How Seniors Can Stay Active While at Home

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When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Now that the novelty of free time at home has worn off, many are going a bit stir crazy. While it’s not good for anyone to be sedentary, it can be particularly harmful for seniors. Known as “the sitting disease”, spending too much time with little to no physical activity puts them at higher risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, Type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline. It can even put one at more risk of depression, which is already a concern during this challenging time. We’ve taken some ideas that we’re using in our senior living communities and paired them with resources that you can use to stay active and have a little fun while home.

For more information, check out our COVID-19 Survival Guide for Seniors (and those who love them):

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Go Virtual to Stay Active

Technology has been a tremendous asset in our senior living communities during this time. It’s one of the best ways to figuratively break down those walls you’re stuck inside of right now! It can take you just about anywhere and enable you to do so many things – some that maybe you have never even considered before! Ideas include:

Field TripsSan Diego Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, Yellowstone National Park, the Louvre in Paris, the Great Wall of China – even Mars!

Events – Enjoy live theatre performances through BroadwayHD, musicians performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Series or your favorite artists’ may even be hosting live shows on their social media accounts. You can also see live performances from the Philadelphia Orchestra or opera at some of the world’s most famous venues through OperaVision

Classes – Try learning something new with free Ivy League courses from Class Central. Milk Street Online Cooking School is offering free classes and artist Mo Willems is offering “lunch doodle” classes on Kennedy Center’s YouTube channel. Although not a class, you can also learn about business, science, tech and just about anything else with Ted Talks.

Fitness –  Okay, you actually have to do the work, but the YMCA is offering free, on-demand classes, as are Gold’s Gym and Orangetheory. Planet Fitness is live-streaming workouts each day.

Hobbies – Take up knitting with Third Piece’s interactive classes, get instructional quilting videos from the National Quilters Circle or even get in touch with your inner artist with free adult coloring pages through Crayola or the Colorfy app on your phone.

Enjoy Being Offline

Your grandkids may think differently but as we know, you can still have fun and stay active away from the screen too. We’ve been encouraging residents to play games and puzzles, have started ‘window visits’ among families and have hosted family parades which are a huge hit! Other offline activity ideas include:

Spending More Time with Pets – Take them for walks, teach them new tricks, play Tug-of-War and other favorite games or even catch up on grooming. They will love the extra attention!

Experiencing Nature at Home – Spend more time gardening (or take it up), read on the back patio, chat with neighbors from your porch, have lunch outside, sit by the window with your coffee or simply keep the windows open. 

Journaling About Your Experience – This could be the perfect time to put pen to paper with memories or adventures during your life. Also while challenging and scary, the COVID-19 pandemic is an historic event so it’s important to chronicle our individual experiences. It can be therapeutic as well!

For more information, contact a community near you to arrange a virtual tour!

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