Fun Things To Do With Seniors In Assisted Living Facilities

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Spending quality time with your elderly loved ones will make their day better and brighter. And knowing what their interests are will always come in handy. Here, you can find a list of fun things to do with seniors in assisted living facilities.

Fun Things To Do With Seniors

Spending quality time with your elderly loved ones will make their day better and brighter. And knowing what their interests are will always come in handy. Here, you can find a list of fun things to do with seniors in assisted living facilities.

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Is your aged parent living in an assisted living facility? Are you looking for fun things to do with your parent on your next visit to the facility? If so, you have come to the right place.

Regular visits are crucial to stay connected with your loved one and show him/her how much you care. In fact, spending quality time with them helps brighten your adult’s day, and he or she will eagerly look forward to your next visit.

But if you don’t know how to spend quality time with your loved one in the assisted living facility, you may find it awkward or uncomfortable to visit. This article provides information on fun things to do with seniors in assisted living facilities.

Listening To Music Together

Music is a universal thing that helps boost the mood, reduce stress, and keep your loved one engaged on your next visit to the facility. In fact, music is a great activity to share with your older adult.

Remember to take an MP3 player with the favorite songs of your loved one the next time you visit him or her at the facility. When you are together, play their favorite songs, and they will immediately love your kind gesture. 

You can even have an impromptu sing-along or listen to the music while reminiscing over memories from your younger days. If you don’t have an idea of what type of music your loved one enjoys, ask relatives to give you a selection of songs that they had heard when they were young.

Music is a great activity for a senior who is ill or cannot get off the bed. Soft music is the best for these people since it has a healing quality and will help heal the condition of your loved one sooner.

You can also invite musicians or choir groups for recitals. If not, gather your loved ones in the day room and watch concert DVDs or popular musicals.

Watch A TV Show Or A Movie On DVD

We prefer to watch TV shows or movies with our friends. Why not watch a TV show or movie together with your older adult the next time you visit the assisted living facility!

This is another great way to spend time together with your loved one without having to make boring or unnecessary conversations. Consider purchasing a DVD for your older adult if he or she already has a TV in their room.

If not, you can use your laptop or tablet device to watch movies with your loved one by subscribing to a service like Netflix, which is the best way to watch whatever movie your loved one prefers on-demand.

Your loved one might prefer to watch older movies or current ones. No matter what type of movie you choose to watch, ensure the time spent together is relaxing and try to enjoy each others’ company in the process.

Have A Meal Or Snack Together

People enjoy each others’ companionship while they eat. In fact, sharing a meal or a snack is another great way to spend some quality time with your loved one.

You may consider joining your loved one in his or her community dining room or taking them out to a restaurant for this purpose. If you think that mealtime isn’t the best time to visit your loved one at the assisted living facility, you can always opt to enjoy a snack together.

Choose a snack that your older adult loves, including cookies, crackers, or cheese. You can even add a mock cocktail to complete the event.

fun things to do with seniors bring your kids
The presence of young kids will lighten up your older adult.

Bring Your Kids With You

Young kids could have a positive impact on a senior adult living alone in an assisted living facility. Even the idle chatter of a young child helps an older adult to open up and become joyous.

A young child can help your older parent to have the kind of carefree fun that only children can truly embrace. Hence, the next time you plan to visit your loved one in an assisted living facility, you shouldn’t forget to accompany your young child with you.

It is one of the best things to reduce stress levels and lighten up your older adult.

Bring Your Furry Friend With You

Pets are another great source of comfort for a senior adult living in an assisted living facility. Most adults feel lonely living in an assisted living facility. But they may not show it to you, thinking that you might get upset.

Petting a dog or stroking a cat is considered to be a highly therapeutic activity, especially for older adults. That is why you need to take your furry friend with you the next time you plan to visit your older adult at the assisted living facility.

Your older adult will be overjoyed to spend time with your furry friend if he or she is truly an animal lover. The latest research reveals that spending time with pets helps lower blood pressure, stress levels, and heart rate in both young and older people.

In fact, spending time with your furry friends can lower their cholesterol levels, prevent depression, and protect against stroke in the long run. But some community living facilities may not allow pets for obvious reasons.

Hence, you should check with the facility before you decide to accompany your furry friends on your next visit to the assisted living facility.

Reminiscing Over Old Photos Of The Family

This is another great fun activity for people who want to spend some quality indoor time with their loved ones on their next visit to the assisted living facility. In fact, reminiscing over old photos or videos helps strengthen the existing bond with your older parent.

One never knows what memory or story his or her older parent might be inspired to share after looking at these old photos or videos. On the other hand, old photos are a great conversation starter for people who find it difficult to start a meaningful conversation with their older adults.

Also, you can get together with your loved one and start creating a family tree or family history with these photos, which might be a fun and meaningful thing after all.

Crafting

Crafting is another fun activity for people living in an assisted living community to do with your older parent on your next visit to the assisted living facility. It can be undertaken as a pastime individually or with visitors and friends at the facility.

Needlework promotes fine motor skills and includes cross-stitch, knitting, and crochet. On the other hand, if your older parent has trouble with fine motor control, painting or collages is a more abstract craft for such individuals.

Giving A Massage

Older parents often feel lonely in assisted living facilities. Your older adult will definitely benefit from the therapeutic effects of touch. A massage is a great way to lift the spirits of your loved one and make him or her joyous.

Some pampering might be a great way to spend an afternoon in an assisted living facility with your loved ones depending on your relationship with the adult. You may give the loved one a hand massage using scented oils or give her a manicure by bringing the right tools with you.

She will definitely enjoy some nail polish. If you opt for a body massage, use a very light touch since senior skin is fragile. Don’t forget to massage the neck, shoulders, back, and arms of your loved one using gentle movements.

fun things to do with seniors reading aloud
Read a chapter or two of your parents’ favorite book.

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is another great indoor fun activity to do with your older adult the next time you visit the assisted living facility. It is a great way to make conversation with your loved ones as well as show them how much you care.

If your older adult is not very active due to an advanced health condition or is bedbound, reading aloud is a great activity for him or her. Don’t forget to take his/her favorite book and read a chapter or two every time you visit your parent.

If not, you can opt for an audiobook that both of you can listen to together. 

Play Some Board Games

This is another low-energy fun activity to do with your senior parent the next time you visit him/her at the assisted living facility.

You can opt for any kind of board game for this purpose, including strategic games like Monopoly as well as luck-based ones like Mouse Trap and Candy Land. The most important thing is to opt for a board game that your older adult loves.

If your senior struggles with memory or cognitive problems, playing a complex board game isn’t the best idea. Just search online, and you may find dozens of board games for senior adults. 

Short Outings

Older adults in assisted living facilities are often fed up with staying indoors all the time. Going out is a great way to lift the moods of such adults.

One of the best ideas is to pick your loved one and take him/her anywhere they’d like to go if his/her health permits. They may love to visit a shopping mall, a favorite restaurant, a hair salon, or a religious service.

You could also consider taking your parent to visit nearby family members or friends. First, you need to discuss the idea with your loved one to see if he or she is interested. For example, some older adults may love to go out but may need help in choosing where to go. 

Taking A Cultural Day Trip

A day trip to a cultural or fun place can be a great thing to do with your loved one in an assisted living facility. You can either plan this activity as a one-on-one trip or a group trip.

You can take your loved one to a museum, zoo, art gallery, or spend a few hours in any other fun place. On the other hand, day trips are great if you have young children visiting their grandparents with you.

They will be an extra source of fun for your older parents. But you should refrain from accompanying little kids since they can be a distraction to your senior adult. 

Gardening

Gardening is another fun activity for your loved one, provided he/she is fit enough for the activity and the assisted living facility has a garden. Use garden tools with foam handles for easier gripping and grabbers to minimize stretching while engaged in gardening with your loved one. 

If you are looking for fun activities for your older adult living in an assisted living facility, the aforementioned article provides information on fun things to do with seniors in assisted living facilities.

Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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