5 winter activities to help seniors beat bad-weather blues

Winter can be a tough season for seniors, as inclement weather can limit opportunities for outdoor activities and socialization, especially for those individuals managing mobility restrictions; however, for retirement living residents, snow and ice doesn't have to get in the way of socializing with friends and keeping active! Here are five activities that senior living residents can participate in during the winter without risking a slip or fall.

1. Grow an indoor plant
A little bit of greenery indoors can really brighten up a room. There are a number of plants that even seniors with "brown thumbs" will enjoy caring for during the cold winter months. One option is an amaryllis, which produces vibrant and beautiful flowers. You can find a kit for this plant in stores around the holiday season. A few other plant options include Christmas cacti and spider plants, both of which are low-maintenance. Seniors may find that indoor gardening is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon when the weather is blustery.

2. Start a recipe club
As retirement residents live among like-minded peers in their senior communities, they are surrounded by others who may share similar interests. ElderOneStop recommended that seniors who like to cook or bake should form a recipe club* to meet during the winter months. At each session, members can bring one of their favourite recipes to share and swap with their group, or even the dish itself! For seniors looking for a shared cooking experience, many retirement residences also offer communal kitchen space dedicated to resident use.

3. Take a class
For days when the roads are dry, seniors might enjoy taking a class or workshop at a local community center. Whether it's cooking, knitting, drawing or painting, there are classes that cater to a multitude of interests. Taking a class is a great way to meet new people and get out of your suite for a few hours. Plus, learning a new skill is a proven way to keep your mind sharp as you get older.

4. Help a charity
There are many organizations dedicated to helping the less fortunate during the holidays, and seniors can often get involved with these charities. Some groups collect knitted hats, scarves and blankets, and seniors can contribute without even leaving the comfort of their retirement homes. Another option is to volunteer to collect tickets at a charitable event. These small acts of kindness go a long way toward boosting spirits during the holiday season.

5. Off-site outings
Retirement communities often organize off-site outings for seniors to participate in during the winter. These day trips allow individuals to visit new places and spend some quality time with their friends. Off-site outings vary depending on the area, but some popular trips include the local theatre or museum.

For more information on the range of programs and recreational activities that Chartwell offers to residents, click here.

*The following sources provide references for this blog, in order of appearance:

  1. CareForYou. "Winter Holiday Activities for seniors", Online: http://www.elder-one-stop.com/holiday-activities-for-seniors.html