Visits from family and friends are precious moments for seniors in assisted living communities. Not only do these gatherings provide an opportunity for meaningful interactions, laughter and creating lasting memories but also serve as a healthy way to keep our minds sharp and stimulated in our senior years. To make the most of these valuable times together, curate a plan of engaging activities ahead of time that you and your loved ones will find the most enjoyment in.In this blog, we explore a variety of ideas for all mobility levels that can help keep seniors engaged and enhance the quality of their visits with the ones they love most. 

Arts and Crafts

Painting, drawing or crafting are creative activities that offer an outlet for self-expression, encourage our fine motor skills and can result in beautiful works of art that make for cherished keepsakes. This is also a great time to gather the grandkids and engage in a fun competition to see who can make the most realistic representation of a classic artwork or available muse. In addition to being educational, it’s also a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives!

Storytelling & Reminiscence Therapy

 Reminiscence therapy is known in countless studies to benefit seniors, including lowering blood pressure and reducing negative emotions. When family visits, feel encouraged to share your life stories, experiences and wise anecdotes that they will think of during their own life journey. This not only preserves your personal history but also strengthens the bond between generations. Bringing out a memory box filled with items from the past such as old photographs, letters or family heirlooms is also a great way for loved ones to be more interactive in learning about your fondest memories.

Puzzles and Games 

Who doesn’t like to laugh out loud and get competitive during a fiery match of Uno, Yahtzee or Bingo? Board games, jigsaw puzzles and card games are great for both cognitive stimulation and entertainment with family and friends. When you find a community that knows how to put recreation in retirement, coming up with fun games, outing ideas and activities is easy to plan and execute. Don’t settle for a mediocre place to live when you can have a tight-knit community that knows how to make life fun!    


In your senior living community of choice, plan to spend as much time outdoors as possible, which renews the mind and refreshes the spirit. With family, friends or neighbors, you can sign up for gardening related activities, bring some potted plants or tools and spend time cultivating the landscape into something beautiful. Working the land is not only therapeutic but also a great way to connect with nature. 

Nature Walks or Virtual Tours 

In contrast to gardening, nature walks give us a more relaxing option to spend time outdoors. Top assisted living communities will offer opportunities for every senior, regardless of physical abilities, to enjoy the great outdoors. This may even include virtual tours of local museums, gardens or picturesque views from around the world to be enjoyed from the comfort of home. Wherever you are able to spend time exploring with loved ones, it’s important that your community offers that in any way possible.  

Cooking & Baking 

Food is one of the great binders between generations and dearest friends. Have some incredible recipes you want to pass down? Many senior living communities offer the chance to enjoy cooking classes or even opportunities to use the community kitchen to enjoy food with family and friends. So feel free to whip up that batch of cookies or bake a scrumptious cake, and evoke wonderful memories in the process!

Movie Nights & Book Clubs

Regardless of how you and your family consume entertainment, there should be something for everyone to enjoy. From themed movie nights with plenty of popcorn to thought-provoking book club sessions full of witty anecdotes, there are many ways to bond with cherished ones, stimulate interesting conversations and keep our minds at their sharpest. All that’s left is to book some time on the calendar!

Visits from family and friends are a source of joy for seniors, and planning and engaging in fun activities together can make these moments even more meaningful. When you find the right independent or assisted living community that puts the health and happiness of residents first, it greatly enriches the quality of their lives and those of their loved ones, who can rest assured they are receiving the individualized, high quality care they deserve. At The Arbor Company, we believe our vast locations across the country offer exactly that–a place to call home and live our best years to the fullest. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s plan some exciting family visits with some of these enjoyable activities, and watch as the smiles on your loved one’s faces light up the room.

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