How can we remain active and stimulated as we get older? We've checked out five games and activities around Basingstoke that your elderly friend or relative might love.
As we age, our physical and cognitive functions can deteriorate so, rather than sitting at home, we need to do whatever we can to stay active and stimulated.
Why not help your elderly loved one by making activities less of a challenge. You could suggest some pastimes which are completely new, or reinvigorate interest in something more familiar. Either way, we just want to inject a little fun to make life more interesting!
We have checked out a few enjoyable games and activities in and around Basingstoke that you might like to try together.
It is a modern club, and the main bingo hall is well lit and surprisingly spacious, with an airy and clean feel and plenty of comfortable seating around fixed tables. For smokers, there is a good sized secure outdoor bingo terrace, also with seating and tables, and a live feed so you won’t miss out on the excitement.
Sessions are daily, from 12 noon to 3pm and 6 to 9.30pm. The main sessions cost £5, with additional games available from £1 each. Only those over 18 are allowed in, I’m afraid.
For a change of pace, or a maybe to try a change of fortune, they also have all the latest slot machines in the separate Slots Room. Some machines offer a free spins, so you can check out which one takes your fancy.
The club has a bar serving food and drink, so you can make a real day out of it without going hungry or thirsty.
Access is good, with a free car park right outside and accessible toilet facilities.
Alternatively, if it’s just not a good day to go out, bingo can be played online. Here are some online bingo sites you could try.
Here’s how to find it: Buzz Bingo, Basingstoke Leisure Park, Worting Road, Basingstoke RG22 6PG, telephone 01256 479200
So, clickety click, get there quick! But please gamble responsibly!
Founder Jack White set up the Sing Now Choir with the vision of a community singing revolution in the UK, based on the view that “Singing is For Everyone“. Their approach is to create unique in-house arrangements which step away from normal choir singing, practiced with fun and laughter in inclusive, relaxed environments. There’s something special about “belonging” to a community group like this with shared interests and a sense of fun.
The Choir has meetings in Southampton, Fareham and Basingstoke – Jack White, from Southampton, set up the Basingstoke meetings following a successful choir event at Festival Place. This group meets at Popley Fields Community Centre on Wednesdays 7 to 9pm. Members range from 18 to 88.
By providing great exercise for the lungs and vocal chords, and promoting mental alertness, singing can help us lower our stress levels and manage any physical or emotional pain. Controlled breathing will also introduce more oxygen into your bloodstream, thereby improving circulation.
We went along to meet Jack at one of their sessions, and can vouch for the friendly, relaxed, camaraderie and the amazing singing that everyone can participate in.We were amazed at how the powerful voices resonated right through us – what a feeling! And everyone looked so happy!
Membership costs £25 per month, and if accompanied by a carer there is no additional charge for the second person. To arrange a free taster session please go to Sing Now Contact Us or email [email protected]. There is no audition and you will be singing along with the other members of the group as you get a feel for the class.
The sessions are held at Popley Fields Community Centre, Carpenters Down, Popley, Basingstoke RG24 9AE
Don’t be afraid, just “b” natural
Have you ever wondered what an Escape Room is? No, we don’t mean something you watch but something you step right into and experience. And yes, you then have to try to get out!
You can choose from a variety of original games set in dramatic situations – including Doctor Who, Blackbeard’s Treasure, Aladdin, Alice in Puzzleland…. We took a peek in “Our Finest Hour”, a 1942 war theme to challenge your brains. You go along as a team of between two and six people, and together discover the clues, solve the puzzles and complete the challenges needed to get out of the room. You have a time limit of (usually) 60 minutes. And if you don’t manage to get out in the allotted time – well, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen!
There is also a Virtual Reality room here. This is different from the Escape Rooms in that you wear a headset to become part of the scene, and use handset controls to work your way through your chosen game.
The venue has a lounge area where you can have a drink, relax and play one of their board games before your event or as you recount your adventure after the event.
The escape room costs £25 to £30 per person, depending on the size of your group. For more information or to book your session go to Escape Hunt Contact Us, email [email protected] or telephone 01256 475222. A carer is allowed in free when accompanying two paying guests.
The escape rooms are at 14B Festival Place, Basingstoke RG21 7BA, accessed in the shopping centre next to Patisserie Valerie and opposite TK Maxx. The shopping centre has plenty of parking and good accessibility.
For something a bit more physical, how about ten pin bowling? Taking your elderly loved one, and the rest of the family, bowling, could be a great way to have some fun together.
This was a weekend, and Hollywood Bowl’s 26 lanes were really busy and very noisy. We were told this was quite normal for weekends, so if you’re looking to bowl in a quieter atmosphere, with less people watching you, you might prefer to try weekdays during term time!
There’s an American style diner onsite, so when you’ve worked up a thirst you can grab a drink and a bite to eat to round off your outing.
Hollywood Bowl can be found at Basingstoke Leisure Park, Worting Road, Basingstoke RG22 6PG, telephone 0844 477 0482. There is plenty of free parking right outside the venue, and it has good accessibility.
Question – What type of cat goes bowling?
Answer – An alley cat!
Anyone for tennis? If your elderly friend is ready for something even more energetic and has an eye for a ball, why not try a spot of tennis? Maybe they used to play regularly when younger and would really love to hit a ball about again.
There is a welcoming reception area where you can book in, get a cuppa and/or just chill out on one of the big comfy sofas, before or (better) after your game. In a small shop, they have a selection of basic tennis items for sale, like rackets, balls and branded sports shirts. We spoke with Helen, who told us there are eight tennis courts in all: four indoor and four outdoor, so you can raise a racket whatever the weather.
You do not need to be a member to play here – there is a variety of pay & play, courses and coaching sessions to suit everyone. Totally Tennis also offer a ladies social hour, which includes technical and tactical coaching for singles or doubles and some social playing time, all rounded off with a nice cup of tea or coffee and a chat.
Alternatively, if you are up for something rather different and a bit wacky, why not try Pickleball? Never heard of Pickleball? Neither had we, but it combines badminton, tennis and table tennis into a new and growing fun sport – join the Pickleball Club at Totally Tennis.
Totally Tennis is located at War Memorial Park, Crossborough Hill, Basingstoke RG21 4AG, telephone 01256 358816 and email [email protected]. There is good accessibility, with plenty of free parking
Advice: never fall in love with a tennis player: to them, “Love” means nothing!
Get out of your comfort zone and do something different! Inspire your elderly loved one to take part in games and activities – they are a fantastic way to spend quality time together. From bingo and ten-pin bowling, to team escapes from a challenging scenario, to a sport you haven’t even heard of before, there’s lots to do in and around Basingstoke.
Home Instead Basingstoke can continue your good work, providing companionship, social interaction and mental stimulation to your elderly loved one or friend.
You can get in touch with our friendly team, to learn more about companionship packages tailored to suit you and your loved one’s needs, by giving us a ring on 01256 840 660 or emailing us on [email protected]