Keeping Seniors Engaged While Staying Socially Distant

June 10, 2020

With warm weather upon us, it is tempting to return to life as we knew it before the COVID-19 pandemic struck our country. However, researchers are predicting that we aren’t out of the woods yet, and advise that we continue to practice social distancing even as many states begin to reopen. It is especially important for those at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus, including seniors over the age of sixty-five, to be cautious about how quickly they reenter society.

Encourage your loved one to continue maintaining a social distance of at least six feet, and to remain home as much as possible. While doing so, help them to bust boredom with these fun activities:

Begin a Movie Night Tradition

Create an at-home theater experience every Saturday night. Choose a movie to watch as a family while you munch on popcorn and candy. If your loved one enjoys the classics, try checking off every movie on the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.

Embark on a New Exercise Program

It’s never too late to embrace fitness! Luckily, many of the top exercises recommended for seniors can be done from the comfort of home, or right outside the front door. Walking, dancing, resistance training and stationary cycling are all great options. There are many great websites and videos to help you get started. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program.

Learn a New Hobby

Chat with mom or dad to identify a hobby that they’ve always wanted to take a stab at and help them gather any necessary materials. Trying something new will keep your loved one engaged and busy while stimulating new neuron pathways. Some of our favorites are cooking, knitting, painting and writing.

Virtually Visit Museums and Parks

Get a daily dose of culture with a virtual tour of a museum or national park. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 2,500 museums and galleries worldwide and five national parks to offer virtual tours and online exhibits. Going to the museum has never been easier!

Brain Games

Brain games, such as chess, crossword puzzles, Scrabble and jigsaw puzzles, are excellent choices for seniors that want to exercise the mind without leaving home. While helping to fight boredom, brain games also fight against cognitive decline, short-term memory loss and forgetfulness.

Take a College Course

With more spare time on his hands, maybe dad wants to take a college course on something he’s always wanted to learn more about. Open Culture is a site that offers over 1,500 free online courses and classes from universities like Stanford, Yale, Harvard and MIT. There are a plethora of topics and options available for free.

We hope these ideas inspire you to help keep your loved one active and engaged while staying socially distant!

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