When thinking about ageing, what comes to mind? Do you think of slowing down? Giving up hobbies? Developing illnesses that we've only heard about from our parents or grandparents? Some of us probably do. But, in reality, growing older is so much more. In fact, we believe there is a lot to celebrate and enjoy about getting older. So, in today's article, we'll be focusing on the positives by sharing an exciting range of activities for elderly people. Why not try out these suggestions with your older loved ones?
Here are some common misconceptions about growing older:
- "Poor health is just part of getting older."
- "Ageing means not enjoying the things I used to do."
- "Memory loss is inevitable when growing older."
- "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
In reality, ageing does not have to mean declining health or memory loss. Of course, these things may happen, but they are by no means guaranteed. On the other hand, enjoyment is certainly not something that fades with age. If your loved one took pleasure in sports when they were younger, the chances are they will still enjoy it now. Ageing also brings wisdom, life experience and confidence - the ability to learn new things has no age limit!
Activities for Elderly People
At Careline, we're here to show you that growing older is something to celebrate. There are so many activities to enjoy not only as an older person but with an older person. It's important for people of all ages to stay active and remain social. So, whether you're looking for a fun day out with your partner, parent or grandparent, we've got some great suggestions. Here are some of the best activities for elderly people.
Adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week."
The NHS also has a handy Fitness Studio with exercise videos for beginners. Moderate exercise comes in a range of activities. These can include:
- Ballroom and line dancing
- Pushing a lawn mower
- Water aerobics
Interestingly, these guidelines also apply to people aged 19-64, so these sports can be enjoyed by everyone. If you're trying to encourage a loved one to take up a new hobby, why not join in with them? Just remember to consult your GP before starting a new exercise regime.
If you're looking to do something different, then a day trip is definitely worth considering. If you don't like the sound of travelling far, there is sure to be something nearby, just a short bus or car journey away. Alternatively, if you'd rather travel further afield, the UK is bursting with attractions and activities for elderly people.
While coronavirus restrictions make day trips difficult or impossible, why not try a virtual tour online?
Museums and Stately Homes
The UK is home to a plethora of stately homes, hundreds of historic castles and plenty of museums (a lot of which are free to enter!) If you're looking for a family day out which is suitable for the older generation, we've got some ideas for you. Best of all: they're free!
- The National Gallery, London.
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham.
- Walking tour of Bath, Somerset.
- House of Godolphin, Cornwall.
The National Trust has over 200 gardens to visit around the UK, so no matter where you're based there's bound to be something near you! Garden walks are not only enjoyable, but a great way to exercise and socialise.
What's more, spending time outdoors has huge benefits for your health! Vitamin D, which our bodies create from direct sunlight on our skin, helps your body function more efficiently. This is because it maximises calcium absorption and promotes bone and dental health. It can also improve mood and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. What's not to like?
In addition, spending time in nature can lower stress levels and improve blood pressure. Endorphins in the body will also get your elderly loved one pumped up and feeling good from all of the moving and exercising they're doing.
Some other great ideas for a day trip are:
- A day at the races.
- Afternoon tea.
- A trip to France via the Euro Tunnel.
- A day at the seaside.
- A river trip or boat hire.
- If your loved one is feeling particularly active, you could even treat them to an adventure such as Go Ape, or Zip World (home of the longest zip wire in the northern hemisphere).
Ageing doesn't mean that dreams of travelling the world are over! In fact, retirement is the perfect time to travel and make good use of your spare time. What's more, holidays can be good for your health due to the fact that they relieve stress. Several studies have found that people who don't take regular holidays are more likely to suffer from heart disease.
A getaway is also great for catching up on sleep and increasing productivity - people can feel their most inspired whilst on holiday. Furthermore, a holiday is a perfect opportunity to try out some new activities. How about hiking, scuba diving, surfing or kayaking?
As an older person, it's likely that your relative may need a little extra help when it comes to planning a holiday. But don't worry, there are lots of options out there. Escorted tours are a fantastic choice, with most companies offering coach trips and a door to door service. This means that you can be picked up from your front door and guided along the way, with a tour manager taking care of the logistics and complicated things!
Next, cruise ships are a great place to make friends with like-minded people of a similar age. Most have many activities pre-planned on board! Coach trips are similarly very convenient, as you're able to see lots of sites without the hassle of driving to them all or relying on public trains or buses.
If your loved one would like to enjoy a hobby whilst on holiday, why not choose a tailor-made holiday package? SmoothRed offer wine tasting holidays across Europe where you can learn about wine along the way. Brightwater Holidays offer a unique garden experience working closely with the Royal Horticultural Society. If you're a fan of dancing, Personal Touch can tailor-make a trip around your hobby or activity!
This could be a great project for you and your elderly loved one to do together. Tracing your family tree is a challenging but rewarding task, made more and more popular by programmes like Who Do You Think You Are?
There are plenty of online services and resources which can help you trace your family tree. However, there is no need to pay for a service if you don't want to. You can find free resources online and in person at certain archives if you know where to look. For more information, read Trace Your Family Tree: Activities for Older People.
We all know that loneliness can be bad for your mental health, but did you know that it can impact your physical health too? Some experts suggest that loneliness can be as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Socialising and attending group activities are great ways to make friends, boost your immune system, and reduce the risk of stroke and other medical issues.
Depending on your loved one's likes and dislikes, you could find them a group to join to help them stay active. This may be something you can join as well and enjoy it together. There are hundreds of groups and activities for elderly people. Here are some we recommend:
- Join a games group - Whether it be board games or puzzles, games are a great way to exercise the mind while making new friends!
- Go to exercise classes - We all know the benefits of staying active. Exercising as a group means socialising at the same time. You're never too old to have a "gym buddy."
- Join a walking club - Walking is a great way to exercise gently without putting too much strain on the body. Join a local group and walk through the scenic surroundings whilst meeting new people.
- Have a murder mystery night - A great way to bring a group closer by working together to solve a mystery!
- Try a new restaurant or plan a night at the cinema - Perhaps give your parent or grandparent a nudge to invite their new friend from the walking club.
- Take a day trip somewhere - See above our ideas for day trip locations.
- Spend the day with the grandchildren - we've got a whole article full of fun and affordable things to do with your favourite little people.
Please note: coronavirus restrictions make many of these activities difficult to do. However, many social groups have moved online using platforms such as Zoom. We'd advise making sure that your elderly loved ones have reliable internet access so they can keep in touch with friends and family and participate in online activities.
When your loved ones aren't out and about enjoying themselves, make sure they are safe at home. Our personal alarms are a perfect way to make sure help is always at hand in an emergency. If you'd like more information, please give our Customer Services team a call on 0800 101 3333. Alternatively, you can order a Careline alarm online today.
Editor's Note: This post was last updated on 02/02/2021.