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Three generations of woman including girl (6-7) playing in snow

5 Winter Fun Ideas With Your Senior Loved One

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Winter is a fun time of year, but the ice and snow can make it difficult for seniors to enjoy certain activities. Here are some ways to have fun with your senior loved one in the winter.

Indoor Gardening

Gardening has always been a favorite way to soothe the soul and it doesn’t need to completely stop during the cold seasons. Bring in some herbs, plants, orchids, or flowers that require low light or less space to grow. Some easy indoor gardening herbs, flowers, and plants include the following:

  • Amaryllis
  • Peace Lily
  • African Violet
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Cactus
  • Pothos
  • Sansevieria
  • Aloe
  • Ponytail Palm
  • Phalaenopsis Orchid
  • Hibiscus

Get Crafty

A cozy craft session with some hot cocoa is a great way to enjoy the indoors, and it can make lasting memories too. Here are some crafting ideas that you and your senior loved one can do together.

  • Make snow globes
  • Make bird feeders for spring
  • Painting, drawing or other visual media
  • Make a photo album
  • Make ornaments or decorations

Brunch, Shopping & Festivals

A good way to spend the day with your senior loved one is to visit a lively setting like a mall, a popular strip of shops, or venues that host winter music festivals. This can be a great way to enliven a season that can sometimes get a little gloomy.

Mental Development Time

Staying cognitively in tune can benefit older adults in the long run. For those of us with senior loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, some cognitive exercises can cause frustration, so don’t be too assertive about this type of activity. Here are some ideas to exercise both your mind and your senior loved one’s.

  • Create a study group for a shared interest
  • Start a small book club
  • Do puzzles, riddles or cognitive games together

Studying a subject with someone makes it easier to learn and gives you the motivation to keep up. Plus, you have someone to chat with about something new and exciting you both just learned! Doing puzzles also makes people happier, as it releases the neurotransmitter dopamine and makes our brains more associative.

Enjoy the Winter Outdoors

Ice and snow might knock out some ideas for enjoying nature, but it doesn’t negate them all. And your senior loved one will still need to get light exercise and some sunlight on those more generous winter days. These are some good locations for older adults to enjoy the outdoors in winter.

  • Designated walking trails
  • Outdoor shopping centers
  • Busy promenades
  • Busy parks
  • Downtown areas

We hope we’ve helped you make this winter season a little brighter for your senior loved one. If you’d like to spark more ideas to better your senior loved one’s life, check out our Milestone Retirement Communities blogs.