For the young, sports are competitive activities that they do to build camaraderie and, well, to win. We watch basketball and football to cheer for our favorite teams. We love bashing with fans and celebrating the victories of these teams. The whole of Toronto shut down effectively last year when the Raptors won their first championship. Sports bring us together. This is true as well for seniors, though minus the brutal physicality of sports.
You’ll see caregiving facilities have tennis court resurfacing in Utah or other states. That’s because these facilities want their residents (the senior citizens) to engage in physical activities. It doesn’t have to be competitive (though that’s okay, too), but it has to bring joy to the residents. That’s why more caregiving facilities have tennis courts, billiards, table tennis, basketball courts, and gym areas. The residents are encouraged to work out at a low-to-medium intensity.
This is a great activity because it’s a no-contact sport. A net separates the players. Even if they play in doubles, tennis courts are wide enough that they won’t accidentally bump into each other. The layout of the tennis court lessens the risks of injuries.
Tennis is a game of technique rather than skills. You have to strategize to win in tennis. The more strategic player can win over an opponent that uses muscles and physicality. Seniors don’t have to play the game the way Novak Djokovic does. They don’t have to slide on the court or do cartwheels to win. They simply have to hit the ball and strategize where it will land to throw off an opponent.
This can be farthest on your list when it comes to no-contact sports. Studies have shown that soccer has many benefits for seniors. Those who were surveyed said they have better endurance and muscle function for playing soccer regularly. Soccer is a great sport for seniors. Again, you don’t have to play it the way Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play it. Seniors can have a game of low-intensity soccer instead.
You can customize the rules of the sport according to the physical abilities of the players. The rules of soccer are easy to understand, too. Seniors who have no idea how this is played can learn the rules quickly.
Another low-to-medium contact sport is basketball. Have you ever heard of walking basketball? Instead of players running around the court ala Lebron James, senior basketball players can walk while dribbling the ball and getting to the basket. There are many retiree stories wherein seniors formed basketball teams to compete with each other. They have fun, and they work out.
Aside from playing as a team, basketball can be enjoyed as a solo game. A senior citizen can shoot hoops on his own without opponents. Or, they can be enjoyed by two people, wherein if the first player makes the shot, the other one should replicate it.
There are other sports that seniors can enjoy. As long as you tweak the rules a little bit, these games can be the physical activity your grandparents need. Just make sure they know their limits. They should rest if they feel tired. Also, make sure there’s someone younger and competent supervising the game.