal
If cooking just for yourself seems like too much trouble, consider forming a dining club with others in your area. You don’t have to limit it to other seniors; consider inviting other families who live nearby so you can become better acquainted with your neighbors. You can gather for a lunch or dinner – everyone can pitch in to cook! Make your meal even more fun by choosing a theme or special ingredient to feature in all the dishes.
Join a Book Club
Book clubs are great for socializing and lively discussion. You can inquire at your local library for appropriate books and to ask them to help you find a group. If you don’t see a group that’s a good fit for you, start your own! Invite friends and neighbors to read a book and discuss it together.
Do a Puzzle
Puzzles are fun for all ages. Find one with plenty of pieces and invite others over. Even school-age children are eager to put down their games and tablets to help find those missing pieces. Make your puzzle time more fun with some lively music or a delicious snack.
Look for Volunteer Opportunities
An ideal way to avoid isolation and loneliness is to be active as a volunteer. Virtually any interest can be channeled into a group or charitable organization that is always eager to welcome volunteers. You can start with Volunteer Match, which allows you to search for opportunities by area and interest. The Indianapolis Zoo actively recruits seniors to work in areas ranging from greeter to animal care.
Cold temperatures and snowy days doesn’t have to mean hours of boredom. Start your search today for an activity or call up your friends and make your own fun!
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