Thousands of normally active seniors find themselves virtually trapped indoors during the long, cold months of winter. If your loved one is struggling with a bit of cabin fever, it might be time to come up with some unique and safe winter recreation ideas. Not only will this help your senior through increased social interaction, it’s also a great way to provide a boost in mental and physical wellbeing.
Here’s a list of some fun winter recreation ideas that are suitable for older adults. Just remember, as a caregiver, you’ll need to ensure he or she wears appropriate clothing with plenty of layers and limit exposure time when the temperatures fall below 40 degrees.
- Ice skating: While this may not be an appropriate activity for all seniors, there are literally thousands of older adults who love to do a little ice skating during the winter. If you’re lucky enough to live close to an iconic rink, such as Rockefeller Center in New York, you can even make it a family outing.
- A Winter Bonfire: What could be more nostalgic (and fun) for seniors than building a small bonfire with friends and family members, then making s’mores? It’s the perfect time to tell stories and make new memories. Just bring plenty of extra napkins and be sure to completely extinguish the bonfire at the end of the night.
- Snowshoe Walk: There’s nothing quite as tranquil as a walk through freshly fallen snow. Grab a couple pairs of snowshoes and take a short walk with your senior loved one, taking in the beauty of the landscape.
- Star Gazing: The winter skyline is actually one of the most spectacular. You can see the planet Venus clearly in the night sky, shining brighter than the North Star. Later in the winter months, you can even see Saturn with a simple store-bought telescope. Spend a night with your loved one picking out constellations or searching for shooting stars in the clear winter sky.
- Bird watching: While the birds do fly south for winter, it doesn’t hinder bird watching activities for seniors. For northerners, winter is a time to view some of the rarest northern species. For southern seniors, winter may be the only time he or she can see some unique waterfowl and birds.