One of the struggles of watching seniors age at home is seeing them spend their time alone. Loneliness among seniors can lead to depression, a decline in mental and physical health, and overall unhealthy behavior. Although their social calendar may dwindle, they don’t have to live in loneliness. Seniors who are introverted are more likely to spend their time alone, which means they may need extra help getting out of the house. There are many activities that are perfect for seniors who are introverted or lonely. These activities will help improve their health and allow them to feel more fulfilled each day.

Outdoor Activities

Many people grow up with a parent telling them, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, the same could be said about outdoor activities, like birdwatching. Although watching, photographing, and sketching birds is a fun hobby, there is a lot more to it than that. This simple activity, like other outdoor activities, can provide major health benefits to seniors and add to the quality of life of just about anyone. Just getting out in the sun provides the body with Vitamin D which helps alleviate anxiety and depression. For seniors who get anxious around people or who dislike being a part of a large group, bird watching is a perfect activity! It allows them to be alone while also providing them with time for learning and contemplation. Give them birdwatching binoculars and a field guide to help them on their way.

Artistic Activities

Arts and crafts for seniors provide a lot of mental health benefits. Artistic activities help with boredom and keep seniors’ minds busy, and they may even help prevent feelings of depression. Along with alleviating boredom, an art project can help with fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, creativity, and concentration. Art can also be a fun way for seniors to reminisce about fun memories and connect with their creative side. It can be intimidating for seniors to do art projects because they may feel they are not creative enough, but even creating a fun collage of old photographs will aid in mental and emotional health.

(Related Article: 3 Health Benefits of Art for Seniors)

Physical Activities

 According to AARP, 40% of people between 45 and 64 are considered sedentary. For people over 64, that number jumps to 60%. Getting outside and moving around can be one of the best ways to improve seniors’ mental and physical health. Physical activity slows down mental decline and helps promote cell growth and bone strength. Many people think that physical activities have to be gruesome and strenuous; however, this is not true, especially for seniors. Going for a walk 30 minutes a day or going for a swim is all it takes to boost your mental and physical health. Even bird watching can count as a physical activity!

Loneliness does not have to be a side effect of aging. There are many ways to help seniors interact with the world around them and bring purpose to their day.