As we get older, our social circles tend to become smaller. This leaves many seniors at risk of loneliness and social isolation, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. In fact, the number of suicides among Singaporeans aged 60 and above has been on the rise and hit an all-time high of 129 cases in 2017

As caregivers, we play a key role in supporting the well-being of our loved ones, both in the mind and body. One way is through activities. We have curated a list of 21 senior-friendly activities from 6 categoriesArts & Crafts, Culture, Nature, Music, Fitness, and Cause-related activities.

Together with your loved ones, participate in these activities that you can do both in and out of home to boost your health and happiness.

 

Arts & Crafts

It is common knowledge that art benefits both the creator and the viewer. In fact, studies have shown that Singaporean seniors who are engaged with the arts tend to enjoy a better quality of life and experience a greater sense of holistic wellbeing. Suitable for the young and old, getting creative together is great for intergenerational bonding too! Here’s how you can engage your loved ones with the Arts.

At Home

1. Get creative at home

Stock up on some colour pencils, paintbrushes, and colouring books from your nearest bookstore and have some therapeutic fun while colouring and painting! Add a hint of nostalgia with batik painting kits or DIY lanterns from e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10

2. Start an upcycling project

Get creative while saving the earth. Instead of disposing of plastic bottles and used jars, turn them into useful pieces in your home garden or festive decorations! Get inspired by organisations such as Terra SG

 

Out of Home

3. Sign up for an art workshop

Get hands-on with art. From canvas painting and calligraphy to pottery and knitting, there will definitely be one which appeals to your loved one. Our Care Experiences provides an opportunity for them to experience the benefits of art therapy alongside the care and company of our Care Pros. 

4. Attend art festivals

For those who appreciate art, take part in themed art festivals happening on our sunny island. With events such as the Silver Arts Festival organised by National Arts Council and A Date with Friends held at the Esplanade annually, immerse in music, dance and film from the past till present.

 

Culture

Did you know that reminiscence can improve cognitive function and behaviour? Take a trip down memory lane through interactions with places and objects. 

At Home

5. Play old school games

Go back in time as you and your loved ones engage in a nostalgic game of 5 stones, pick up sticks, as well as traditional games like the Chinese Chess and Congkak available here. For a local twist, check out games from Hua Hee and KYDZ. Many of these brain-stimulating games can also be found on popular gaming consoles.

SilverActivities has also created SilverPad, a senior-friendly tablet where the elderly can independently watch shows, play music, and stay engaged with their custom-built cognitive games. They also provide free digital games and printable activities for seniors. The best part is – all of these are available in our local languages! 

 

Out of Home

6. Stroll along Monument Trail

Learn and reminisce about Singapore’s heritage as you start the trail from the mouth of the Singapore River which is once the heart of Singapore’s commercial activity and entrepôt trade. Along the way, be greeted by iconic landmarks that tell the story of Singapore, before ending at the War Memorial Park. 

7. Visit Singapore’s museums

Did you know that Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) can get free entry to more than 8 museums in Singapore? Catch a glimpse of the past as you go museum-hopping with your loved ones! If you are busy with work, our Care Pros can stand in to accompany your loved one for the trip.

 

Nature

Besides being a mood-booster, exposure to green spaces has been proven to lower our risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Get closer to nature in our garden city with these activities.

At Home

8. Pick up gardening

Gardening can bring a host of health benefits by keeping us physically active, giving us a sense of purpose and improving our mental wellbeing. Encourage your loved one to pick up gardening at home, or better yet, turn it into a social activity and participate in community gardens in the neighbourhood. You can also have your very own farm-to-table by growing edible plants at home. 

 

Out of Home

9. Spend some time with nature

Need a whiff of fresh air? Venture out of home for a walk on these senior-friendly nature trails and take some time to appreciate the wonders of nature. Our Care Pros can help to ensure your loved one stay safe and well-cared for during the walks.

10. Participate in nature workshops

From floral arrangement to DIY terrariums, there is something for everyone. For a truly local experience, sign up for a nature workshop by homegrown Edible Garden City. Each session includes a walk around the barrier-free accessible farm in Queenstown, followed by light exercises, before ending with a thematic hands-on activity led by the horticulture therapy-trained educators.

 

Music

We are no stranger to the magic of music. Besides bringing joy, providing comfort and evoking memories from the past, it also improves physical, cognitive and emotional health.

At Home

11. Listen to the classics

Feel young again grooving to the classics! It may not be easy to find vinyl and cassette players anymore, but their modern descendants – radio and Spotify – work just as well. Create or hunt for a playlist and take a trip down memory lane with Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye or the Beatles. Old is gold! 

12. Guess the song

Spice things up with a memory game! Play a tune and try to recall the song’s title – fastest person wins. You can even have your own Music Bingo to play with your loved ones!

 

Out of Home

13. Sing-along

Turn up the music and sing your heart out to familiar tunes from the ‘60s! Gather your singing kakis for a karaoke session in your neighbourhood or at Alzheimer’s Disease Association’s Memories Cafe

14. Learn to play an instrument

Express yourself through rhythm, beats and melodies. Community centres now offer a variety of musical instrument courses for the aspiring musician. Select a musical instrument and attend a class today.

15. Join a Silent Disco

Throwback to the ‘70s and get grooving with Silent Disco! Have a blast and sweat it out while jamming out to songs from the past with your friends.

 

Fitness

It is widely known that staying active is beneficial to both our physical and mental health. Here are some fun ways to keep fit and make exercising more enjoyable and feel less like a chore.

At Home

16. Keep fit at home

Build up your strength, flexibility and endurance to prevent falls and improve your overall wellbeing. Doing simple stretches and bodyweight exercises for just 30 minutes a day, several times a week, can make a difference. If you would like a more comprehensive and personalised workout session, consider home physiotherapy.

 

Out of Home

17. Join an exercise group

Working out in a group can boost motivation and make exercising all the more fun! Whether you are looking to sweat it out or simply wish to engage in light exercises, there is something for everyone. Check out online communities and facilities such as Team Strong Silver and Gym Tonic.

18. Attend fitness classes

Build up your fitness with a certified trainer by signing up for regular workout classes. Make it a goal to try out as many forms of exercises as possible and find out what you like best! Do remember to inform the instructor of any past injuries. 

 

Cause-related Activities

If you are looking to stay physically, mentally and socially active in the community, why not do it for a good cause? Here are some activities you can participate in while contributing back to society.

Out of Home

19. Start volunteering

Give back to society by volunteering for a cause you believe in. Besides helping others, volunteering is beneficial to ourselves too by helping us stay connected with society and giving us a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Stay up to date on the volunteering opportunities available by joining RSVP or searching online

20. Walk for a cause

Support meaningful causes while staying active by participating in annual events such as Pink Ribbon Walk and Run For Hope. Suitable for all ages, join as a family for an intergenerational day of fun!

21. Befriend fellow seniors

If you are looking for an activity that can make a direct impact on people’s lives, consider being a befriender with Homage or the various community organisations here. Deliver care to seniors in a variety of settings while earning some extra allowance too.

 

With the multitude of senior-friendly activities available on our little red dot, there is bound to be something for everyone. Pick an activity from this list and engage your loved ones in meaningful activities today.

Be it in-home or out-of-home, our Care Pros can provide care support your loved ones. Reach out to our Care Advisors at 6100 0055 to find out more.
References
  1. 5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults. (2019). Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://thegreenfields.org/5-benefits-exercise-seniors-aging-adults/
  2. Cacioppo, J., & Cacioppo, S. (2013). Older adults reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function 4 years later. Evidence Based Nursing17(2), 59-60. doi: 10.1136/eb-2013-101379
  3. Cherry, K. (2019). How Does Art Therapy Work for Patients?. Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-art-therapy-2795755
  4. It’s official — spending time outside is good for you. (2018). Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180706102842.htm
  5. Mahmud, A. (2018). Number of elderly suicides at all-time high: SOS. Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/suicides-elderly-singapore-all-time-high-sos-10565002
  6. Music and health. (2011). Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/music-and-health
  7. Thompson Jr, D. (2019). Stay Active, Healthy, and Strong in 50s, 60s, 70s, and Beyond. Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/stay-fit.aspx
  8. Wong, C. (2017). Involvement in arts helps elderly enjoy a better quality of life: Study. Retrieved 22 December 2019, from https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/involvement-artshelps-elderly-enjoy-better-quality-life-study
  9. Yen, H., & Lin, L. (2018). A Systematic Review of Reminiscence Therapy for Older Adults in Taiwan. Journal Of Nursing Research26(2), 138-150. doi: 10.1097/jnr.0000000000000233