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During the cold winter months, people naturally spend more time indoors and staying active can be challenging. However, it is important to stay active, both physically and mentally. The Mayo Clinic recommends seniors should aim for 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Here are some ways that caregivers can help seniors stay active and mentally sharp, while enjoying the comfort and warmth of their own home.

Physical Exercise

  • Get an exercise DVD specialized for seniors.

  • For a free option- search YouTube or other sites for online exercise classes.

  • No need to buy expensive weights- use cans of food or even water bottles as weights.

  • Caregivers can act as a fitness partner to serve as encouragement.

  • If the weather is fit, take walks around the neighborhood or local park.

  • Join a senior exercise program at your local gym.

  • Join a mall walking group, or take laps in a large store.

Play Games and Puzzles

  • Board games and puzzles can help seniors stay motivated, stimulate their minds, and keep their hands nimble.

  • Puzzles come in a variety of interests, sizes, and price points, so there is something for everyone.

  • Try crossword puzzles, word searches, and sudoku to stimulate the mind.

Get Crafty

  • Work on knitting, crocheting, and sewing projects either for family members or charity.

  • Try painting or adult coloring books.

  • Register for online painting or drawing classes.

  • Caregivers can accompany seniors to a craft supply store where they can get ideas and shop for materials for a craft or project.

  • Try a new recipe together with a caregiver.


  • Caregivers can take seniors to their local library to pick out some new books.

  • Join a book club- there are online book clubs for seniors if meeting in a group isn't an option.

  • Listen to audiobooks.

  • Have a family member or caregiver read a book out loud.

Caregivers play a big role in helping seniors stay active during the winter months of social isolation. A caregiver may be the only person they see on some days, so they have a wonderful opportunity to be a bright spot in their day and encourage them to engage in some of these activities. They can help set up a consistent schedule with some of these planned activities.

There are many ways to keep busy and active, even during the cold winter month. Take some of these ideas or come up with something on your own. Remember to count each day as a blessing and to find joy in the simple things!


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