Although there may be an end in sight to COVID-19 restrictions, many seniors are still self-isolating to keep themselves and their family safe. Family caregivers still have to find ways to keep seniors busy during the pandemic. Here are some suggestions for senior activities to keep your loved one busy and safe.
To really know what your loved needs, you’ll need to check in with them. During the coronavirus pandemic, the entire family may need to contact the seniors in the family more frequently. If in-person contact is a possibility, that’s always better, but if you can phone or Skype your older family members, it can help prevent loneliness. If phone calls or video chats seem to feel mundane, look for some conversation starters
for ideas. Talk to your seniors about safety and scams. You may also want to research any community resources that can help your senior. Senior centers are finding ways to help the elderly while still maintain social distances and preventing the spread of germs.
Challenge the Mind and Body
For senior health and wellness, seniors need to stay busy. Everyone has different ideas of what is fun and what isn’t, so you may need to get creative during the pandemic with your senior. Look for a variety of outdoor and indoor senior activities to keep their minds sharp and their body active.
Physical Activities You May Not Have Considered
Even though many seniors slow down in their golden years, they can still enjoy sports and other outdoor activities. Golf is a fun sport in which you can safely social distance. Swimming is another recreational activity that doesn’t place a lot of pressure on the joints. Rent a bicycle and go for an easy ride around town. Recumbent bikes or adult tricycles can be easier on senior’s joints.
Mental Activities to Inspire You
After a year into the pandemic, you will need to get more creative to keep your senior’s minds engaged. Maybe enroll your senior in an online class. Ask them to learn the same language your child is learning in school so they can practice together. Find museums with online learning programs to enrich your lives. Start a new hobby, sewing or quilting. Get your mom or dad to help you or your kids with a scrapbook project. Encourage your senior to pass down cooking to a child. Although many seniors might be self-isolating, they can still mentor others. Puzzles, crossword or jigsaw, can be a fun way to get a conversation going and spend an evening without TV.
Why Seniors Need to Stay Busy
During normal times, it’s estimated that almost one-quarter of seniors are considered to be socially isolated. The pandemic has only increased the problem. We are social beings, even those who call themselves introverts. Our relationships help us live longer and more fulfilled lives. Loneliness leads to many health conditions that can be mitigated through our relationships. The CDC
lists health risks from loneliness, including:
- Social isolation increases the risk of dementia.
- Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety.
- Loneliness increases the risk of heart failure and hospitalization.
If you need help with care for your loved one, ask the caregivers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care about resources or a complimentary consultation