The cold weather and brisk breezes of Winter are usually enough to dissuade most people from being out and about for too long. This Winter, we all have an additional reason to stay indoors; to stop the spread of and protect ourselves from COVID-19. When you’re stuck indoors, even with in-home aged care services to help keep you occupied or provide COVID-19 In-Home Care, it’s easy to fall into monotony. That’s why, whether you’re stuck indoors in lockdown or merely hiding from the cold, it’s important for seniors to stay occupied and engaged while we make it through the season. Here at Age Up Health, we are committed to providing aged care services at home to give seniors the best possible experience, so this article will outline 10 indoor winter activities for seniors to do while we’re all staying at home.
One of the good winter activities for seniors to do indoors is indoor exercise. Exercising and elevating your heart rate in some way is important for everyone, but especially for seniors in order to stave off potential health risks and ailments in your older age. In the winter, exercise also raises your body temperature and makes you feel warmer, in addition to providing you with something to do to take up some time and make you feel productive. However, it can be difficult to know what exercises to do when you don’t want to leave the house and more traditional exercises like swimming or jogging are off the table.
That being said, just because you’re staying indoors doesn’t mean there’s no way to get some exercise in! Low impact indoor exercises like yoga are always a good option, and you can find many yoga instructional videos online. Another option is to purchase fitness DVDs to play on the TV and follow along to. You can choose to do either low-impact or higher difficulty exercises, depending on your level of fitness. Our in-home aged care service providers are also happy to find resources for you and help you stay safe!
One of the classic winter activities for seniors, when you’re staying indoors, is crafts! There are many options of crafts you can do depending on what you’re interested in, and crafts are a great way to keep your mind occupied and engaged and help with hand-eye coordination. Crafts are also a great option because when you finish you’re left with a beautiful end product to keep for yourself, display in your home, or gift to someone important to you.
This is in no way a comprehensive list, but some options for crafts you can do indoors include scrapbooking, fabric crafts such as knitting, embroidery, cross-stitching or crochet, or more traditionally artsy crafts such as painting or drawing. Scrapbooking or crafts involving photos are wonderful for reminiscing and feeling connected to family or friends you may not be able to see regularly. Fabric crafts are great if you want to take on a longer project to keep you occupied for long periods of time, with beautiful results. Traditional arts are also a great choice and offer a perfect medium for exploring your creativity.
Cooking or Baking
Cooking or baking food and treats for yourself or people staying with you is another one of the great winter activities for seniors. It’s also a great option because when you’re done, you get to eat what you’ve made! Good options for this are fun quicker recipes that aren’t too technical but are still delicious. If you’d like to try making something but need help prepping the food, our in home aged care services also cover daily help such as food preparation. Nostalgic foods or baked goods are a good option, such as a childhood treat you haven’t had in a while or your spouse’s favourite dinner. It can be great fun figuring out which recipes to tackle and how to go about it!
Don’t let the winter weather and having to stay inside stop you from starting a little gardening project! While you may think it’s not possible to grow anything in the colder months, there’s actually a lot of plants you can grow, especially indoors at a relatively sunny window. Good plants to try include herbs, such as mint, dill, basil, oregano, sage, or rosemary; greens, like lettuces, arugula, spinach, or kale; cherry tomatoes or chillies; and sprouts! Depending on the amount of sunlight you get and the amount of commitment you have to the project, you can pick more difficult plants such as fruiting or high-sunlight requirement plants or easier ones, such as sprouts, which don’t even need soil!
Gardening is one of the wonderful winter activities for seniors to keep you occupied during the winter, as you usually do a little bit every day. It is also very rewarding to watch your little seeds sprout and grow, and if you pick an edible plant, you also get to use them in your cooking! At Age Up Health, our in home aged care providers can also help by bringing you supplies or helping you set up.
If you want an activity that is a little more exciting, there are plenty of games you can play indoors, whether you have someone to play with or not. Traditional games such as cards or chess are great winter activities for seniors as they’re good for bonding with someone over something fun. They can also test your thinking skills and keep your brain working. Another option is trivia, which you can play from a trivia book you purchase and get delivered, or trivia you lookup online. Either way, this is a great way to do something fun that doubles as being educational. You can do these activities with people that stay with you, or our in home senior care carers would be happy to participate!
If you don’t have someone to play with, you still have plenty of options! You can play a video game, such as Super Mario 64, which is shown to maintain brain function and quick thinking! You can also download games on your phone or iPad to play by yourself. There are thousands of fun options you can download, including versions of older, familiar games such as Tetris or snake!
One of the most important things to do is to socialise and stay connected with your friends and family. While it may be more difficult now to do these things, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. One of the great winter activities for seniors is to organise video call gatherings with your friends or family over things like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom! You can ask a family member or friend to help you set one up, and nowadays you can have as many people in the video call as you could want. Our in home aged care services also cover technological help. You can use the time to catch up, talk, reminisce, or even play games!
Another option for staying connected, even if you can’t physically, is to organise socially distanced gift exchanges. Talk to your friends or family about it and have everyone send out gifts or letters to a predetermined person, similar to a Secret Santa. This will allow you to spend time coming up with something to send someone you care about, as well as receive something in exchange which will help to brighten your day.
Mindfulness and Self Care
In stressful times or when you feel cooped up or restricted, it’s important to make sure you take time for yourself through mindfulness and self-care. In a lot of ways, things that promote mindfulness also make great activities, as they encourage you to relax, listen to yourself and your body, and unwind. There are many activities you can do to encourage this effect; anything that allows you to relax can be considered self-care. Nevertheless, I’ve included a few options for things you might want to do to be more mindful this Winter.
Meditation is a great option to take up time and become a more relaxed individual. Taking even 10-15 minutes out of your day to do some breathing exercises and meditate can go a long way in calming yourself and making you feel more prepared to start the day. You can guide your own meditation sessions, but if you’re not sure how to start, you can search for guided meditations on YouTube or download a meditation app to help you get in the right mindset. Our professional in home senior care carers here at Age Up Health can also help you with this! Another option is to start mindful hobbies, like a daily journal or adult colouring books, that allow your brain to drift away and help you relax.
Just because we need to stay inside doesn’t mean you can’t get dressed up and enjoy yourself! Planning a fun activity where you can put on your nice clothes, prepare good food, or decorate the space can make the days feel less monotonous and help you get excited about what the week has in store. Options for events you can plan inside your home include a fancy dinner night, where you or someone else can prepare a nice dinner and attendees get dressed up for the meal, a music night with dancing, or even a nice movie night with snacks.
If you live alone, don’t let this stop you either. While you can do these things by yourself if you want to – there’s no shame in enjoying your own company – you can also organise for friends or family to have their own movie nights or fancy dinners and join you through a video call.
Take on a Project
There’s nothing better to do when you’re indoors for a long period of time than start your own project. While this can be anything you’d like it to be, this winter seems like the perfect time to finally start the home organisation or decluttering project you always meant to do! Taking on a big project like these are great winter activities for seniors as they promise to take up a decent chunk of time, and the results are always worth the effort. For larger projects that involve things like home modification, contact our in home aged care services for support. If you’re going to be spending so much time indoors, you might as well make it look exactly the way you want it to!
Learn a New Skill
Finally, if all else fails, it’s never too late to start something new. Learning a new skill such as a new language, instrument, craft, or hobby can be amazing fun and are great winter activities for seniors. The process of learning also always takes a bit of time, so you can be sure that you’ll be busy for a while. Doing something productive with your time may also help structure your day and make them feel a little bit busier!