As men reach the age of retirement, they often feel at a loss for what to do with their time. Most of their adult lives, they have been productive at jobs and involved with family responsibilities. As they age, they may be facing health problems or the loss of a loved one. The goal of providing activities for senior men is to bring as much normalcy into their lives as possible. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a disproportionate number of seniors suffer from depression. If seniors suspect depression, they should get an evaluation from a mental health professional before starting a new activity.
Physical fitness is important for senior men to help them maintain muscle tone, stamina, flexibility and balance. A physical evaluation will give a senior a starting point to determine the best activity. Incorporating some social activities will make the program more enjoyable for them and give them something to look forward to.
Golf, tennis and shuffleboard can be enjoyed by seniors at a variety of fitness levels, and these activities provide opportunities for socialization. Men who are in independent living situations may benefit from a weekly round of golf, tennis or a shuffleboard tournament with other men.
If the men are in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, you might have to bring the physical fitness opportunities to them. Some of the activities they might enjoy are bowling, Wii sports and table tennis.
Exercise classes can help men at all levels of physical ability. Those who live on their own can join a class at the local YMCA or community recreation center. Men in assisted living or nursing homes will also benefit from a daily workout. The key is to keep it interesting and relevant. Use music to help motivate the men, and when they appear bored or frustrated, be willing to move on to the next exercise. If they are in wheelchairs, get their arms moving by using weights, balls and stretch bands.
Mentally Stimulating Activities
Keeping the mind active is critical as men grow older. Using the brain will help memory and cognitive ability. According to the website Boomers with Elderly Parents, older people who keep their minds active live longer and stay healthier as they age than those who don't.
Some mentally stimulating activities men may enjoy include card games involving strategy, trivia games, board games and current events discussions. The key to getting men involved in an activity that exercises the brain is to offer choices for him to choose from. Instead of asking if he wants to participate in a card game, which will require a positive or negative answer, give him a choice between two activities, which doesn't give him a negative option.
Interacting with peers can give a senior man something to look forward to. If he has some buddies to hang around with, he'll feel more normal and less lonely. Men who live independently need to look for friends with common interests, whether on the golf course or in their church. Even a morning coffee gathering at the local diner can start the day off on a pleasant note.
Men who are in assisted living or nursing homes will be surrounded by others in similar condition. Health care professionals and activities directors should get to know their patients' interests and provide opportunities for the men to have active social lives. Social activities for men in facilities may cross over and provide physical fitness or brain activities as well.
A high percentage of elderly men have served in the military. They may enjoy having a discussion with an active duty military man who is willing to volunteer his time.
Find men who had similar occupations, such as businessmen, truck drivers, auto mechanics or farmers, and bring them together in groups. Actively seek volunteers currently in those occupations in the community to add a fresh perspective to the group.
Music provides social opportunities for seniors in assisted living. Learn what musical skills the residents have and encourage them to entertain others. The rest of the seniors can enjoy being in the audience and chatting with the musicians afterward.
Festivals offer a variety of social opportunities. Senior men who live independently may sponsor a festival for their favorite cause or charity. Those in facilities can participate by taking a shift in a booth then enjoying the festival's games and activities. Festival booths ideas include go-fishing, ring toss, bean bag toss, knock-down-the-pins and other games of skill.