New research published in the second half of 20231 found that engaging in hobbies was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and higher self-reported health, happiness, and life satisfaction among seniors aged 65 and older.

The pleasant summer months in New York present new opportunities for seniors in retirement to enjoy outdoor activities, and the best senior living providers will help residents make the most of them.

Why Are Leisure Activities Important in Retirement?

A wealth of research suggests that staying engaged in leisure activities is physically, mentally, and cognitively beneficial in retirement. For example, many leisure activities involve some form of movement or exercise, and a 2022 study2 found that active recreational pursuits like swimming, racquet sports, golf, and walking were associated with greater longevity among seniors.

This is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),3 which states that the benefits of physical activity for seniors include lowered blood pressure, improved sleep, and even a reduced risk of eight cancers, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The CDC also notes that physical activity can minimize a senior’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.3

Seniors in long-term skilled nursing care might not be able to participate in some forms of recreational exercise, but this doesn’t mean they can’t reap the benefits of a fulfilling and social lifestyle. A 2022 study4 found that activities like cooking, baking, hobbies, and clubs were associated with a reduced likelihood of depression in seniors. Similarly, leisure activities have been linked to better cognitive aging and perceptual speed in seniors aged 80 and older,5 with socio-intellectual activities identified as ‘worthwhile’ interventions to promote healthy brain aging.6

How Can Skilled Nursing Residential Care Help?

For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or chronic health issues requiring 24/7 skilled nursing care, as well as those in rehabilitation following illness, injury, or surgery, engaging in leisure activities can be tricky. Things like poor mobility, strict medication schedules, and frequent appointments to attend can easily leave seniors lacking the confidence or time to socialize and engage with much-loved hobbies.

However, a well-rounded lifestyle is a vital element of holistic care.

For example, seniors with an illness or disability are at a higher risk of depression in later life.7 Skilled nursing residents often have multiple or severe chronic illnesses and disabilities, potentially putting them at this heightened risk. Therefore, given that leisure activities have been shown to help reduce depression,4 the best long-term care communities will strive to provide accessible social, physical, and recreational activities.

Summer Leisure Activities at Chapin Home for the Aging

With temperatures becoming much more pleasant and the sunshine appearing, New York’s summer months are an excellent time for seniors to enjoy outdoor activities. These activities often promote movement and connection to nature, reducing anxiety and improving seniors’ cognitive functioning and happiness.8 Tucked among the trees, Chapin Home is the perfect location for long-term care residents to enjoy outdoor activities and socialize, or soak up their daily dose of immunity and bone health-boosting vitamin D.9

A Beautiful and Tranquil Setting

Chapin Home is a beautiful place to live all year round, but our grounds can be seen at their best during the summer. With plenty of shade and greenery, residents enjoy various outdoor social and recreational activities. Our beautiful therapeutic garden features a relaxing Koi Pond with a serene, trickling waterfall. This is the perfect location for quiet relaxation or socializing under the canopy of trees with friends and family. Our community also boasts a lovely, well-maintained patio where residents can enjoy catching up with loved ones.

Social, Creative, and Educational Activities

Our skilled nursing residents enjoy a range of activity options each week. These include coffee cafes, ladies’ and men’s clubs, educational classes, and weekly discussion groups that offer cognitive, intellectual, and social enrichment. These groups might meet outdoors on our pleasantly shaded patio on warmer days.
We believe in nurturing seniors’ unique talents built from their years of wisdom and experience. This is why we provide daily opportunities for residents to teach us their valuable knowledge and skills. At Chapin Home, we aim to cultivate an environment where staff, residents, and family caregivers can learn from one another.
Our dedicated caregivers help seniors engage in hobbies they love, encouraging self-expression through creative writing, arts and crafts, and chorus groups. During the summer, many of our residents enjoy outdoor activities. We also host various outdoor social events in the warmer months, like ice cream parties on the patio to celebrate special occasions.

Supporting Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

As a senior living community offering skilled nursing and memory care, we provide some activities specifically to support residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. For example, our two cozy sitting rooms feature soothing colors, sounds, and a multicolored bubble machine for a calming sensory experience. Professional caregivers trained in memory care are also on hand each day to help residents with dementia enjoy the summer sun safely.

Find out why Families have trusted Chapin Home in Queens for Over 155 Years!

Suppose you’re looking for long-term care with skilled nursing, memory care, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy. In that case, Chapin Home can provide the fulfilling lifestyle your loved one deserves. To get a taste of the activities and social spaces Chapin Home for the Aging offers during the summer and to find out why family caregivers say we’re ‘caring, professional, and attentive,’ get in touch today and organize a guided tour.



  1. Mak HW, Noguchi T, Bone JK, et al. Hobby engagement and mental well-being among people aged 65 and older in 16 countries. Nat Med. 2023; 29(9):2233-2240. doi: 10.1038/s41591-023-02506-1.
  2. Watts EL, Matthews CE, Freeman JR, et al. Association of leisure time physical activity types and risks of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among older adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2228510. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.28510.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity benefits for adults 65 or older. Published March 25, 2024. Accessed May 21, 2024.,%2C%20lung%2C%20and%20stomach.
  4. Bone JK, Bu F, Fluharty ME, Paul E, Sonke JK, Fancourt D. Engagement in leisure activities and depression in older adults in the United States: Longitudinal evidence from the health and retirement study. Soc Sci Med. 2022;294:114703. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114703
  5. Köhncke Y, Laukka EJ, Brehmer Y, et al. Three-year changes in leisure activities are associated with concurrent changes in white matter microstructure and perceptual speed in individuals aged 80. Neurobiol Aging. 2016;41:173-186. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.02.013.
  6. Anatürk M, Demnitz N, Ebmeier KP, Sexton CE. A systematic review and meta-analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging studies investigating older adults’ cognitive and social activity levels. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018;93:71-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.06.012.
  7. Schoevers RA, Smit F, Deeg DJH, et al. Prevention of late-life depression in primary care: do we know where to begin? Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163(9): 1611-1621. Doi:10.1176/ajp.2006.163.9.1611.
  8. Sia A, Tam WWS, Fogel A, Kua EH, Khoo K, Ho RCM. Nature-based activities improve the well-being of older adults. Sci Rep. 2020;10:18178. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74828-w.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why micronutrients matter. Reviewed February 20, 2024. Accessed May 21, 2024.,fight%20off%20bacteria%20and%20viruses.
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