By: Presbyterian Senior Living on December 15th, 2022
10 Activities for You and Your Caregiver To Do Together This Winter
As winter makes its return, seniors and caregivers often find themselves spending more time indoors. That’s especially true once the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over. It’s a situation that can cause cabin fever for both the senior and their family caregiver. Research shows that as much as 15% of people find the winter months to be a difficult time to stay positive.
For some, it can lead to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition is linked to a change in seasons or a lack of exposure to sunlight. If you are a senior or a family caregiver hoping to prevent cabin fever, we have some ideas for meaningful ways to enjoy time together this winter.
Here are a few suggestions for you and your caregiver to consider:
Holiday-Related Activities for Older Adults and Family Caregiver
- Holiday shopping: Instead of doing all of your gift shopping online, make a point of going to a few stores in person this year. The two of you might enjoy shopping at smaller, more specialized stores. You’ll likely find more unique gifts when you do. Art galleries, garden centers, pottery shops, and bookstores could be fun to explore.
- Decorating for the season: One way to brighten the holidays is with festive decorations. You can deck the halls together in a variety of ways indoors and out. Fresh greens on the banister, poinsettias on the hearth, and mixed-greens garland around the front door are easy-to-do and can make a big impact.
- Enjoy a light tour: From zoos and botanical gardens to historic neighborhoods, holiday light displays are a great way to spend an evening. For older adults with mobility challenges, many even have driving tours that would be easier.
- Seasonal baking: Another activity you might want to try this winter is baking. From fudge, cheesecake, and cookies to pies and tiered cakes, these holiday recipes may provide you with a few ideas. If you both enjoy yourselves, you could consider taking cooking classes after the new year.
Winter Activities to Keep Away the Blues
- Indoor fitness activities: Winter weather can lead people of all ages to isolate indoors. For some, it might result in too sedentary of a lifestyle. To avoid the dangers associated with spending too much time sitting, make a commitment to engage in physical activities three or four times each week. Chair yoga, Tai Chi, resistance bands, balance exercises, and a recumbent bike are a few to try.
- Schedule craft days: The mental health benefits of arts and crafts are well-documented. They range from improved self-esteem to lower anxiety. So, in addition to being a fun way to pass winter afternoons, you’ll reap a variety of health benefits. If you don’t have any experience with artistic endeavors, you can purchase craft kits at a hobby store. Or you can also use sites like Pinterest to explore projects.
- Start an intergenerational book club: If you and your loved one are looking for indoor winter activities, friends and other family members might be, too. Organizing your own book club might be a way to bring several generations together. Your local bookstore will likely have a list of titles that are good for book clubs to tackle.
- Plant an indoor garden: While most people associate gardening with summer, there are ways to plant and nurture a garden indoors as well. Herbs, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and dwarf citrus all make good indoor crops. This article will give you some pointers for getting started.
- Spend time outdoors: Connecting with nature is another way to enjoy the winter. Create a list of outdoor activities you can engage in together. On moderate weather days, you can pick one to do. It might be a walk through the woods at a local park, setting up and filling bird feeders, or taking nature photos.
- Take up a new hobby together: You could also use the winter as a time to start a new hobby that you are both interested in pursuing. You can find free videos on YouTube to learn hobbies, such as watercolor painting, drawing, or screenplay writing. You might also find sites like Skillshare to be useful.
Subscribe to Receive Updates from the Learning Center
To be one of the first to receive the latest additions to our Learning Center, we encourage you to sign up for a free subscription. By completing the Subscribe box at the bottom of this page, you’ll receive an email once or twice a month with links to our newest resources.
About Presbyterian Senior Living
Presbyterian Senior Living is a not-for-profit organization, fulfilling its charitable purpose and mission by providing high quality retirement choices, healthcare services and affordable residential living options for people 55 and older for more than 85 years. Headquartered in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Senior Living provides services to approximately 6,000 seniors in 30 locations in the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.