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The Best Activities A Retirement Community Can Offer Its Residents

An example of a 2024 activity calendar from Metta Lifestyles retirement residences

Retirement marks a new chapter in life. This is a time for relaxation, to enjoy the finer things that true freedom brings, and to squeeze the most out of every day. For residents of retirement communities, many days are usually filled with vibrant activities that cater to various interests and abilities. 

From stimulating the mind to nurturing the body and fostering social connections, these communities offer many tried and true experiences that enhance the quality of life for all residents.

Here are some of the best activities a retirement community like Metta Lifestyles can offer, and how to ensure residents are filling their days to the brim with excitement and adventure.

Seniors enjoying dominoes around a table

DrumFit and Chair Yoga

They say a healthy mind starts with the body, which is why various fitness classes are a staple in retirement communities. DrumFit and chair yoga are some of the most fun fitness classes that offer simple and safe ways to promote fitness and flexibility. 

Drumming to the beat of lively music energizes the body and uplifts the spirit. At the same time, chair yoga gently stretches and strengthens dormant muscles, combatting muscle atrophy and promoting balance for residents of all abilities.

Unique ways to embrace fitness are key to engaging seniors with the right amount of intensity while maintaining the fun factor.

Board Games

Board & card games are a retirement home classic and a staple for those who love keeping their mind sharp. For seniors who are less mobile or prefer something a bit slower-paced, playing cards, monopoly, cribbage, or Rummy-O are some of the best bets. These are some of our favourites and our residents seem to agree!

Seniors playing pool at a retirement residence

Music and Art & Crafts

Music classes cater to the holistic well-being of residents. Music classes offer a creative outlet for expression and appreciation, fostering community through shared melodies and rhythms. 

Music brings us all together and helps create a unique shared experience, which helps lift spirits and stimulates different parts of our brains.

Arts and crafts on the other hand help develop dexterity, and creativity, and can have a therapeutic effect. Art can also help combat cognitive impairments, develop an increased sense of well-being, and provide an outlet for stress. Whether it’s painting a sunrise, knitting a scarf, or making Christmas ornaments and trinkets, this is a great activity for seniors where they can see the fruits of their labour!

Church Service

Hymns and church services provide spiritual nourishment, fostering a sense of reverence and community in the retirement home. With many residents connecting to spiritual activities that help bring them peace of mind and security, church services are a great way to reaffirm one's beliefs.

Metta Lifestyles offers a variety of spiritual services. Most of our residences have religious spaces with the exception of our Governors Walk residence which features a full Monastery.

Many years ago, when Governors Walk was a place where the Monks resided, some of our residents even got married there!

Pet Therapy

If you own a pet, you know the overwhelmingly positive effects they can bring. Companionship from a furry friend, especially during old age can drastically improve social, emotional, and cognitive well-being while combatting aggression, depression, and anxiety.

Animal Assisted Therapy is a great addition that Metta Lifestyles is proud to offer, and we love to see the affection given and received between our residents and animals.

Pet Therapy at Metta Lifestyles in Ottawa & Toronto

Movie and Popcorn Nights

Movie and popcorn nights offer residents the chance to unwind and enjoy cinematic classics or modern favourites. No matter the genre, movie nights bring residents together for an evening of entertainment and relaxation and can even inspire and enlighten. 

Lounges are usually one of the most popular rooms in any senior or retirement residence and for good reason, there are so many great films and shows out there waiting to be explored!

Holiday Celebrations & Theme Parties

Themed events add meaning and celebration to life in the retirement community. From celebrating your favourite holiday, to hands-on creative classes and even educational seminars - , these events help honour traditions, ignite curiosity, and foster lifelong learning among residents.

Finding reasons to celebrate beyond the typical holiday is also something that sets a good retirement facility apart from a great one. With so much in life to celebrate, finding even the most simple reason is a great excuse to foster social connections through get-togethers and parties. 

At Metta Lifestyles, we have our famous Armchair Travel Series - a monthly themed event where we pick a destination to explore complete with themed food & drinks and activities!  

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities provide opportunities to bask in the beauty of nature and soak up the sunshine. Whether it's gardening, nature walks, or picnics in the park, residents can soak up some sun, connect with the world around them, and nurture their sense of wonder.

Metta Lifestyle’s Horticulture Therapy Program can also engage our residents in cultivating their flowers or a variety of vegetables, helping bring fresh produce to the kitchen and reducing our carbon footprint. Developing a green thumb can be a very satisfying passion and hobby for residents who may live a sedentary lifestyle.

Ottawa and Toronto also have many picturesque walkways and paths to take a stroll on that can help boost endorphins and “feel-good” chemicals in as little as 15 minutes.


Retirement communities are vibrant hubs of activity, where residents thrive in an atmosphere of camaraderie, creativity, and connection. 

With a diverse array of activities catering to various interests and abilities, these communities embody the essence of joyful living, enriching the lives of residents each day. 

At Metta Lifestyles, our staff works hard to accommodate a wide variety of activities so that everyone and anyone can find something that speaks to them.

From pet therapy to fitness classes to movie nights, we offer a range of experiences that help celebrate life and keep our residents physically and mentally sound.

For more information on our retirement community, click here.


Retirement Home Activity FAQ

What activities are good for those in a Retirement home?

There are many activities good for the elderly if they are in a care home. These include physical exercise classes, arts and crafts, music therapy, gardening, games and puzzles, culinary activities, pet therapy, movie nights, and more.

A diverse schedule and range of hobbies help stimulate the body, mind, and soul.

How do you make someone happy in a Retirement Home?

Residents are often happiest when they are making meaningful social connections, maintaining a certain amount of independence and autonomy, celebrating milestones and achievements, and are within a homelike environment with personalized care and attention.

At Metta Lifestyles, we aim to make sure the above are as balanced as possible for our residents.

What are some everyday activities that might be meaningful to residents?

Meaningful activities will vary from resident to resident but we find that one activity for the mind, like board games or reading, and one activity for the body, like DrumFit or chair yoga, can be the most effective activities for the wellness of our residents.

If a resident is religious or spiritual, then some sort of religious practice or church service goes hand in hand with the above.

What are social activities for the elderly?

Social activities are important for seniors, as loneliness is proven to accelerate the aging process. Socializations like group exercise classes, outings and excursions, social clubs and discussion groups, and even entertainment as a group can help the elderly bond with one another in a retirement residence setting.


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