5 Physical Group Activities for Senior Residents

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Activity Directors for senior day centers, senior housing associations, and residential care facilities alike can implement these activities into their care plan.

This list focuses on providing various levels of physical and cognitive stimulation. Therefore, these activities are easily modifiable to suit the needs of your residents.

Throw & Tell

On each panel of a soccer ball, write a different preference, experience or memory trigger to be talked about. For example, ‘my favorite ice cream’, ‘a car I owned’, or ‘the best vacation I ever went on’.

After that, throw the ball around the room. When a person catches the ball, they will select one of the topics and talk about it.

If you want to purchase a conversation ball instead of creating your own, you can find one here.

Benefits:

  • Ice breaker/group conversation starter
  • Reminiscence & Life Story work
  • Upper body movement
  • Useful for gathering information relevant to an individual care plan

Zumba Gold

I once heard it called “exercise in disguise”. Zumba Gold was taken from the original Zumba dance aerobics program but tailored for low impact exercise. Choreography focuses on balance, range of motion, and coordination. Residents should be encouraged to laugh and enjoy the music. Zumba Gold instructors can be hired to teach a class, but alternatively, you could go through the training yourself or watch Zumba Gold YouTube videos and get inspired to create your own routine! Additionally, make sure to have some modifications for wheelchair users as well.

Benefits:

  • Balance
  • Range of Motion
  • Coordination
  • Mood Booster

Armchair Travel

Travel to exotic lands without ever leaving your home! Start an Armchair Travel tradition in your facility by making it a monthly event residents can engage in. It is easy to build up excitement for an activity like this one. For instance, you could even consider creating ‘passports’ for your participants that they’d get a monthly stamp in.

Have residents choose countries they want to see and learn about. Also, if you have residents from other countries, take the opportunity to enlist them in sharing more about their culture and homeland! Then make decorations and food according to the chosen country, come up with a craft or trivia, and use StoriiCare’s Places and Playlists features to get ahold of relevant music or tourist videos.

Check out this article for ideas and inspiration.

Benefits:

  • Mood booster
  • Socialization
  • Coordination
  • Cognitive Engagement

Plant a Kitchen Garden

Have someone build raised allotment beds where residents can plant and cultivate seasonal vegetables to be used in community meals. Similarly, if you don’t have the space for this, consider a smaller herb garden along a walk path or even indoors with scents to indulge the senses like thyme, rosemary, lavender and coriander.

Benefits:

  • Walking
  • Long term memory stimulation
  • Coordination
  • Outdoor/fresh air activity

Chair Yoga

Watch this 15 minute yoga sequence your residents can do while sitting in a chair!

Benefits:

  • Mobility
  • Muscle Activation
  • Body Awareness

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