In this time of coronavirus crisis, health experts and institutions recommend the public to stay indoors. The current situation affects all of our activities, from school to work, businesses, and recreational activities. To put simply, the novel coronavirus impacts our personal lives in the most devastating ways.
The world turned upside down with the government’s rule of self-isolation. Quarantine is a disorienting experience for those who love going out, especially seniors visiting adult daycare centers. Yet, it’s important to see the silver lining behind the crisis: it allows us to reconnect with our loved ones at home.
Some might find staying indoors boring. Luckily, we’ve gathered a list of things seniors can do to ease their boredom. If you’re caregiving a senior family member, the following are good ways to keep them busy and healthy at the same time. Here is the list of activities that the elderly can practice at the comfort of their homes:
1. Create a simple physical workout.
One of the ways to combat boredom at your home is through an indoor workout. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends older adults to exercise vigorous-intensity activities for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Seniors have varying options to get their strength back. Such workout includes resistance bands, lightweight training, aerobics, and walking. Encouraging seniors to participate in regular physical activity helps them maintain their muscle mass, increase bone density, improve flexibility and balance, manage chronic diseases. Remember, move more and sit less –this is essential in reducing the risks of falls!
2. Read books.
Some might not know that reading books actually provides a wealth of benefits to seniors. Reading your favorite books as a past time reduces stress, improves sleep, and sharpens senior’s memory. Perhaps the most eminent advantage of it is that it delays the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What’s more, it protects cognitive health; seniors will find themselves learning new things every day.
Additionally, this activity exercises older adult’s memory, a critical evident in recalling short-term daily events. And this serves as an effective method to shut eyes than falling asleep in front of electronic devices.
3. Write a poem or song.
Aside from reading books, writing a poem or song is a good way to enhance memory, produce low cortisol levels, and lower stress. Medical institutions believe that writing poetry has therapeutic effects on seniors. First, it helps them explore their emotions, and second, it allows them to communicate feelings that they find difficult to express.
Seniors can increase their awareness of their environment and the people surrounding them. As such, it creates a guide in improving their language skills to find words that rhyme one another.
4. Cook or bake with family members.
Quarantine has also its good side. It helps family members reconnect again due to busy work schedules or school activities. Allowing seniors to participate in these activities triggers happy memories, especially when meals are prepared and shared with loved ones.
Cooking provides mental benefits to the elderly. As such, it creates social engagement, boosts emotions, and exercises their minds. The act of creating delicious meals is an entertaining way to present a social outlet for seniors to express themselves. If you’re a family member, why don’t you ask your aging parents the best recipe they had? We’re sure they have one!
5. Play board games and puzzles.
Another way to relieve stress is by playing board games or solving puzzles. Although these activities aren’t your typical physical workout, they are foolproof recreations that serve as gymnastics for seniors’ brains. Playing mind games requires critical and logical thinking skills, stimulating older adults’ minds for a better game result.
Besides it being a brain workout, it helps in refining the elderly’s intelligence quotient. For instance, chess has six different pieces, each with a unique movement pattern. To win the game, the players must understand the piece’s movements, and this is an effective self-care practice to boost seniors’ cognitive memory. The same thing goes with solving puzzles, like crossword and Jigsaw.
6. Create artworks.
There’s a common notion that depression is a normal part of the aging process. But it isn’t. In fact, several factors can trigger depression among seniors, and among them is the isolation that we’re facing currently. Because of this, seniors become more vulnerable to depression and anxiety amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Drawing and painting are proven methods of managing seniors’ anxiety and isolation. Creating artworks help the elderly loosen up their unhappy thoughts of the pandemic outbreak (as World Health Organization states older people are susceptible to the disease). Similar to writing poems, art activities help the elderly express their inner emotions, which helps them communicate their unvoiced opinions.
7. Do meditation practices.
An alternative way to reducing stress (because of the pandemic outbreak) is by meditating. A journal article published under Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences revealed that meditation has substantial benefits to the older age group. The activity is demonstrated to have relaxing claims to seniors’ health, improving their immune system to fight infections and diseases.
At the comfort of your homes, make sure to practice precautionary measures before allowing seniors to partake in the meditation activity. Some of the mind-connection activities include Tai Chi and Yoga. Chair-bound seniors don’t have to worry about meditating, as both examples cater to them as well.
8. Use social networking sites.
Since we’re currently facing a pandemic outbreak, family members should take quarantine seriously. With the upsurge of the internet, why not educate seniors on how to use one? Teaching them how to create their profiles on Facebook or Skype is a good way to bond with them socially. Once their accounts are created, instruct them on how to use it properly.
Social networking sites are very effective in alleviating boredom. For example, seniors can FaceTime their friends. This enables them to catch up with their friends without going outside. Additionally, they can visit museums through virtual tours.
With the pandemic outbreak, staying indoors is proven to be more difficult. Yet, Oasis highlights the activities that both seniors and family members to remain productive. Be sure to implement them all today!