Although our country is preparing for reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, seniors are still being urged to stay home. Elderly seniors are the most vulnerable to becoming terminally ill after contracting the virus because of weaker immune systems and potential underlying health conditions. As seniors continue to stay at home for their safety, the rest of the nation is gearing up to enter back into normalcy, which may leave older people feeling neglected and isolated.
In an effort to help seniors during these trying times, here are some independent activities to consider giving a try!
Whether an elder lives alone or with the company of family, plenty of games exist that can cure the blues they may be experiencing during the lockdown. Virtual games played on a phone, tablet, or computer allow them to connect with people close to them or across the globe. Smart speakers or smart displays, such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, can help keep seniors entertained by telling jokes and interacting with seniors in games, quizzes and virtual adventures.
Finding an interesting hobby is another considerable pastime for seniors. Whether it is something they picked up as a kid or a brand new interest, it could prove to keep older people occupied and distracted from their isolation. AARP suggests filling a hobby box for your elderly loved one with existing hobbies or something new for them to try. Some suggestions would be knitting, sewing, and crafting.
For some seniors, it is a challenge to maneuver around even in the comfort of their own homes. Fortunately, exercises and stretches can be done while sitting down too. This puts less strain on their bodies, but still allows them to remain active while in quarantine. Elders can decide which muscle groups they workout by selecting certain exercises to target that area.
Reading has been known to reduce stress, enhance sleep, and open up the imaginations of older adults. Reading a paperback may not be an option for seniors with impaired vision or limited mobile ability. Audio books make reading accessible to everyone from the comfort of their homes. Audible is an Amazon subscription service that offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks – try their 30-day free membership today. You can also check your local library for audio books.
Watching a movie can also lower stress levels and provide maximum relaxation and entertainment. Films from different decades can provoke nostalgia in seniors which may recover old memories from their past. This can stimulate meaningful conversation about their life.
Caring for a garden is a great way to keep seniors active and engaged. It also can provide a number of health benefits, including helping with mobile dexterity, alleviating anxiety, and improving mood. Outdoor gardening is great during the warmer months, but tending to an indoor garden can bring joy to seniors all year round.