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Outdoor Activities for Seniors

An elderly couple sitting outside on a bench

Spending some time outside is good for us, mentally and physically. But you may be caring for someone who avoids leaving the house or apartment. Maybe mobility issues make your family member fearful. Or perhaps depression has sapped the energy to care that it’s a beautiful day. Don’t let those obstacles stop you. Instead, try these ideas to tempt your unwilling loved one into experiencing the benefits of time spent outdoors.

Play a Game

Bring an indoor pursuit outside. Set up a table on a porch or stoop for puzzles, board games, or cards. Books are another easily portable choice. Your loved one can relax with a favorite novel, or it could be fun to take turns reading out loud.

Have a Picnic

Food can be a pleasant motivator. A nearby park can make your picnic even more festive, but a simple bag lunch in the backyard can be just as satisfying. Make sure to pack a special treat!

Go Fishing

Tossing a line in the water can be a wonderful way to unwind. Many piers and boats are wheelchair accessible, so do your homework first. Bonus: Most towns and cities offer free or discounted fishing licenses to folks over 65.

Try Birding

Bird watching doesn’t have to include hiking or exotic travel. Hang a bird feeder in the yard to give your loved one a reason to check on feathered friends.

Prospect for Gold

Metal detecting can be done nearly anywhere. You probably won’t strike it rich, but the possibility may be enough to get outdoors.

Watch the People Parade

People watching, whether from a park bench, at a mall, or sitting on a front stoop, can be very entertaining. Factor in the potential to see an old friend or neighbor or strike up conversation with a friendly stranger, and you have a recipe for success.