Affordable Activities for Senior Citizens
Whether you’re a caregiver for a senior family member or a senior yourself, it can be challenging to find fun, affordable activities to enjoy. With many seniors living on fixed incomes, there often aren’t funds left over each month to spend on things such as movies, museum admissions or dining out. Limited mobility can also be a factor. Fortunately, there are plenty of things seniors can do to stay active and engaged without spending much. Here are several ideas:
Record Personal Memoirs — Seniors have so many good stories to tell. Encourage your older friend or family member to record their personal history so future generations can get to know them. Get a small tape recorder —or a voice memo app on a smart phone — show them how to use it and encourage them to tell their life story. If they’re not sure where to start, ask them to record their personal memories of major historical events they’ve experienced such as Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, or Watergate. These recordings will become priceless, treasured family heirlooms that provide valuable insights into history.
Get Creative — After spending years working and raising families, it’s time to let the creativity flow. Many seniors discover hidden artistic talents they never knew they had because they were always too busy taking care of day-to-day tasks. Now is the time to indulge the creative side with drawing, painting, sculpture or simply relaxing with some crayons and an adult coloring book. Provide all the necessary supplies and let them know the focus is on having fun, not creating a masterpiece.
Volunteer for a Good Cause — Many seniors find volunteering to be just the outlet they need to stay engaged with the community. Local organizations such as schools, hospitals and libraries are always looking for qualified, reliable volunteers and seniors fit the bill perfectly. If lack of transportation is an issue, look into the free or reduced fee dial-a-ride services many cities and towns provide.
Get Even Smarter— Countless studies have shown lifelong learning to be one of the keys to health and longevity. Did you know that many community colleges offer classes specifically for seniors? Or if you’d rather mix it up and get the younger generation’s perspective, consider auditing a regular college class. Whatever you choose to study, you’re sure to learn something new and make some friends, while offering the valuable insight of your life experience.
TV or Movie Marathon — While many seniors are happy to keep up with the latest season of Game of Thrones, others prefer the memories and nostalgia provided by classic movies and TV shows. The streaming service Hulu now offers full seasons of such classics as the Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy and the Mary Tyler Moore Show, along with countless familiar movie favorites. If streaming video isn’t your thing, many libraries offer full seasons of old shows on DVD which can be borrowed for free.