Monthly Archives: November 2020

fun exercise games for elderly

Sit down games for senior citizens

Games. We all love them- they’re tons of fun, engaging, and stress-relieving.

Now, for the seniors in our hands, games have loads of extra benefits- they’re isolation and loneliness killers, memory boosters, brain sharpeners…….you name it.

The best part? There is a great deal of games your loved one can play while sitting if they’re unable to engage in physical outdoor games such as minigolf, bocceball, or croquet due to physical limitations.

To help you choose a fun and creative game your elderly mommy or daddy can enjoy from the comfort of their sofa, check out the exciting sit down games for senior citizens below.

Sit down games for senior citizens

Sit down games for senior citizens

Here are some entertaining and imaginative sit down games for senior citizens your loved one can play comfortably:

#1- Cup stacking game

A really simple but absorbing game, your dear one will stack paper cups into pyramids on a flat, smooth surface.

If playing with them, each of you starts with three piles (each having three cups).

The goal for is for both of you is to separate your cups then stack them to build a pyramid and finally unstuck them, returning the cups to the original pile as fast as possible.

To make it more interesting, you can challenge him/her to make new stacking patterns while timing them.

Potential benefits: This game helps improve a senior’s hand-eye coordination. In addition, your parent is likely to start making swifter reflexes.

#2- Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a smart way to keep your beloved senior occupied and entertained for hours.

And the good news is that there are specially designed full size/large print crossword puzzles that are easy to read for seniors with age-related vision problems.

You can also surprise them with a gift of large print puzzle books such as this for a daily dose of easy puzzles.

Potential benefits: Apart from keeping your parent’s minds active and sharp, studies have shown that such brain exercises preserve and even improves cognitive abilities in seniors.

#3- Board games

Many seniors have played board games such as Backgammon, Chess, and Trivial Pursuit their entire lives and continuing with this familiar route will enhance their spirits and activate fond memories. 

Select senior-specific versions of their favorite board games such as the Large Print Scrabble, Large folding chessboard, etc.

Also consider introducing him to other popular senior-friendly board games like Ticker to Ride and Hive (played almost like chess). 

Potential benefits: Board games are another brilliant way to improve mental agility and alertness in older adults. Plus, your elderly friend will grow a stronger bond with their grandchildren or whoever they’re competing with.

#4- Musical Ball (for teams of seniors)

If your elderly parent has always been passionate about ball related games, introduce them to the musical ball game.

Make no mistake: It’s not a complicated game- he and fellow players sit down preferably in a circle, and simply pass around a giant beach ball.

To time the activity and award scores, you or a caregiver plays a song that the seniors recognize from the iPod or smartphone- this is the cue for them to start passing the ball.

Points are awarded to the elder with the beach ball when the song stops and the winner will be the senior who has accumulated the lowest score at the end.

Potential benefits: Sure, it’s not as effective as outdoor ball games but it still gives your aged relative and their friends a good muscle workout!

#5- Good old card games

Another great way to pass time is to invite your grandpa or grandma to have a go at his favorite card game.

Card games such as the Classic Go Fish and Super Jumbo Playing Cards (or alternative card games like Crazy Eights contained in this value card games pack) , are super easy and inexpensive.

Most importantly, any elderly person can play cards because they don’t need tanks of energy to play.

Potential benefits:  Card games are easy so most seniors tend to score good wins. The sense of accomplishment does a world of good to their self-esteem and general happiness.

#6- Dice Sit down games for senior citizens

Played solo or in tiny groups, dice games are also thrilling and quite versatile!

You retired sibling can choose to try the Match ‘Em Up Dice , Add ‘Em Up Dice, Poker Hand Dice, and more – they’re all straightforward but greatly  pleasurable.

Dice games can be played even by seniors in the early stages of dementia (or Alzheimer’s disease) so long as they have the dexterity needed to roll (and handle) the dice. 

Note that for seniors who are visually impaired, you should look for large dice games.

Potential benefits:  Besides offering a great opportunity for social bonding, these games are a fantastic cognitive exercise for elderly people.

#7- Balloon game

This game is for a group of seniors too.

The caregiver draws a smiley face (or anything else funny) on a balloon.

Next, the playing seniors sit again in a circle.

If you’re the helper, begin to play some music. The players should now start to pass the balloon to each around the circle.

Here is the amusing part: whoever has the balloon when you halt the music- you should stop it randomly- must NOT smile for 10 seconds (at least).

If they do, they’re forced to exit the circle.

The last senior standing wins the game!

Potential benefits:  This game is good for laughs and also helpswork some body muscles reasonably.

#8- Games apps and Online Games

With the emergence of easy-to-use, seniors-centric smartphones, more elders have joined the digital games bandwagon.

Indeed, there is an infinite pool of games available on both iOS and Android devices and all you have to do is to identify one that he/she finds stimulating and let them indulge! 

Even for those still a bit apprehensive about smartphones, it’s easy to find fun to play games online from the laptop (AARP’s website has some amazing games).

Potential benefits:  Depending on the game, your older buddy will improve his/her cognitive abilities, reduce the risk of developing depression, enhance their memory, etc.

Tip: Spending hours gazing at the screen can be harmful to the eyes and you should encourage your aged friend to play offline games as well.


Admittedly, there are dozens of satisfying and beautiful sit down games for senior citizens out there so take the options in this list as just a starting point.

You can even invent your own simple games to play with your elderly relative with a bit of creativity.

Folks do it and it’s not even costly- search the web for ideas.

Either way, inspire your loved one to play always- it will do them a world of good.

How to use a cane on stairs

How to use a cane on stairs

The use of walking canes is often prescribed for seniors to compensate for decreased balance, coordination, strength, and sensation, which often increases the risk of potentially tragic falls.

While the efficacy of canes to prevent falls cannot be questioned, there is evidence that some older adults use canes incorrectly, significantly increasing their risk of falling- that beats the logic of using the cane in the first place.

Using a cane on stairs can particularly be challenging- bear in mind that you’re probably hampered by issues such as a bad leg, lower back pain, or severe balance problems yet you’re expected to maneuver the steps safely.

Below we teach you how to use a cane on stairs to help you out.

Sure, walking comfortably and safely with a cane takes practice but in truth, it’s not as difficult as most people presume…

Keep reading.

How to use a cane on stairs

 Two things are crucial to avoid the inevitable instability and a possible fall when using a cane on stairs:

  • Selecting the right cane.
  • Using it properly.

We will assume that you already have the correct type of cane for your situation so we will go straight to proper usage.

How to use a cane on stairs – step by step

Tip: If possible, try the procedure first with the help of a caregiver, friend, or relative. Their role is to help steady you if necessary.

First off, let’s look at how to go up staircases with railings with a cane.

How to use a cane to go up the stairs with railing:

Step 1: Stand right next to the edge of your stairs.

Step 2: Now hold the cane in the appropriate hand- this is the hand opposite the weaker side (and not the hand on the side needing support). Thus, if it’s your left knee that’s troubled, grasp the cane on the right hand. It helps offset your bodyweight to the stronger side.

Step 3: With the free hand, grab the handrail firmly and begin your climb by stepping up your okay leg onto the first stair. To be clear, the handrail will be on the affected side now.

Step 4: Next, bring the cane up the stair alongside the problematic leg so that your two legs will be level once more.

Keep mind that the correct order, in summary, is: good leg followed by the cane + bad leg.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you ace the stairs.

How to use a cane to go down the stairs (with railing)

Going downstairs is not that unsettling as well even if you’re struggling with a significant problem.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Stand where the stairs start.

Step 2: Hold onto the handrail strongly and bring the cane down the first step- here you start with the cane because you need the extra support in front of you.

Step 3: Now put the hurting leg on the first step going down so that it will be in the same step with the cane.

Step 4: Next bring the healthy leg down to the same step and balance yourself.

So the changed order when climbing down is: The cane, the ailing leg, and finally the healthy leg.

Step 5: Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until you have completed the stairs.

How to use a cane on stairs without railing

Don’t worry if there are no handrails- all you have to do is try to steady yourself as much as possible –with the help of the cane- as you go up/down the stairs.

Here is exactly how to walk up and down stairs easily and safely with a cane in staircases where handrails are missing:

How to use a cane to go up staircases without handrails:

Step 1: Stand right next to the stairs.

Step 2: Now hold the cane as described earlier.

Tip: In this case, you will be fully reliant on your walking cane so ensure that you have solidly and comfortably grasped the cane in the appropriate hand before proceeding to step 3.

Step 3: Simply start the same procedure you follow on stairs with a handrail- bring the untroubled leg up the opening step.

Step 4: Lift the cane up onto the step together with the suffering leg.

Step 5: Balance yourself to the fullest extent on the cane and the good leg- the two should shift your body weight from the frail side.

Step 6: Continue the above steps until you come to the top.

How to use a cane to go down a staircase without handrails:

Follow these steps to use a cane to come down stairs without handrails:

Step 1: As explained in the previous section, the cane will lead. Be sure that you are steadfastly gripping it before placing your cane on the step just below you.

Step 2: Next to step forward is the bad leg- while resolutely holding onto the cane, bring it onto the first step below you.

Step 3: Lastly, put the healthy leg on the same step.

Step 4: Balance yourself sufficiently.

Step 5: Repeat the steps until you come to the bottom.

How to walk up and down stairs with a cane- General safety guidelines when using walking canes

  • Always look straight ahead the stairs (not down or sideways).
  • Don’t be in a hurry- go slowly until you
  • Practice makes perfect- practice, practice, and practice until you master the process.
  • Clear any obstacles that could hinder your view or cause you to slip, trip, or fall.
  • Ask for assistance if you feel hesitant about going up or down the stairs.

Wrapping it up

Using a cane can help you walk more safely and be more independent in your day-to-day activities.

Your physician may also recommend that use a cane after surgery to ease the stress on your painful joint or limb.

Whatever the reason/problem, the most important thing is to use the cane correctly.

You have just learned how to use a cane on stairs, one of the toughest spots to maneuver with mobility aids for most elders.

We hope that this will help you further enhance your safety and independence.

How to get an elderly person into a car

How to get an elderly person into a car

Our golden years come with a couple of upsides.

For example, thanks to the copious amounts of time in the hands of an elderly person, he/she can catch up with the hobby activities that had been thrown under the carpet in their hyper-busy working years.

Now, it’s no secret that a good chunk of seniors love traveling.

Indeed, travel keeps elders moving and more active, often creating more opportunities to see new places and to reconnect with long-lost family or friends.

It’s also a great way of breaking the monotony of staying at home, bored. 

Yet, it’s more difficult to accomplish simple things such as getting into the car because of mobility problems that crop up with aging.

Thankfully, with your help and that of a couple of aids, your elderly mom or dad can easily and safely get into the car and travel with you to their desired locations,  even if they face serious mobility issues.

Read on for the scoop about making car travel safe and comfortable for the elderly person you’re caring for.

How to get an elderly person into a car – useful car aids and other ideas

First off are the assistive devices you can add to the car to make him/her more independent and safe when entering and leaving vehicles.

#1- Use an automotive grab bar to help him/her get in and out of car

This tool is perfect for elderly people, those recovering, or anyone else needing assistance when getting in or up out of the car.

How does it work?

The grab bar (some manufacturers market them as car canes) simply gives an elderly person something solid to grab onto when entering or exiting a car or truck.

These tools are, for the most part, universal (work on countless cars/trucks) and you fit it without any modifications on either the driver or passenger side of your car.

They’re extremely sturdy and don’t take up much space in the vehicle.

If you’d like to try one, take a look at the Standers Handybar– it’s durable, fits easily on any door latch, and supports as much as 350 lbs.

#2- Use a rotating Disc to transfer him/her to the car more easily

The transfer disc can also make a huge difference when shifting an elderly person into a car (and vice versa).

In fact, this is invaluable for wheelchair-bound seniors and any older adults with serious mobility limitations, often brought about by underlying chronic diseases. 

How does it work?

The tool is designed to provide a safe platform where he/she can stand on and rotate from a normal chair to a toilet, wheelchair to car, etc.

So an elder spins around more securely with the help of this device.

Our favorite is the SafetySure Pivot Disc because it comes with a handle to help you pick it up or put it down.

Tip: Transfer Boards such as the sturdy DMI Transfer Board also help move elders from a wheelchair to other sitting medium (cars, chairs, beds) and can be a good alternative to transfer discs.

#3- Use a car caddie (or automotive standing aid) to help the elderly person get into any car

Consider ordering the “car caddie” if your aged parent is having difficulties getting in and out of vehicles.

Like the rest, it’s not a complicated device but it makes the whole car climbing experience less daunting and very safe.

How does it work?

This simply attaches to outside of the roof rack or even inside the vehicle (on the doorframe) from the window to provide secure support to hold onto when getting in/out of cars.

The caddie is portable and made flexible meaning the caregiver can adjust it to practically any car, truck, or van.

The best part?

It’s super strong and folds/wraps nicely into the palm of his/her hand!

We recommend the Stander CarCaddie if you’d prefer this kind of tool.

#4- Provide a Vehicle Mobility Step Stool to help him/her climb higher vehicles

A step stool can also be a fantastic option if you want to give your aged grandparent more freedom and security when it comes to climbing vehicles that stand higher off the ground such as Jeeps.

How does it work?

You probably guessed it right: This provides an extra step that he needs to access higher standing cars more easily.

That makes it a great accessory even for disabled seniors, those with back trouble, and more.

Keep in mind that step stools have different heights and it’s important to choose one with the exact height he/she needs.

It’s also important to select one with non-skid feet such as the Bluestone Mobility Step.

#5- Use a seat swivel to help the senior ‘swivel’ into the car

A padded swivel seat cushion such as this allows the individual to sit on it (its placed on the seat first) from outside the vehicle (with the feet out).

He/she then ‘swivels’ into the seat, while lifting their feet.

It’s a much easier way to get into the car for anyone with movement troubles.

How to get an elderly person into a car without aids

If your elderly mommy/daddy retains fair balance, you can try to assist them get into the car without the above aids.

Here is how to get an elderly person into a car (step by step):

  1. Prepare the seat- remove any hindrances, books, etc.
  2. Hold his/her hand –if necessary- and bring him to stand close to the door.
  3. Let him/her hold onto the handle – inside of the vehicle- with one hand, while still standing.
  4. Next, he/her grips onto another safe part of the car (such as the roof) with the free hand and brings in the first leg as far as he/she can into the car whilst getting seated- Be sure to check that they bend over to get the head into the car safely here.
  5. Once seated securely (help him/her to sit in the middle, if necessary), ask them to lift the remaining leg into the car (offer support, if needed.

This procedure works for some seniors.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that is how to get an elderly person into a car and give them a ride to the church, clinic, grandchild’s home, etc.

Remember that it’s all about helping maintain him/her independence and dignity when getting into a car so be patient and allow them to express themselves as you try out your chosen method.

We also can’t emphasize this enough: To avoid problems down the road, please consult his/her physician and/or healthcare pro before ordering any of the above tools.

How to install suction cup grab bars

While super helpful for seniors living with balance issues, suction cup grab bars – and they have been flying of the shelves- can cause tragic accidents if not installed the right way.

The good news is that mounting the bars in your shower or bathtub is not as tough as most of us fear and it’s a task any DIYer can hack – you actually don’t need any tools with some suction cup bars.

Curious? Here is how to install suction cup grab bars correctly for the extra security and convenience when entering or exiting the bathtub/shower …

How to install suction cup grab bars – step by step

The best thing about this style of shower bars is that unlike permanent grab bars, you don’t need to screw them into a wall so you won’t be drilling into stubborn walls.

In fact, in most cases, installing suction cup type bars is super-fast and straightforward.

Below is exactly how to install suction cup grab bars in minutes:


Before you start, check that the delivered grab bars kit is in perfect condition.

Just take everything out of the package and inspect.

You really don’t want to install a faulty product.

Step 1: Choose an ideal location

Choose the mounting location that the bars will be most practical to use from. 

This depends on factors such as who will precisely be using them and the design of the guest stall shower, the master bath, or wherever else you’re installing it.

Other considerations matter too.

For example, the diameter of the cups can cause mounting problems if bigger than your tiles – they won’t fit across the tiles and you’ll want to check the measurements prior to mounting on tiles.

In general, the bars are to be mounted to smooth, flat, and non-porous surfaces for support and safety you can depend on 100%.

To be clear, stay away from tile grout lines and painted surfaces if you want it not to stick indefinitely.

Step 2: Prepare the surface

Once you have settled on where you desire to have them on the tub/shower wall, you need to do a job that is very vital: cleaning and drying the surface.

I know that some bars don’t require this in the installation instructions but for the most part, these safety accessories adhere best to clean and dry surfaces.

Depending on the wall or tile, you can use products such as rubbing alcohol (a solution of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol) to thoroughly clean the surface before proceeding.

Alcohol is a great solvent and it quickly dissolves dirt and other unseen debris.

In addition, it dries nearly instantly, which saves you invaluable time.

All you have to do is wet a cleaning aid like a piece of cloth with rubbing alcohol then move it across the spot you had identified, in a back/forth pattern to get good enough cleaning coverage.

Repeat until satisfied.

Don’t forget to let it dry before moving on.

Tip: It can also be a good idea to clean the suction cups as well. From our experience, the item attaches more strongly after cleaning the cups (allow them to dry too).

Step 3: Attach the bar

With the levers/latches up, position the bar on the just cleaned location on your tub/shower wall.

Now firmly press the suction cups against the surface.

Push on the handle hard – the aim is to have it grip and hold on to the wall tightly.

When you feel that it is gripping really well, flip the little suction cup levers/tabs down to secure the grab bar.

That’s it!

Tip: Be careful when it comes to attaching the accessory to the wall while mounting – applying excessive pressure on the handle may cause the cups to stretch, causing them to lose their grip  within a few days.

And to remove the bars…

To make the bar release the wall (perhaps you want to move it to another location):

Step 1: Release the levers

Flip the levers/latches up.

Step 2: Release the suction

Slide a fingertip (under the rubber seal) at either end to free the suction.

If it doesn’t dislodge, slide anything flat (a credit card works well here) underneath the suction cups.

This should release the grip.

Step 3: Re-install (if necessary)

Prepare the surface as explained above then re-install following the previous steps.

How to install suction cup grab bars – Bonus tips

·         Take advantage of handy features

Some brands of suction cup grab bars feature helpful installation features.

For example, some come with a color indicator (typically a green/red light) that gives you a timely visual cue that the bar is attached properly or has become loose.

If you’re lucky to have such a bar, only release the handle when the light indicates that it has grabbed the wall in the best way possible.

·         Be careful about fiberglass

While most suction cup grab bars easily mounts on sealed fiberglass (clean and dry), reinforcing it first enhances the safety of the installation.

That is because the material is pretty thin and can be un-supportive of the resultant weight displacement when your mom/dad pulls on the bars.

Keep that in mind if you’re planning to install it in your molded fiberglass shower.

Likewise, additional reinforcing may be necessary if installing to acrylic walls that are not specifically labeled safe for grab bars.

·         Test it always

The safety of your mom or dad when getting in/out of tub/shower is your number one priority.

For this reason, we recommend that you test if it is still firmly attached to the wall daily before use.

It’s the only way to be sure that he/she will not fall and get seriously injured considering that some bars lose suction because of being hit with water on a daily basis.

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Wrapping it up

Well, that is how to install suction cup grab bars – it’s the best way to do it for maximum security and convenience.

All that said, it’s important to keep in mind that each brand of suction cup grab bars has a specific installation procedure printed on the owners’ manual.

As such, it’s wise to follow the listed instructions along with the steps we have explained above.

That way, you are sure of getting every step right.

One last thing:  for more stability, consider adding a bath mat to the bathroom floor or using pool shoes.

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