The elderly can sometimes become depressed or sad if they go long periods without much physical activity. A lack of exercise and socialisation is not good for anyone, and these are only two of the many reasons why leisurely activity is a good idea for any capable senior.
Walking is an activity that can help seniors to maintain their flexibility and mobility but is not too strenuous on the muscles. Short distances are best, but if you choose a slightly longer distance, take periodic breaks. For stronger seniors, carry small hand weights to increase the exercise value of a walk. Walking through parks can be scenic and relaxing, and walking around town sidewalks can bring back memories, but it's best not to stray too far from home in case of an emergency or in case the senior gets tired or feels weak.
Playing Board Games
Playing board games can provide an elderly person with entertainment without forcing him to exert much energy. You can play most of these games sitting down, which will enable the elderly to interact with others and socialise. Games such as chess, draughts or Scrabble are ideal because they are easy to comprehend and low stress. Card games are also a low-stress, leisurely option.
Keeping the elderly stocked with favourite books can help them to remain calm and entertained if they like to read. A senior who is more interested in classic cars might appreciate a car magazine more than a good book, or someone interested in antiques might be more interested in the collection of rare, old books than in actually reading them. Another option is that of writing. Senior citizens often feel unneeded and go through bouts of depression because of these feelings, but you can often solve this by helping the person write out birthday cards to church members or letters to family, which can restore an her feelings of usefulness and purpose. Giving and getting a friendly letter or card is always a pleasant surprise.
Listening to Music or Watching Television
When the elderly experience strokes or other possibly debilitating medical issues related to age, they sometimes lose agility and may not be physically capable of taking walks or playing games. In this case, music is a great remedy to the boredom that can come from staying in one place or sitting still for long periods. Classical songs from the elderly person's youth may bring back good memories, or current songs may help the senior to connect with his younger family members and experience a new sound. Television can also be an entertaining way to pass the time, be it in the form of older movies that speak from a bygone era or feel-good movies on the cable television. Depressing movies should probably be avoided, however, as some senior citizens, depending on their medical conditions, may easily succumb to depression or sadness.