Activity Ideas for the Elderly

Chelsea Roderick

September 30, 2022

Many older adults with limited mobility can receive great health benefits from being active. Some suitable activities for the elderly include exercise classes, board games, and more.

We've combined some great ideas for activities with the elderly. They can participate while at home care or at their facility.

  • Has your loved one lost interest in activities they used to enjoy?
  • Do they watch tv most of the day?
  • Do you worry about their quality of life?
    These ideas for activities for the elderly may help.

Physical Activities

Physical activities for seniors improve strength, endurance, and improve balance. As a result, they may gain independence and be less prone to injury.

Participating in at least two hours of moderate-intensity aerobics spread over five to seven days a week has excellent health benefits.

Strength training

Easy activities for elderly residents include strength training. Initially, your exercise routine should focus on using your body weight. Then, when you're ready to add an extra challenge, you can use light weights.

Strength training activities for elderly people include:

  • squats
  • incline pushups
  • seated rowing
  • stationary lunges
    Safety is key. If you have an injury, chronic condition like heart disease, or balance issues, please speak with your doctor first on how you can exercise safely.

Aerobic exercise

Easy activities for elderly residents can include aerobic exercises.

Activities for seniors to stay active include:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • dancing
  • nature hiking
    People of all ages improve their overall health when engaging in regular exercise.


Activities for seniors might include those to improve balance. Balance exercise routines include:

  • standing on one foot
  • walking heel-to-toe
  • tai chi
  • yoga
  • pilates


A type of physical activity that improves flexibility stretches the muscles. Then, one can feel more limber and move better.

Flexibility exercises include:

  • stretching
  • yoga
  • warming up before strength and aerobic exercise
  • pilates

Eye-hand coordination

Physical activities for seniors can also help them stay sharp. For example, eye-hand coordination improves a senior's ability to cook a meal, pick up an object or grab a handrail.

Family and friends can join in on these great eye-hand activities:

  • racquet sports
  • swimming
  • noncontact boxing
  • sewing or knitting
  • playing catch with a ball

Easy Activities

Easy activities for elderly residents work by stimulating the senses to improve mental health.

Spending time with them in a stimulating activity is a great way to bond and show them you care.


Seniors living with limited mobility may get depressed since they're less active and may feel a loss of independence. Crafting activities allow one's artistic spirit to shine, and one may gain a sense of pride.

Some great crafts include:

  • painting
  • colouring
  • making jewelry
  • pottery


When ideas for activities for the elderly also involve the outdoors, there's an added benefit. It's a great way to get fresh air while stimulating the senses.

Gardening doesn't need physical strength. So, you can do basic tasks such as raking and watering while easily tending to flowers or herbs.

Higher learning

Some nursing homes and senior living facilities offer learning opportunities. The nearby community colleges may provide affordable courses, too.

Continuing education is a great way to stimulate their brain. Higher learning could be an activity option if your loved one enjoys reading about things like art, history, or psychology.

Reading and writing

Book clubs and visiting the library are great activities for seniors. They can give their opinions and engage socially.

Writing their own short storeys or poetry also helps keep the mind sharp and gives them a deep sense of passion and purpose.


Some ideas for activities for the elderly include volunteering. It's an excellent way to prevent feelings of uselessness during this late stage of life.

Speak with them about what they're good at or enjoy the most to find a rewarding volunteer activity. For example, they can cook at a shelter if they love to cook. Or, if they like to knit or sew, they can create blankets for the needy.

Sensory Group Activities

You may find sensory group activities for elderly people everywhere, from assisted living and dementia care facilities to private games at home.

Music and dancing

Older people with cognitive impairment or dementia can relive positive memories when listening to their favourite songs. Music also supports a feeling of happiness and may lessen symptoms of depression.

They can hear music at a live concert or ballet together or at home on a record player or stereo.

Knitting circles

Quilt making, crocheting, and knitting are great sensory group activities for the elderly to enjoy. Working with your hands is both mental and physical therapy. Also, it's an excellent opportunity to mingle socially with people of similar interests.

Spa day

Some salon, barber, or spa self-care can be very therapeutic. Simply smelling essential oils, experiencing a massage, or washing their hair makes them feel pampered and appreciated.

Cooking and baking

Cooking and baking classes are easy activities for elderly residents that engages the senses. They smell the delicious food, touch and sort the ingredients, and taste their finished product pridefully.

Playing games

Playing games like board games or cards are wonderful sensory stimulation activities. Card games like bridge are simple and fun to play. Scrabble and dominoes are also suitable for cognition and hand-eye coordination.

The importance of play

Older people play games to connect and stay sharp. Some other benefits of play include:

  • memory improvement
  • enhanced creativity
  • improved critical thinking skills
  • relaxation
  • stress relief
  • boosted mood
    Play activities for seniors promote an overall sense of health and well-being.


The benefits of exercise, play, and sensory activities include improved mental and physical health.

Family and friends can bond with their elderly loved ones at home by encouraging activity and participating in games. In group settings like a nursing home or assisted living facility, senior adults can bond with others by doing enjoyable activities.

At Relish, we understand how physical and sensory activities for seniors can help give your loved one good quality of life. So we've got some enjoyable products such as sensory toys to engage their senses and mind. Visit our website for information on games, activity bundle packs, and helpful resources.