Keeping the elderly involved, active, and stimulated is essential for their happiness and health. Unfortunately, as we age, our interests tend to become narrower. This can be a result of both cognitive and physical decline. Thankfully, there are a number of fun activities for the elderly that can help them stay socially involved and remain mentally sharp.

There are many benefits to staying active as an older adult. Staying physically active can decrease your risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes. It also improves your balance, strength, and coordination. In addition to these physical benefits, activities like volunteering or learning a new skill will give you a sense of purpose while keeping your mind sharp.

We know that people over 65 will find these recreational activities for seniors helpful! So, here’s a list of therapeutic activities for the elderly that they can do alone or with friends, rain or shine! The best part is that all of them are either completely free or very affordable no matter where you live.

Fun Activities for the Elderly

Go to the Gym

Even if your knees aren’t what they used to be, you can still enjoy the benefits of exercise at any age. It’s best to start small and focus on strengthening exercises that don’t put a lot of strain on your joints, like yoga or tai chi. Indoor activities for seniors include tennis, tai chi, yoga, and dance classes. Outdoor activities for seniors can include swimming, walking, jogging, and outdoor yoga classes.

If you can’t afford a gym membership, consider joining your local senior center. Most senior centers have fitness classes that you can join with your peers. The teachers understand the modifications required by elderly people, and it’s a great chance to socialize! It’s also completely free!

As you get stronger, you can increase your activity to include lightweight training and aerobic activities like walking, jogging, or swimming. If you have any health issues or are taking medications that might be impacted by certain activities, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Remember to always warm up before you begin and stretch afterward to help prevent injury! Exercising regularly has many benefits. In addition to reducing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, it can also improve your mood and help you sleep better.

If you’re not used to exercising, start slowly and increase your activity level gradually as your body becomes stronger. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen when you’re outside!

Help out at a Local School

If you love children, consider volunteering at a local school. You can volunteer in a classroom, tutor children who need help with their studies, or even work in the school library. Schools always need people to help out with after-school programs, field trips, or special events.

You can donate supplies like books or sports equipment, or you may also be able to help with fundraising or special projects. You can also help out in the office, organize fundraisers, or help with special events. There are many ways you can make a difference in your community.

Contact your local senior center to see if they have any ongoing projects with nearby schools.

Join a Book Club or Writing Group

No matter the weather, a book can be your best friend, and reading groups are typically open to all ages! You can meet with a book club in person or as a virtual group via the internet.

A writing group is similar to a book club, but it focuses on creative writing. If you’re interested in a specific genre, like science fiction or mystery, there are clubs where you can discuss any books you have read. If you enjoy reading but don’t want to commit to a group, try adding a book to your reading list every couple of weeks.

You can also use reading as a way to learn about new topics. There are many excellent nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects. You can also read blogs online!

Reading and writing can both fight off symptoms of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Make new connections in your brain by learning something new or experiencing a new kind of story!

Take Art Classes

You can take classes in almost any type of art, from painting to pottery or music. You can also join a community arts program, where you can help others learn about art and join special craft activities for seniors.

If you enjoy crafts, there are many groups where you can meet others and create together. You don’t need to be an expert artist to enjoy art. You can draw or paint what you see around you. You can also make crafts and art to give as gifts. If you enjoy music, you can join a singing or musical group!

Fun activities for the elderly includes taking an art class

Remember, creativity has nothing to do with age. You have a unique perspective that you can share with the world!

Watch Movies with Friends

Many communities have free screenings of classic films in parks or community centers. You can also join an online film club or watch films with a friend! Watching movies can bring back memories, soothe anxiety by releasing dopamine, and generally decrease stress.

These benefits increase when you’re spending time with people you enjoy! So, invite your neighbors, family, or friends. Check-in with your senior center to see if they can help you plan a screening!


Volunteering is a great way to stay active while helping others. You can choose to help animals, children, or a group in need. You can volunteer at a local animal shelter to walk dogs or clean cages. You can also volunteer to read to children or visit people in the hospital.

If you’re not very mobile, you can still volunteer your time virtually! There are lots of opportunities to help right from your home.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is a cause that is meaningful to you. And remember that you don’t have to do something huge. Even small acts of kindness, like helping a neighbor with their gardening, can go a long way!

Fun Indoor Activities for the Elderly in West Arkansas

If you’re looking for fun and meaningful activities for the elderly in your area, contact the Area Agency on Aging of Western Arkansas. We’re happy to connect you with the resources you need to remain happy, healthy, and active.