The cold winter weather can make it difficult for people to stay as active as they are in the summer. This can be especially true for older adults, for whom walking on slippery sidewalks, combined with the frigid weather can make it dangerous to spend much time outdoors. Here are some ways family caregivers and elder care providers can help seniors to stay more active during the winter months.
-Active Video Game
Many seniors enjoy playing active video games that involve arm movement and sometimes even the whole body. Sports games like tennis or bowling where the player has to simulate the movements of playing the game for real are good examples. An elder care provider can play the games with the older adult or set them up to play on their own.
-Indoor Snowball Fight
Purchase or make some puffy white balls to use as snowballs, then throw them at each other! This can be a great activity for seniors to do with their grandchildren, but an elder care provider can stand in when grandkids aren’t available.
-Go Mall Walking
Walking outside might be out on cold or slippery days, but your aging relative can still get in some steps by going to the mall and walking laps. A mall is a warm and safe place to walk, and some malls even open early just to give mall walkers a chance to roam the halls before the stores open. An elder care provider can drive the person to the mall and walk with them, lending a steadying arm if their balance is an issue.
-Take a Swim
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that is easy on the joints of older adults. Many communities and sports facilities have indoor pools where seniors can join in group exercise classes or just swim a few laps. An elder care provider can take them to the pool and make sure they are able to get in and out safely.
Turn on some tunes and throw a dance party in the living room. Invite the older adult to dance with you. If they feel silly dancing, try starting a dance party when there are children around. Dancing with kids can make adults feel less inhibited. Another option is to enroll the senior in a dance class, such as one that teaches ballroom dancing. Check with the local senior center to see if there are any classes available just for seniors.