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Activities for the Soul

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March 2, 2011

Activities that can help seniors stay spiritually engaged.

Below are a few ideas for an active soul.

Support The Troops

Nearly half of all seniors (47 percent) who responded to a Home Instead Senior Care® survey said that staying spiritually engaged is a challenge. One way an older adult can do that, even if they are homebound, is by helping others.*

Why not send letters and e-mails to those who might need a boost? A Million Thanks is a year-round campaign to show appreciation to our U.S. Military Men and Women, past and present, for their sacrifices, dedication and service to our country through our letters, e-mails, cards and prayers.

For more information about A Million Thanks, visit www.amillionthanks.org.

Download a PDF of this activity (PDF 150 kB)


Movie Matinee

Eighty percent of seniors who responded to a Home Instead Senior Care® survey say they fear isolation and loneliness*. So what could be more fun than an afternoon at the movies? Check the movie listing and call a friend to go along with you and your mom. (If dad is hard-of-hearing, remember his hearing aids or choose a closed-captioned movie.)

If your loved one can't get out, plan a movie at your house by renting or ordering a DVD. Or dig into your parents' old collection of John Wayne or Doris Day movies.

Don't forget the popcorn!

Download a PDF of this activity (PDF 184 kB)


Plant A Garden

It doesn't have to be summer, and you don't need a big plot of land, to get the feel for gardening. Container pots are easy and fun any time of year, and are sure to please any senior. Fill a clay strawberry pot with potting soil and then fill the openings with their favorite herbs. Locate in full sun. Check the pot daily and water accordingly.

You can bring some herbs indoors for the colder winter months as long as you have adequate sunlight. This means a southern exposure ideally with about eight hours of sunlight a day. Encourage your senior to use these fresh herbs in his or her favorite recipes.

Download a PDF of this activity (PDF 150 kB)


This Is Your Life

Why not check out those old photo albums while you take a trip down memory lane. Going through the pictures will undoubtedly jog a senior's memory and prompt a few stories. While you're looking through those old pictures, let your senior's imagination and memories run wild.

Do those old photo albums need a face lift?

Tackle one of those projects today. Why not write down all those stories next to the photos. You'll treasure them in years to come.

Download a PDF of this activity (PDF 150 kB)


Start A Collection

Think about items of interest that have been collected through the years. Many seniors have stashed away old coins or stamps or baseball cards. How about costume jewelry from the 1940s or ‘50s?

Perhaps pieces of the collection are scattered around the house. Make it a treasure hunt of sorts.

Next, decide where you would store this collection. Depending on what you have gathered or the senior has decided to collect, it may need a lot of room or a special place that will help preserve the items being collected. Think about different ways to display these treasures. If your senior decides to collect valuable items, such as baseball cards, he or she may need to consider a safe deposit box at the bank.

Or you could begin a collection that a senior would pass down through the family. Need help? Start collecting by visiting garage sales, looking for the items while traveling or researching on the internet.

Download a PDF of this activity (PDF 147 kB)


Activity Calendar and Booklet

Track activity progress with the printable calendar and activities booklet.

View the Calendar and Activities Booklet.


Need ideas for activities and other tools? Visit our Resources page.

The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to educate and inform seniors and their families on a wide variety of topics to assist in improving the quality of life for seniors. The instruction and information presented on this Web site and in the downloadable activity pages is in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation, and neither Home Instead, Inc. nor the Home Instead Senior Care network warrant or guarantee that participating in the recommended activities will increase a senior's physical activity and/or achieve desired results. Participation in any exercise program is not without its risks and may result in injury. To reduce the risk of injury, seniors should consult their doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. Home Instead, Inc. and the locally owned Home Instead Senior Care businesses expressly disclaim any liability from and in connection with participation in the activities described herein and in the activity downloads.

* The Boomer Project (www.boomerproject.com) completed online interviews with 523 seniors in the U.S. and 358 seniors in Canada, and 1,279 U.S. adult caregivers, ages 35-62, with a parent, stepparent or older relative for whom they or someone in their household provides care, and with 407 adult caregivers in Canada.

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