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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Lehr-Splawinski, Marketing Communications

How to motivate a senior to stay active

Engage the senior in a conversation about the joy of exploring interesting activities and learning new skills. Paint an exciting visual picture to highlight the benefits of staying mentally & physically active which promotes healthy aging and independence. Seniors who are not staying active are more vulnerable to illness.


Note that seniors who suffer from Dementia/Alzheimers do require a customized person-centered care plan by a trained health care professional to learn new skills due to memory impairment. Contact the BC Alzheimers society for beneficial information & support.


Local Seniors & Community centers offer very beneficial options for physical, mental & social activities. Explore what programs & activities your local seniors & community center offer to get you or a loved one engaged to stay active even on a small budget.


Lifelong learning stimulates the brain and enhances overall well-being. Any of the below activities will enrich seniors' quality of life:

  • Reading a book or listening to an audiobook

  • Listening to music

  • Learning a new skill

  • Take up a hobby

  • Spend time in nature

  • Regular light physical exercise

  • Social engagement

  • Positive thinking

  • Practise mindfulness

  • Being creative

  • Volunteering

  • Spend quality time with a loved one or companion

Create a list of things the senior likes to do and would be open to exploring. Plan an outing together to a close by seniors center and ask for a brief introductory tour. Most senior centers' memberships are very reasonable at approximately $20 per year. Book a class for the senior to get involved and active and offer to participate as well just to ensure the person is comfortable.


Continue the conversation about the new activities and progress of learning a new skill by asking for feedback on their experience.


Ensure to keep a senior's cognitive skills engaged by doing crossword puzzles, and playing board games or cards. Seniors Centres offer many options!


Many seniors suffer from isolation and depression. Ensure you keep in touch with seniors in your life to spend quality time and assist with things they might need or help to arrange proper support


Encourage the senior to spend time outdoors away from environmental noise and traffic that promotes well-being. Walking is a great way to stay physically active, if possible walk a minimum of 20 minutes per day.

Visit your public library to get you interested in reading and to promote reading skills.


If the senior needs transportation, arrange for assistance. It will empower the person in their independence and open up more opportunities to enjoy life & activities.


Some community services such as Burnaby Community Services offer Seniors Transportation. For more info: visit: https://www.bbyservices.ca/programs-seniors.php


The BC Government’s Seniors Transportation website offers helpful information.


The BC Bus Pass Program offers a reduced-cost, an annual bus pass for low-income seniors and individuals receiving disability assistance from the Province of BC.


The BC Taxi Saver program offers coupons for discounted taxi travel:


BC Seniors with permanent or temporary disabilities can register to arrange for HandyDART service in most communities. Seniors can register on the BC Transit website at https://www.translink.ca/rider-guide/transit-accessibility/handydart


For more info on seniors' transportation, website the website of the BC Seniors Advocate:


Seniors who suffer from chronic health issues, physical mobility impairment, or disease can stay active with quality home care assistance at their place of living by arranging for a consistent & experienced caregiver to help with daily activities of living, personal care, and companionship.


Companionship care benefits seniors in staying mentally & socially active while getting support with activities of daily living. Personal care assists in maintaining a healthy routine besides providing physical & emotional support and beneficial cognitive engagement. This support also helps with mental well-being, mobility, and home safety.


Caregivers accompany seniors on walks, outings, and appointments. Seniors with a walker or in a wheelchair feel safer with assistance on their side. Spending quality time with a trained & reliable caregiver promotes social skills while nurturing mental & emotional well-being. A caregiver can also help with motivation for a hobby or learning a new skill. Certified health care assistants who are trained & experienced with Dementia/Alzheimer's care and other Specialized care will positively impact a senior's quality of life.


Take advantage of private quality home care services which offer companionship care services at affordable rates. If you live in the Metro Vancouver BC area, contact Seniors Choice For Care, a private nurse-owned & operated home health care company, for a free in-home care consultation at 604.551.8867.




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