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8 Healthy Activities to Do With Elderly Parents

 As our parents age, it is crucial to find ways to keep them active and engaged in activities that promote their overall health and well-being. 

Physical and mental activities enhance physical health, help prevent cognitive decline, and promote positive emotional well-being. 

The key is finding activities appropriate for seniors’ mobility and cognitive abilities while keeping them interested and engaged. 

In this article, we will explore some healthy activities you (and your children) can do with your elderly parents, including gardening, walking, and yoga. We will also discuss the benefits of each activity and how to adapt them to their abilities and interests. 

The great thing about these activities is that they should help you connect with your elderly parents, improve their quality of life, and create lasting memories together. 

So, let’s have a look at them.

8 Healthy Activities to Do With Elderly Parents

Why is it important for your parents to stay active? 

Before we do this, it is worth understanding why staying fit and active is essential for your parent’s overall health and well-being. 

As we age, our bodies undergo various physical changes, including a loss of muscle mass, decreased bone density, and reduced mobility. However, regular exercise and physical activity can help counteract these changes by promoting strength, balance, and flexibility. 

Physical activity can also improve cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can even help regulate blood sugar levels and therefore lessen the chances of developing type 2 diabetes too. 

In addition to physical benefits, staying active can positively impact mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Engaging in social activities and spending time with loved ones can also help combat feelings of loneliness and depression. 

Staying fit and active is essential for your parents to maintain their independence, improve their quality of life, and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Therefore, by incorporating physical and mental activities into their routine, they can enjoy a full and rewarding life well into their golden years. 

Activities to Do With Elderly Parents

How can I help my parents to stay active? 

Helping your parents stay fit and healthy is always a challenge. It is also particularly difficult if they live independently and not with you or in a residential aged care facility like Kew Gardens Aged Care, which often hosts regular activities.

That said, you can help your parents stay fit and active in several ways. Here are eight of the most popular. 

Walking or Hiking 

Walking or hiking is an excellent activity you can enjoy with your parents. 

As a low-impact exercise, it can significantly improve their cardiovascular and mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. A gentle walk in the park, on the beach, or a more challenging hike in the countryside are all terrific options depending on your parent’s fitness level and preferences. 

To make the most of your walk, choose a scenic route that will provide a stimulating environment for everyone. In this respect, the more notable landmarks the route can have, the better. 

How can I help my parents to stay active



Gardening is another excellent activity that your parents can enjoy with you. 

A relatively low-impact exercise, it is a wonderful way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. Additionally, performing this activity increases one’s strength, improves one’s flexibility, and reduces one’s stress levels. 

One way to make gardening easier and more accessible for your parents is for them to concentrate on a raised bed or container garden. Both can be easily accessed from a sitting position. 

You can also encourage your parents to grow vegetables or herbs for their cooking, making the activity even more rewarding.

Yoga or Tai Chi 

Yoga and tai chi are popular practices for many people and can easily be modified for seniors.  

These practices help improve flexibility, balance, and strength while promoting relaxation and mindfulness. Attending a yoga or tai chi class with your parents can also provide a social opportunity, which can be especially beneficial if your parents live alone. 

If your parents are uncomfortable attending a group class, you can try practicing yoga or tai chi together at home. Many YouTube videos and online resources provide guided classes for seniors, which can be easily followed from the comfort of your living room. 


Cooking is an activity that can be enjoyable and beneficial for both you and your parents. 

Preparing meals together can provide a lovely bonding opportunity while making delicious food. Additionally, cooking can be an excellent opportunity to teach your children new recipes or share family traditions. 

If your parents struggle with cooking, like mixing or kneading, it is worth investing in kitchen gadgets like a stand mixer or food processor. They will make it easier for them to do these activities. 

Painting or Drawing 

Painting or drawing is an excellent activity that can provide a creative outlet for anyone, especially seniors. 

It may also help improve their fine motor skills and can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity for them. Additionally, creating art provides a sense of accomplishment and an excellent opportunity to express oneself. 

You may want to attend an art class with them to provide social opportunities and access to art resources. Alternatively, if you choose to partake in this at home, you should try and vary things up for them by using a sketchbook, canvas, or large paper, paints, and pencils. 

Volunteer Work 

Volunteering is an excellent way for seniors to give back to their communities while staying active, engaged, and feeling like they are doing something meaningful. 

Many local hospitals, schools, and animal shelters welcome volunteer help, so there should be plenty of organizations in your suburb where you and your parents can assist them. 

To make volunteering more appealing for your parents, finding an opportunity that aligns with their interests and abilities is worth it. 

For example, if your parents love animals, they can volunteer at a local animal shelter. They can help at a library or literacy program if they enjoy reading

Swimming or Water Aerobics 

Swimming or water aerobics are very good low-impact exercises your parents can do. Not only are they easy on the joints and beneficial for cardiovascular health, but they can also be a great way for seniors to socialize with others and enjoy the outdoors. 

Most swimming pools offer water aerobics classes with specific classes aimed at seniors or mixed-aged classes that also provide social opportunities and encourage participation. 

Board Games or Card Games 

Board games or card games are excellent activities that provide both mental stimulation and social interaction. They are also a great way to spend time together and strengthen family bonds.  

You can play many games, with Scrabble and chess as examples, that give a cerebral workout. 

If you cannot play physical board games with your parents regularly, introduce them to online games like Words With Friends, Wordle, Connections NYT, and These are all internet-based games that they can play against other people—any time of the night or day—from around the world. 

Board Games or Card Games 



Finding healthy activities with elderly parents is beneficial for their physical and mental health and can also provide opportunities for family bonding and creating lasting memories. 

By encouraging them to partake in the above activities, you can help your parents maintain their health and well-being while strengthening your family bond. 

Therefore, even though you might have a busy life, it is always worth trying to find the time to explore these activities with your elderly parents and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle together.


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How You Can Keep Your Senior Loved One Staying Social — The Coffee Mom

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

[…] One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook. It is easy to set up and offers a variety of features that allow seniors to interact with others in their community. For example, Facebook allows seniors to create and join communities that interest them. It also offers suggestions based on their interests. You’ll even find that some seniors have a community online that they’ve built themselves, whether it be a blog, YouTube Channel, Facebook Group, Twitch, TikTok, or even a Forum. It’s honestly so amazing! Just be sure they’re not on their devices too often, as it’s not, particularly a healthy activity.  […]

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