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Winter Fun for Elders

Don't Get Cabin Fever!
Don't Get Cabin Fever!

During winter the days get shorter and the nights get colder. Many seniors become homebound until the temperatures begin to rise in the spring. It is still important for seniors to get fresh air and exercise even in the winter weather, and to find indoor activities to occupy their time.

Whether the temperatures are too cold, or the roads are too slippery, there are plenty of fun indoor winter activities for seniors. Here is a short list to get you started:

  • Indoor hobby- You can pull out some knitting needles or crochet hooks to create some fun items and gifts for your friends and family.
  • Join a book club- If you can get out on a nicer day, you may want to look into joining a local book club. It is a fun way to pass a cold afternoon sitting around enjoying a good book with friends.
  • Head to the mall- A mall provides a great space for exercise and you can invite a friend to go walking with you; and shopping is always fun!
  • Invite other seniors- You can have a game or music get together. Ask your guests to bring a game or musical instrument that they play. Then you are all set to enjoy a fun afternoon or evening of conversation, friendly competition and entertainment.
  • Start a large jigsaw puzzle- Get a puzzle and work on putting it together
  • Learn a new skill- You can work on learning a new skill such as how to use a computer or how to create a social media profile. Just be sure to check with the grandkids first, before you become their “friend” or “follower.”
  • Teach others a skill- You can teach others the crafts and skills that you are good at. It will pass the time and give you a way to help others.
  • Exercise- You can find exercise programs on TV or purchase exercise DVD’s that allow you to stretch, lift weights and do aerobics so you can stay in shape until the warm spring weather arrives. You can also find dance classes and events for seniors in your area.

When You Do Go Outside

When the sun is shining, it can be tempting to go outside even if it is cold. Here are some tips to let you enjoy the outdoors in cold weather and still remain safe.

  1. Dress in layers to keep warm.
  2. Let someone know you will be outside. It can be a quick phone call to your family, friends or a neighbor. Make sure to let them know how long you will be outside and call them when you return so they know you are safe.
  3. Do not go too far from home or stay outside for more than a few minutes at a time.
  4. Ask your caregiver, if you have one, to join you for a winter walk.
  5. Wear boots with skid-proof soles.
  6. Wear a hat and gloves to keep you warm and do not wait until you are cold to go back inside.

Spending a short time outdoors in the winter is beneficial for active seniors as long as they are careful and think about their safety. Think about things that interest you and be creative so you can enjoy the winter, even if the snow doesn’t seem to want to stop!

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