While the coronavirus has turned life upside down for everyone, older adults have been affected the most. Seniors are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19 than the rest of the population, meaning they are more likely to restrict their activities and stay homebound. Many of them already live with restrictions – stay-at-home orders can make it much more challenging.
If you know a homebound senior looking to stay busy, here are five ways you can help them stay mentally and physically stimulated during the pandemic!
In-Home Exercise Routines
Homebound life can negatively affect the body, making it important for seniors to have exercise routines. Good exercise can reduce restlessness, get seniors much-needed activity, and even boost mood and immune function.
The side effect is that the routine adds some purpose to their day, and they’ll look forward to getting up and about. Even just walking around the house or backyard to increase daily step counts can be effective!
Puzzles And Game Books
Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and word searches are excellent ways to pass the time and keep mental muscles sharp. There is a wide range of puzzles and games available to meet all cognitive and physical capabilities.
If a care recipient loves puzzles, you can surprise them with a custom-made jigsaw puzzle! Many services let you create a one-of-a-kind puzzle with a picture of your choice; it could be a family photo, an old shot from when they were kids, a picture of their favourite tourist destination… the possibilities are endless.
When the weather outside is sunny, seniors can still make the most of it! They can get into gardening, enjoy birdwatching, or sit outside with a good book and a drink. Every chance to get out of the house, no matter how small, can make a big difference in how they mentally handle the pandemic restrictions.
Another outdoor activity that is appropriate for the time is going for a walk. Many areas under lockdown still make exceptions for outdoor exercise. Much like our indoor exercise recommendation, a walk around the neighbourhood is a great way to boost mood and get healthy sunshine and fresh air. Don’t forget to take a mask!
Write And Send Handwritten Mail
Handwritten letters, cards, and postcards may have taken a backseat to email, but everyone appreciates getting snail mail. It’s a simple, low-cost way a senior can tell someone they are thinking of them through these difficult times. Seniors can even make their cards or scrounge up postcards and mementos from the old days!
Connect With Loved Ones Over Zoom
There are so many ways seniors can still connect with others – all it takes is an open mind towards technology! If they have a computer, tablet, or smartphone, they can see their grandchildren, friends, and loved ones through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Skype, and more.
While it can seem daunting for those who aren’t tech-savvy, the tech shouldn’t scare them or their caregivers off – with a little research, practice, and a maybe a call to someone who knows this stuff, seniors can chat, hold book clubs, play games, and read bedtime stories to their grandchildren!