For those living in an area with four distinct seasons, December, January, and February can end up very cold and snowy. As a result, senior citizens may avoid planning activities during this time of year to avoid slick sidewalks or snowy parking lots.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Outdoor, Wintry January Activities for Seniors
- Social January Activities for Seniors
- Social-Distance Friendly January Activities for Seniors
Are you looking for something to do in the winter for yourself or a senior loved one? We’ll give you a few ideas on how to get a breath of fresh air, interact with others, and entertain yourself while social distancing.
Outdoor, Wintry January Activities for Seniors
You should find it easy to find outdoor activities in January if you live in Florida, but learn more about our ideas if you don't live in a state with almost constant sunshine.
Looking for a gift idea for your favorite senior citizen? Bundle up with warm hats, gloves, scarves, and high-tech outdoor gear, even just for a breath of fresh air. Going outside (even for a few minutes) may break up the monotony of your day and energize you. Check out some other options below.
1. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Check with a local animal shelter to see what kind of volunteer opportunities they have for seniors. You may find that they need families to foster pets as they await adoption or walk dogs around the grounds. They may also have a project that you can complete from the comfort of your own home.
This volunteer opportunity will not only get your favorite senior out of the house, but it would benefit the dogs and cats as well.
2. Keep feeders stocked
Purchase various bird or squirrel feeders to encourage seniors to get outside for a breath of fresh air. Seniors can wait until the warmest time of the day to fill up the feeders and enjoy watching the beautiful birds.
3. Take cleansing breaths
Your homebound senior can still step outside several times a day for a breath of fresh air. Encourage your loved one to bundle up before going out for a few deep, cleansing breaths.
4. Gather outdoor greenery for crafts
Those who happen to live in an area with evergreen plants can spend a few moments outdoors collecting items to create an arrangement. Not only will your loved one get outside for some fresh air, your loved one's home interior will have a fragrant, beautiful centerpiece.
Social January Activities for Seniors
Some people struggle when they retire because they don’t have any interests or retirement hobbies. However, just because your loved one retires doesn’t mean that she needs to start birdwatching or creating macrame plant hangers. Your loved one may enjoy spending time with friends, neighbors, and family members. Learn about some social activities that seniors can do during the coldest months.
5. Organize a weekly card game
Whether you like pinochle, spades, or pitch, you can find others ready for a few hands of cards. Card playing can pass the time, especially if you find someone with a similar level of skill and a competitive spirit.
Once the weather warms, you can take your card playing out to the deck or veranda on quiet days.
6. Join a book club or Bible study
Some seniors keep their minds active and their social calendars full by joining a book club or Bible study. Seniors can do this through Zoom if the weather does not cooperate. Open yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking by reading various genres.
7. Sign up for an exercise class
If you dread exercise but enjoy being around other people, you might consider signing up for an exercise class. The class may not seem so painful if you spend time with others whose company you enjoy.
You can choose from plenty of senior-friendly movement classes. You might even enjoy signing up for dance lessons!
8. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
Active, healthy, good drivers should consider volunteering for Meals on Wheels. This organization prepares and delivers warm, nutritious meals to shut-ins and the elderly.
Not only will you brighten the day of others by getting involved in this wonderful organization, but it may change your life as well.
9. Become a museum docent
Share your knowledge with others by volunteering at a local museum that interests you. You may have to pass a test to receive the honor of volunteering, but you would be able to meet new people and have unique experiences.
10. Learn how to use Zoom
"Using Zoom” isn’t a social activity on its own, but it does offer one way for seniors to stay connected with friends and family members during the harshest winter months. You can exercise, play games, discuss books, or simply connect with your grandkids with this technology.
Consider purchasing a tablet of some sort and have someone walk you through the steps to connect. Family members of seniors can show your loved one how to use Zoom and leave written instructions to refer to later.
Social-Distance Friendly January Activities for Seniors
Social distancing had a major effect on seniors in 2020. However, seniors may need to stay home for various reasons in the future. If the weather or flu keeps you or a senior loved one isolated from others during the winter months, check out some other enjoyable solitary activities.
11. Complete a legacy project
Spending time in isolation offers the perfect time for completing a legacy project. Pull out those boxes of photos and identify the people and places in each picture. Organize the images so that your family can enjoy them.
You may also use this time to create an online family tree. Even those who only have a few names and dates may connect some major dots using an ancestry website. While working on this project, you may be able to connect with a long-lost second cousin with a passion for connecting all the dots in a family tree.
You may also consider writing your life story. Start with what you remember about your grandparents and parents, and continue by including some of the details of your life. Include your memories of historical events and reflections of how daily life has changed through the decades.
Some people feel strange embarking on such a project because they may not want to disclose part of their lives or worry about their writing skills. Before you talk yourself out of completing such a project, think about how much you would love to have more information about your great-great-grandparents. Your progeny will appreciate any information that you can provide.
12. Take an online class
Many universities offer free online classes for seniors. If you don’t care whether you earn college credit, go for the learning experience. Take a history class or learn about Victorian novels. You may also want to improve your tech skills by taking a class on this subject as well.
13. Create an end-of-life plan
At some point, you'll need to plan your funeral. Give your children and grandchildren a wonderful gift by planning your own funeral in advance. You don't want to leave it all up to them to complete as they grieve your loss, do you?
Call your preferred local funeral home to make arrangements. You might complete this through Zoom. Utilize all the resources that CAKE has to offer so your loved ones will know where to retrieve your preferred list of funeral songs and the color of flowers you want to adorn your casket.
Open Yourself to New Ideas
Do you feel like your life was a blur of activity? You spent decades raising children, caring for aging parents, working, and taking care of a home. Now that you have some free time, how will you spend it, even in the dead of winter?
Studies have shown that people tend to age better if they have a purpose to get up each morning. What activities will you plan for your golden years that will keep you going each day?
You may want to open yourself to consider new January activities for seniors to pass the time.