Winter can be a cold and snowy season in many parts of the country. It might make older adults more reluctant to go outdoors as often as they might like. Understandably so.
For some seniors, the fear of falling on icy walks and drives keeps them indoors. Most know that falls are the leading cause of serious disability among older adults. Other seniors might have a health condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, that worsens in cold weather.
If you are concerned an older adult in your family is spending too much time alone this winter, you can help by scheduling quality family time. Activities that involve several generations of the family can make the cold days more enjoyable.
Winter Fun for the Whole Family
- Have a bake-off: February is “National Bake for Family Fun Month,” a great time for a baking challenge. Whether it is a pie-making contest or baking cookies, engaging the younger generation will be easy when tasty treats are involved. If your senior loved one is unable to assist in baking, they might be able to act as a judge. Come up with a crazy trophy or two for the winners.
- Host biweekly game nights: Many people find the days and weeks after the holidays a bit of a letdown. Help everyone in the family beat the post-holiday blues by organizing biweekly game nights at your older family member’s home. Have everyone bring an appetizer or dessert and their favorite board games. Games like Hedbanz, Jenga, UNO Attack, and Monopoly are fun for young and old alike.
- Make Sunday afternoon crafts: Instead of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon in front of the television, organize a craft party at your senior family member’s home. You don’t have to be an artist to take part in a craft project. Pick a theme for each party and make themed crafts. For example, it could be a “For the Birds” party where family members build birdhouses from kits, paint bird ornaments, or make birdseed wreaths.
- Explore the globe: You don’t have to leave home to learn more about the world around you. It might be fun to host themed dinner parties where you virtually visit other countries. Serve foods and drinks from your chosen country. If appropriate, dress in traditional clothing from the country, too. Have each family member research and share one thing they learned about the people and their customs.
- Create a family cookbook: This can be as simple or as detailed a project as you choose. Ask everyone in the family (even the kids!) to write or type their favorite recipes. Organize the recipes and have them copied and bound at the local office supply store. If you want something more professional-looking, programs like Create My Cookbook are easy to use. You can order bound versions of your cookbook for $20 with no minimum order requirements. It can make a nice keepsake for each member of the family.
If your family enjoys these kinds of intergenerational activities during the winter months, consider continuing the fun all year long. Our article, “Intergenerational activities to promote family bonding,” has ideas you can use to keep the tradition going.
Short-Term Stays at Sunrise Senior Living
For older adults looking to remain active and engaged throughout the winter, a short-term stay at a Sunrise community might be the solution. Short-term guests have an opportunity to participate in daily on-site life enrichment and wellness activities without battling snowy, cold winter days.
Call the Sunrise community nearest you to learn more!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living