What to Do in Independent Living (Besides Bingo)

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 30 July 2012

One of this year’s most notorious Super Bowl commercials featured seniors in a retirement home playing Bingo — an image that likely comes to mind when we think of what happens there.

But everyone is different. Don’t assume that all seniors love Bingo.

A well-rounded activities program reflects the diverse interests of the residents who live there, so there should be a lot more than Bingo on the calendar. Some senior living communities partner with local universities to provide on- and off-campus opportunities to take classes. Many offer regular outings, including overnight excursions to the beach or beyond, or day trips at nearby historic sites, shopping centers, restaurants, sporting events, movies, and other cultural attractions.

From cooking classes to clubs, to committees and community engagement: when it comes to things to do at an independent living community, it’s not all fun and games. Some of the activities afford a sense of fulfillment that many retirees who were actively engaged in volunteering or their careers cannot find by simply playing Bingo or heading to happy hour every night. To that end, many independent living homes participate in community service projects (again, both on- and off-campus), and a majority of communities seek the input of residents (usually via a Resident Council or committee) when planning activities.

Dig deeper: Read A Day in the Life of an Independent Living Resident to learn more about engagement opportunities beyond Bingo.


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