But, if you’re looking for some easy ways you can support senior citizens’ social wellness on your own, try these five fun social wellness games for the elderly. Whether you’re a senior care worker, an activity director looking for some new ideas, or are caring for an older loved one, prioritizing their social wellness will keep them happier and healthier for much longer.
Social Wellness Activities for the Elderly
1. Virtual Trivia
Trivia is a great opportunity for seniors’ to work their mental muscles and enjoy the company of their friends. Virtual trivia allows for healthy, safe socialization where the players can socialize from anywhere!
Trivia is a fun opportunity for social health because you can meet new people, discuss the new information you’re learning, and build camaraderie by playing with new teams every week. Plus, it has elements of telewellness, by boosting memory and recall too!
You can also find organizations that are already playing virtual trivia, and help seniors get connected. Facebook has several virtual trivia groups, and other companies such as Sporcle or Trivia Hub Live offer lots of virtual trivia options. (P.S. So does Televeda of course, and we designed our games specifically for seniors. Try out some classes for free here).
However, note that your catering to seniors, and a traditional trivia night may not be the easiest for them to follow along with. For an older population, smaller, intimate groups usually work best. It’s less overwhelming, and easier for seniors to interact with all players, which is one of the main points of a social wellness game! Plus, seniors may need extra audio and visual aids, which may not be provided with pre-made virtual trivia events.
2. Charades: Hallway Edition
Charades is an interactive, no-touch activity that is a perfect social wellness activity for seniors.
If you’re at a senior center, bring residents to their doorways to participate, and put your “actor” in the center of the hallway to get started! For higher engagement, get ideas from each on what to act out, but make sure you’re the only one handling the cards or written charade ideas.
Players must interact with each other to be successful at this game: you can’t play charades alone!
3. Balloon Games
All sorts of balloon games are fun, distant, and cheap to make! For “Balloon Volley,” blow up balloons and gather cardboard tubes, like from a paper towel roll. Or, purchase fly swatters (around a dollar each) for each of your players. The longer the better, to give your seniors some reach!
Keep all your seniors at a socially safe distance, and release the balloons! Your seniors will have to work together to see how long they can keep the balloon, or balloons, in the air. Keep count of the hits, or bring a timer, and see what some teamwork can do.
Two activities here! At Televeda, virtual bingo was one of the most requested, and now most attended classes. We love giving out prizes and shoutouts to our players, and they love playing!
To keep seniors safe, make sure to follow all social distancing policies. Hallway bingo and virtual bingo both do this successfully. If you work within a senior community, set up a different bingo for each hallway. Pass out newly printed cards, and start calling out numbers!
If you’re working with seniors in different locations, virtual bingo is the best answer. Like virtual trivia, you’ll have to make sure your digitized bingo is accessible for all the players, and created specifically with seniors in mind. Make sure they can print bingo cards from within their own home or community before playing, as well as have a way to mark their sheets.
Time for some socialized education! Finding online classes for seniors is an effort that’s worth making. Live stream these classes to your residents rooms (find out how to do that here), or if you’re working with an individual senior, set up a live stream on their personal device.
Choosing content can be tricky, which is why we've curated experts from around the world to teach our communities. If you want to see some of our offerings, head to our classes page here. You can also live stream museum tours or tourist attractions, and then make sure the seniors have time to meet and discuss what they’ve learned.
Social Wellness is Vital to the Health of Senior Citizens
Understanding the benefits of promoting one’s social health is important for not only the older population, but for the world as a whole. Loneliness and isolation impacts all of us, and the only way to combat it is by working together: literally!