Some hospice patients are able to continue doing many of the things they love for quite some time. However, for many, that is not possible. Many factors related to life-limiting or terminal conditions can change what we’re able to do. But activity, as much as is possible, is healthy and recommended for most patients.
So what to do? With Spring and Summer on the way, many of us are moving outside more and more. Elder-one-stop.com has published hundreds of activities, crafts, and games for seniors. Their list of over 40 outdoor possibilities is great, but it’s a lot to sort through. So we’ve compiled our top 10 here.
Top 10 Outdoor Activities for Seniors
1. Metal Detecting
Lots of seniors have fun with metal detecting! With detectors available for as little as about $60, it’s a small investment for hours of fun. And it can be done almost anywhere. This is a great one to get kids involved in as well. They love to hunt for “treasures” and they’re often much better at bending over and digging (if you’re somewhere that’s allowed)!
2. Outdoor Flea Markets
Speaking of finding treasures, here’s a different approach! Whether you’re an antique expert, a bargain-hunter, or just like getting out, flea markets can be hours of fun! This is one that can be enjoyed from a wheelchair or on foot as well. And one of the best parts is that you can come home with something to remember your time by.
3. Outdoor Concert or Show
This one takes a little planning, but it’s worth it! Is your loved one a music lover? How about theater? Check for events in your area, and invite friends along! Make sure the venue has appropriate accommodations.
Everyone loves a picnic! Again, this is one you can get your whole family involved in. Bring some activities for kids and they provide free entertainment! Just make sure you have someone to supervise them while you attend to your loved one.
5. Boat Rides
Here’s another one that takes some planning, and it may be a day trip. But the water can be very therapeutic, so it can be an excellent way to spend a day!
Speaking of water! Many male patients say they miss activities like fishing. Is your loved one a fisherman at heart? Even if mobility is limited and they cannot fish on their own, they may really enjoy being the “expert” along on the trip! And everyone along will definitely learn something!
7. Straw Bale Gardening
This innovative type of gardening doesn’t require bending, digging, weeding, or chemicals! It’s almost like magic! It takes some time, but it’s a great way to get those green-thumbs going again! Check out how it works here!
Get some books from the library and study up before you head out. Or just go looking and go to the library afterward! You may be able to find a birdwatching group. That can make it an excellent social activity. Also, your library most likely has CDs for birdsong identification. This one is excellent for kids, too!
9. Miniature Golf or Putting
Speaking of activities the kids will want to join, mini golf is always a favorite. Even with limited mobility or strength, your loved one may really be able to do this well! And even if it’s just for fun and not competition, what a great way to just be together!
10. Yard Games
Ok, this makes it technically more than 10, but here are a few suggestions for games to be played just outside your door!
Cup and Ball (Make and Play!)
This game can be custom-made to fit the ability of the players. Basically, it’s a plastic cup with a string and a ping-pong ball. Attach one end of the string through a hole pierced through the ball. Then attach the other end of the string to the lip or bottom of the cup. The object is to get the ball in the cup. Set a time limit and see who can succeed the most times. The great thing is that by varying the length of the string, size of the cup, and whether the string is tied to the bottom or lip of the cup, you can vary the difficulty.
Lots of fun for the whole family!
This one may be easier if horseshoes are a little heavy.
A perennial favorite! Some cities have beautiful croquet courses. If not, you just need a flat grassy area and a croquet set!
Ladder Toss (Bolo)
A fun and unique target game. Fun and addictive! Try this one and you’ll play it over and over! You can purchase a set for about $25 or build one from PVC pipe.
So, on these beautiful days, make sure to take time to enjoy the sun and fresh air! These are just a few ideas to get you and your loved one out and about! Active patients are happier and stronger than those who stay put. And even if your loved one can’t do much, they may really enjoy just being outside with you.
If you or a loved one are facing a life-limiting illness, we at Seasons Hospice in Springfield, Missouri want to make sure you receive the best possible care. We are passionate about helping our patients remain comfortable, pain-free, and at peace. Please do not hesitate to call (417) 890-5533 and speak with one of our compassionate and professional staff. We will answer any questions you have regarding end-of-life-issues, hospice and palliative care.