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From the Neighborhood Press

Wintertime Fun for Seniors

The magic of the winter season can be just as cumbersome as it is beautiful. The colder temperatures call for steaming cups of hot chocolate while snuggled up under a blanket in the warmth. If you have a senior who lives in an assisted living home here in Oklahoma City, you may be thinking about ways you can help brighten up their days. Here are some ideas to get you started next time you stop by for a visit.

Engaging activities. Bring some fun and laughter to cheer Grandma up this month with some games or other fun activities! Find a comfortable setting and some tasty snacks as you pull out a card game, puzzle or board game. Your senior may have their own collection of games or activities they enjoy, or you may decide to introduce a new one. Make sure to keep the activity simple and fun. You may consider talking to your senior’s caregivers ahead of the time to make sure your plans are enjoyable and just the right level of challenge for your loved one. Those with Alzheimer’s or dementia participating in a Memory Care program may require special considerations. Spending time together at your senior’s assisted living or nursing home can help build a friendship with an elderly person and help keep them inspired during the long winter months. You might help start them on a colorful puzzle and encourage them to work at after you leave. Stay connected and check back on progress made to keep the motivation up!

A Movie

Everyone enjoys sitting back and watching a story unfold with friends or family. Ask your senior if they have a favorite movie and create your own little theater in their living room complete with popcorn and drinks! Make sure your loved one has a comfy seat and can easily reach the snacks. Some movies may be a little long so try to choose one that won’t tire your senior out too much. You might consider watching half of it at your next visit. It may be interesting for seniors to discuss the movie, past memories and how things used to be back in the day. Be ready to pause the movie at any time so you can share these memories together!

Outings. Assisted living communities such as Sommerset Neighborhood can offer everything to provide residents with comfort and activities. But for your senior, going somewhere different with family members or friends can be exciting and special. There are quite a few places you can stay indoors and keep your senior warm. A short walk outside may be possible as well. Just make sure they have a warm coat along with them and a warm drink ready to go when you come back inside! Still, for most seniors, indoor activities will offer more comfort. Try a coffee shop and encourage them to order something they would really enjoy off the menu. If they aren’t into coffee, hot chocolate or tea are good options. Indoor malls can be great places to remain indoors while window shopping. This can work well for those who are wheelchair bound if a family member is available to assist them. A spa day with pedicures is another way to keep Grandma indoors and make her day special!

Chat over tea. For seniors, it can be important to have someone who just sits and listens as they tell stories or talk about their past life.  Just being together, sharing a warm drink and letting them remember and share their wisdom with you can mean the world to them. Plan a little time. In these days when everything is instant and there is so much rush, it can be very beneficial to slow down and soak in the moments that really count. You can learn so much and give so much at the same time just by being willing to listen.

Wintertime can be spiced up with some simple activities even long after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over. Help them pull out their Christmas gifts and make use of them. And keep in touch throughout the year. You can help them live life to the fullest even in the middle of the coldest Oklahoma months!

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