How To Keep Elderly Entertained: 40 Ideas


If you’re looking for ideas to keep elderly entertained, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I share 40 ideas to keep elderly (parents or grandparents) entertained at home and outside their home. So, let’s get started right away.

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Ideas To Keep Elderly Busy At Home

1) Diamond Painting

One of the most popular hobbies seniors like to do is Diamond Painting. It’s a new creative art hobby that is a mix of paint by numbers and cross-stitch. This is how it works; you have a sticky canvas with numbers and hundreds or even thousands of different colored tiny diamonds, which you have to apply on the canvas by letter or number. After applying all diamonds, you have created a shimmering piece of art you can hang up at home.

It’s a perfect hobby for older people because it is straightforward, it calms the mind, reduces stress, boosts creativity and confidence, and fine-tunes their motor skills. And they can choose whatever canvas they want: animals, landscapes, mandalas, etc. They can do it for an hour per day or stay busy the entire day until they’re finished.

You can get them Monthly Diamond Paintings from Cratejoy home delivered to keep them entertained for the next couple of months.

2) Solving Puzzles

The classic way to keep your elderly parents entertained is by solving puzzles with them or puzzles they can do independently. This can be a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle, sudoku, 3D puzzle, or get the book: 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young. This book will definitely keep them entertained for weeks.

Solving puzzles is not only fun for the elderly, but it’s also good for their brain health. Studies have shown that it improves cognitive functions such as concentration, short-term memory, and general problem-solving. Keeping your brain challenged every day can even make your brain a couple of years younger.

3) Crocheting

If they love to knit, then you can introduce them to crocheting. Instead of using two long needles, you only need one hook to make knots to create beautiful things because they can make all sorts of stuff with crocheting. From socks, hats to coasters, a pouf, hairpieces, baby toys, etc. Get them a Crochet Kit, and older adults can crochet birthday gifts and special event gifts for the entire family throughout the year.

4) Cooking

If they’re still able to cook for themselves, you can introduce them to new recipes or cuisines with a fun and easy cookbook. Perhaps it sparkles a new hobby for them. With 3 meals a day, they’ll be entertained 7 days of the week. Or you can re-invent old family recipes together as a fun way to spend time with each other.

Sometimes not being able to open a jar anymore can resist them from cooking. But did you know there are many kitchen tools available especially designed for elderly people, to make cooking easy? Check them out here.

5) Birdwatching

With a simple bird feeder for their home, you can entertain your elderly parents with all the beautiful things nature offers. Bird-watching is a very social activity for someone alone at home. And if they love it, you can even get them a bird journal, binoculars, or a bird-watching book with information about species and how to attract them.

6) Chair Yoga

Yoga is perfect for the mind and body. It improves flexibility, strength, and joint strain and reduces stress. And for the elderly with limited mobility, chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga while sitting. Perhaps a yoga instructor can teach them chair yoga at home or show them this youtube video.

7) Baking

Someone with a sweet tooth will love to bake. You can ask them to bake your favorite cookies or a birthday cake if they need that extra push to get started. Also, baking is a great thing to do together with them on a Sunday afternoon.

8) Indoor Gardening

You don’t need a garden to start gardening. There are awesome indoor gardening projects they can do such as vertical gardening, bonsai tree sculpting to growing your own herbs or vegetables inside.

9) Sticker By Number

Sticker by number is similar to painting by number, only it’s with stickers. It’s easier, faster and no mess. It’s a stress free activity that can be great for the elderly person on your mind. They can sticker animals, flowers, trees, landscapes etc.

10) Reading

Reading is a great exercie for the brain. It helps to prevent age-related cognitive decline and has many other health benefits according to Healthline.

Encouring older people to read is not only good for their health but it also enables them to travel to different worlds without leaving their comfy chair at home. It’s the cheapest way to travel.

An awesome book you can get is The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules: A Novel (League of Pensioners). It’s #1 internationally-bestselling book from author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s. A quirky novel about a group of seniors that want to upgrade the quality of their life and leads them to white collar crime.

11) Listen To Music

Make a nice play list of their favorite music that they can listen to when they’re alone at home.

12) Listen To Podcasts

Introduce them to the world of podcasts. Find out what interests them and see if you can find a podcast about it that they can listen to. Perhaps they even learn a thing or two along the way. Or they get a taste of what podcasts are and continue to listen to new ones every day or week.

13) Play An Instrument

They can learn how to play an instrument. And yes that is very possible. Research have show that older adults who continue to learn and challenge their mind every day learning becomes easier. And knowing how to play an instrument might be one of their oldest dreams which you can motivate them into pursuing. One of the easiest instruments for older adults are ukulele, piano, tambourine, bongos.

14) Painting

Painting can be a great hobby for your elderly parents to express themselves creatively. They can paint on a blank canvas with oil, acryl or water paint. Or you can get them a paint by number canvas to get them into painting if they’ve never done it before.

15) Sculpting

Sculpting is creating a shape from a piece of material. This can be anything from clay, wood, paper, stone to ice. Elderly with less strength in their hands can benefit from sculpting with clay. And elderly who are still active might find joy in woodcarving. You can find all sorts of sculpting kits on Amazon, click here.

16) Coloring

Every kid loves to draw and color. As we become adults we don’t have time to color and we forgot that we love to do it. Often in retirement, people reclaim their childhood hobbies, so chances are that the elderly person you’re looking to entertain might love coloring too. You can get them a sketching book or an adult coloring book.

17) Play Boardgames

Boardgames are always a fun activity to enjoy eachothers company. Dust of that classic boardgame and make it a habit to play games. Or introduce the nextdoor neighboor who loves to play boardgames too if you can’t visit that often.

18) Jewelry Making

A fashionable elderly woman will love to make jewelry making her new hobby. She can make jewerly for herself, her friends in the retirement home or her grandkids. With this DIY Bracelet Craft Kit she defenitely will score points with her hip and trendy grandchilderen.

19) Collecting

Another great way to entertain elderly is to get them into collecting. He or she can start collecting stamps, coins, vinyl records, comic books, toys, action figures, rocks, wine etc. They might allready have a great collection of certain things and they can expand their collection over time. Collecting is a lifelong skill so they’ll be entartained the rest of their life.

20) Genealogy

Seniors love genealogy. Many retirees love to learn more about their family history, because it gives them a sense of identity and better understanding about themselves, their family and their life. Getting to know your past also creates the opportunity to connect with new people, which is one of the keys to happiness in retirement.

With an Ancestry DNA kit you can help him or her on the way to get a moreprecise ethnicity estimate which will lead to more historical and geographic insight about their past. And it will help them to build their family tree or get in contact with living relatives.

Ideas To Keep Elderly Entertained Outside Their Home

21) Walking

The easiest way to keep elderly enterained outside their home is to motivate them to go walking. It stimulates the blood flow, activates the muscles and uplifts the mood and that is why walking is a must. You can walk around the block with them and just talk or see if they can adopt a dog parttime or fultime. This for sure will get them out of the door every day.

22) Aqua Aerobics

You can find out if there is an aqua aerobics class in the area which he or she can attend. Aqua aerobics is a great exercise for elderly people because of the low risk of injury. Plus it builds strengths and improves heart and lung function. And joining a class is also a great way to meet other people so they feel less lonely.

23) Swimming

Swimming is gentle on the joints and improves overall pshycial and mental health and is therefore a perfect activity for elderly people. You can check out if there is a swimming class for elderly at your nearby swimmingpool or go swimming with them every week or month as a new bonding activity.

24) Exercise Class

You can sign him or her up for an exercise class. Perhaps there are exercise classes sceduled in the retirement home or retirement community. Or another place you can check is the local senior center. And perhaps the local gym offers classes for seniors as well. It’s best to find an exercise class that fits into their physical ability or else it’s not fun for them to attend.

25) Art Class

Apply them for a fun art class if they’re interested in experessing themselves creatively. They’ll meet like minded people that can turn into new friends which will help them to stay active.

26) Volunteering

Many people love volunteering. It gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment, because helping others makes you happy as well. Therefore volunteerting is one of the best ways to keep elderly people entertained. It keeps them active within the community, they meet a lot of people and have a reason to get up in the morning.

There all sorts of volunteering projects elderly people can do. Depending on their mobility it can be helping out in the local soup kitchen to writing letters to lonely seniors.

27) Join A (Book/ Lunch/ Social) Club

Ask around about elderly book, lunch or social clubs he or she can join. Probably connecting your elderly parents to other people will make them happier over time. Being part of a group fights loneliness and depression and will help them make their life more joyable.

But it doesn’t have to be an elderly club per se. Being part of a club with younger people keeps you young and makes you feel part of society. Because that’s what often lacks. Elderly people feel left out and not part of society anymore. So making them part of a club to socialize and to do an activity they love, makes them feel valued and seen.

28) Visit A Senior Community Center

It’s worth to visit a local senior center to see what activities they organize for elderly people. Perhaps you’ll be introduced to an entirely new world you didn’t even know existed. Perhaps there is an activity you’re elderly parents love to attend.

29) Gardening

Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies out there. I wrote an entire article about the benefits of gardening for seniors which you can read here.

You can help them gardening their own garden, see if they can join a community garden to meet other people or create a (vegetavble) garden which they can easily maintain themselves in the future.

30) Field Trip

Go on a field trip together to visit a national park, musuem, ancestry grounds, local farmers market or to see family. Especially when they’re at home all the time the chance of scenery and companionship during a trip will make their day.

31) Spa Day

Treat your elderly parents or grandparents on a relaxing spa day.

32) Cycling

Cycling is a great activity for elderly people.

A moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as cycling “for as less as 30 minutes can improve some aspects of cognition, most prominently for memory, reasoning and planning and can shorten the time taken to complete the tests.” According to this study. And regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain which will improve brain function. Cycling also improves heart health and strengthens muscles to maintain balance that will keep elderly people more indepenent as they age.

Now that we’ve established all the benefits to cycling it’s also good to know that getting outside and seeing different scenerys can enhance their quality of life. Viewing the world from a bicycle makes you feel alive and that is why it’s good for elderly people to cycle.

Make them enthisuatic about cycling to the grocery store. Or if they’re limited in their mobility you can get creative by renting a tricycle or hop on a tandem together on a sunday afternoon.

33) Visit Movie Theater

Check out the movie calender and visit a movie theater together. A lot of movie theater organize special senior days or plan classic films during the week for elderly people. Perhaps one of they’re favorite movies is playing soon. And the perks of being old is that you can get senior discount on tickets.

34) Visit A Museum

Ask which museam they’ve always wanted to visit and organize a trip to visit that museum. Or be a tourist in your own town and visit museums you normally wouldn’t visit.

35) Geocaching

To they like to explore and love treasure hunting? The geochaching is a fun activity to do with elderly people. Fit people can walk and others can attend in wheelchairs it doesn’t matter. You can do geocaching has a group activity.

Geochachig is the modern version of treasure-hunting. You use use a handheld GPS navigator to find the millions of treasures (geocaches) hidden around your area. It gives a walk around the block a little more interesting.

36) Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a gentle exercise by doing a series of stretches. It improves balance which reduces falls which makes the perfect exercise for elderly people. And it’s a stress reliever.

You can try to find classes nearby or watch Tai Chi lessons on YouTube.

37) Dancing

Another great exercise for elderly people is dancing. It’s fun to dance and it’s therapeutic and a very natural thing to do. From line dancing to doing the cha cha cha, they’re endless dances you can do with elderly peope.

38) Fishing

Also a great activity to do with elderly people is to go fishing. Being outdoors fishinhg lowers the heart rate and blood pressure and also reduces stress. At the shore they relax their worries away.

39) Croquet

A great outdoor game to play on a beautiful day in the park or on the lawn is the french originated game Croquet. Which is an easy game to play with two, four or six players. Check out the best reviewed Croquet Set is from GoSports including 6 color mallets, 6 balls, 9 wickets, 2 end posts, rules of the game, and a handy carrying bag.

40) Antiquing

Visit antique markets and garage sales to shop for antiques. This is a great activity for an elderly person with a great eye for quality products and a gut feeling to finding treasures surrounded by trash.

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 100+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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