Fun Stay-home Activities for Seniors



Getting out and about with the elderly isn’t always easy, or convenient. Coupled with the social distancing measures in place now, just because they have to stay indoors, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t fun to be had. Whether you’re responsible for elderly care at home or are just popping in for a visit, here are some ideas for fun and entertaining activities to keep you both amused.


Large Print Crossword
Keeping the brain active is an integral part of elderly care, and crosswords are perfect for working the grey matter. Most elderly people have some decline in vision, so photocopy and enlarge a crossword that you and your loved one can complete together.


Cup Stacking Game
A great way of improving hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, the cup-stacking game is simple but engaging. All you need is a flat, level surface and a selection of paper cups. You and your parent start with three piles, each containing three paper cups. You have to separate the cups, stack them into pyramids, unstack them and return them to their starting piles in the fastest possible time.


Card Making
Firm card, craft glue and a range of fabrics, feathers and paper can all be used to create cards. Scraps of ribbon, tissue paper, wool, glitter, sequins and even dried leaves and flowers could be added to provide extra texture or sparkle, and your parent will enjoy sending their masterpieces to family and friends.


Brass and Silver Cleaning
Anyone with experience in dementia care knows that rekindling old memories can provide a positive experience to anyone with memory problems. Set out a collection of brass, copper or silver items on a flat surface covered with newspaper, and open a tin of silver polish.


You need some old rags for applying the cleaning product, and some soft, clean dusters for removing it and buffing the surface into a shine. A small brush, such as an old toothbrush is good for getting into crevices, and don’t forget to provide your parent with an apron!


Seated Exercises
Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous to be effective, and there are lots of exercise routines that can be done sitting down. It’s essential to use a comfortable and stable chair – a dining chair is ideal, but it needs to be one without arms.


Search online for seated exercise classes that you can both join in with, or download exercise plans aimed at the elderly from the internet. If your parent has dementia, then you might find that some simple games aimed at toddlers might be beneficial, such as clapping along with nursery rhymes or doing the actions to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’, which will also stimulate long-forgotten memories.


Memory Game
A popular children’s party game, the memory game is also a brilliant way of keeping older people entertained. All you need is a tray and a few household items, such as a box of matches, a napkin ring, a pen, a cup and saucer, a notebook, a purse, or any other small items that you have to hand.


Set the items out on the tray and allow your parent a few minutes to study them. Then cover the tray with a cloth or tea towel and see how many items they can remember.


Card Games
Always popular with anyone involved in companion care, a deck of cards is a brilliant way to while away an hour or two. People living with dementia will enjoy playing old favourites such as Snap, or the memory game of Pairs, while other older people may prefer a game of Whist or Rummy.


Article adapted from Elder with edits.