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Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on January 18th, 2022

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New Year Challenge for Seniors: Resolve to Have More Fun

assisted living  |  Senior Living Communities CT  |  senior health  |  senior health tips  |  Independent Senior Living  |  healthy living  |  independent living in ct

It’s a new year, and many of us have begun to bring our resolutions to life. From new exercise routines and healthier eating habits to relationship-building efforts and work-life balance, there are fresh goals popping up everywhere. It’s a common time to rethink the areas of our lives where progress can be made and our realities can improve. Arguably, seniors are no exception to this phenomena, though we’re proposing a potentially unexpected aim for this particular group.

This year, we’re challenging seniors to kick up their intake of fun and enjoyment. It’s a resolution that has the power to bring immense physical and mental health benefits, and one we think every senior could put into motion in one way or another. To get things started on the right foot, here are some valuable ideas for helping seniors resolve to have more fun this year. 


Prioritize “Play Time”


As people age, play seems to become less of a focus in their everyday lives. Ongoing, overwhelming concerns like work and responsibility begin to take over, so play often gets put on the backburner indefinitely. And that’s a shame—because even with age, play remains as valuable and important as ever


Especially in the senior stage of life, learning to reprioritize play can bring about major advantages in the department of health and wellbeing by:


  • Lighting up the brain with its application of cognitive functions through essential brain activities and helping seniors support mental agility as well as minimize the risks of memory decline. 


  • Improving areas of the body, such as heart and lung function, energy level, endorphin production (for reducing stress), blood pressure and flow, pain management, and immune response. 


  • Nurturing communications and interactions to produce a climate for easy connection and deepening, more rewarding relationships.


As we begin a new year, seniors should consider how much play currently exists in their lives, and how they can make more time for this vital focus. 


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Revisit Personal Pastimes & Explore New Interests


If you’ve been out of touch with fun for too long and don’t know where to start, go back to the basics. What are some activities that used to bring you joy? What interests have you thought about before but quickly brushed off because you were too busy or otherwise engaged? Following are some examples to get the fun-finding juices flowing:


  • If you’re a musician who hasn’t played in a while, think about taking it up again. Or leverage the power of music by learning to play a new instrument.


  • Whether you’re attracted to traditional sports or more unique ones—like table tennis, bowling, and shuffleboard—think about how you might get into active sports games.


  • If you fancy yourself a fan of formal dance or simply enjoy bopping to some tunes at home, dance is an ideal outlet for fun.


  • Enjoy the performing arts? Check out opportunities at your community theater, where there’s typically a variety of roles on and off the stage—from lead characters and ensemble parts to backstage and front-of-house activities. 


Join the Kid Crowd


Children are always on the lookout for fun, so if you’re seeking opportunities of the playful kind, you can’t go wrong by being in the company of kids. If you have grandchildren, find ways to spend more time with them and partake in their particular brand of fun. Or volunteer at an organization that works with youth, where there are endless ways to connect with younger generations who appreciate the importance of fun. 


Whatever the case, use the new year as a good excuse to tap into the power of younger generations for igniting that sense of adventure, creativity, and uninhibited fun. Studies even show that spending time with kids has cognitive benefits, as well as emotional and physical health. It can provide older adults with a sense of purpose—an important factor in mitigating or minimizing depression—and increase one’s sense of life satisfaction.


Identify the Ideal Environment for Play


Yes, some environments are simply more conducive to fun. Think about it: If you’re living alone, don’t have close proximity to neighbors and community, and have lost touch with the connections you once held dear, it’s going to be quite a challenge to find fitting opportunities for fun. The more “work” a senior has to do to make fun happen, the less likely they are to do so. And that means missing out on all the perks of playtime.


Maybe it’s time for a change of pace; perhaps now is the perfect chance to check out a senior living community. There are plenty of planned activities and opportunities for socialization, and each interactive event builds on relationships and deepens friendships. Many senior living communities publish a monthly or weekly activities calendar that lists the different programs and events that are being offered on particular days, including anything from exercise classes and discussion groups to weekly shopping trips, movies, volunteer opportunities, and more. Plus, they usually make transportation more accessible, which is a major advantage when driving becomes an issue. 


Let go of the assumptions many people make about the transition to this type of setting, and find out what the experience is really like. Senior living communities often provide the optimal environment of support and connection that makes having fun more tangible for seniors. 


To find out how United Methodist Homes provides a wealth of offerings and opportunities to support the health and wellbeing of our residents, contact us today or schedule a complimentary visit now. For additional tips on senior health and lifestyle issues, check out our blog.


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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.