08 May Seniors & Caregiver Social Distancing Activities for COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a new perspective and way of living across the world. People are feeling its effects in a variety of ways, with seniors and caregivers being among those who are particularly susceptible to increased feelings of isolation, depression and disengagement. It’s more important than ever for us to all come together and support each other in any way we can right now.
Although many communities across Texas are beginning to re-open businesses and enter a new “normal”, seniors and caregivers have to still follow stricter social distancing guidelines due to higher risk factors of catching the virus. As we move through our second month of quarantine, this can certainly start to become a challenge for many. So, we’ve put together some resources and tips on how seniors and caregivers can remain safe and healthy at home, while staying engaged and connected with others.
Socializing When Social Distancing
It can be easy for both seniors and caregivers to start feeling particularly isolated when social distancing. However, there are many ways to connect and engage with others who are also going through the same experience.
- Schedule virtual meet-ups with friends and family – There are several free tools and apps like FaceTime and Skype that you and your senior can use to catch up with loved ones. Other android-feeling options include Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp. Socializing can really lift spirits and video is an even more powerful way of connecting. For back-up, a simple phone call always work too!
- Join an online book club or discussion group – Make new friends the virtual way by joining online social groups, like SeniorChatters, or online book clubs. You can also use social media platforms, like Facebook, to search for social media “groups” of likeminded individuals on assorted topics.
- Stay active in the community from home – Several public utilities, industry boards and neighborhood associations are conducting virtual meetings and online discussions, so people still have a way to give input. Check your local organization or committee’s website to see what options are available.
Beating Boredom and Staying Engaged
As we progress through COVID-19, many of us are starting to run out of ways to stay entertained and engaged. Seniors and caregivers may be more familiar with spending increased time at home, but the good thing is that there are more activities than ever that can be enjoyed while social distancing.
- Watch live concerts online – Music can be healing, especially during times like this. Many venues have started to offer ways to livestream shows online. NPR is keeping a running list of different shows to livestream on a daily basis. PBS also published a list of symphonies, operas and music venues that are offering livestream performances as well.
- Play your favorite games online – You can either get social with your gaming or find your favorites to play solo online and through smartphone apps. Websites like com offer a variety of board and card games you can play socially or not. You can also search for free and paid versions of your favorite games via your smartphone’s app center.
- Take a virtual class – Learn a new language or skill, and keep your mind sharp with online classes. Many options require payment, but here’s a good list from Refinery29 for different online classes to consider. There are also different apps you can use on your smartphone to learn a new language.
- Start a new craft – From painting birdhouses to creating windchimes and beaded jewelry, there are variety of crafts that are perfect for doing at home! Great Senior Living released a comprehensive list of craft ideas and instructions that are easy to do for a variety of skill levels.