For many seniors, one of the hardest aspects of the coronavirus crisis is social isolation and loneliness. If you are isolating in your own home, here are some unique ways to make the time spent alone more enjoyable:
Sort through your old photos or keepsakes.
Do you have boxes stored in the dark corners of your home that haven’t been opened in years? Now is a great time to dust off those old photo albums, yearbooks, and family photos to reminisce.
Take a ‘virtual vacation’ on Google Earth.
Google Earth is a great way to see parts of the world during travel restrictions and isolation. Start by looking up your childhood home, your school, or maybe a favorite vacation destination. Google Earth maps all corners of the globe. You can even visit some faraway destinations you’ve always wanted to visit. Now you can visit the Great Pyramids, Machu Pichu or London’s Buckingham Palace. To start exploring, visit Google Earth and click the ‘launch earth’ button.
Do some spring cleaning.
Nothing feels better than clearing out all the clutter, especially during these times of social isolation when you’re trapped inside for weeks at a time. There’s no better time to clear out clutter, reorganize, or rearrange a room. Just remember to be careful! Save reaching high shelves or save the heavy lifting for when you have help.
Do some gardening or light yardwork.
Being outside is one of the best places to relieve stress, as long as you are safely distancing from others. Gardening is very beneficial to seniors, even if you only have limited space for a few flower pots. Most hardware or home stores are offering curbside delivery. If you don’t have a garden, consider some brightly colored annuals, or a small herb garden on a porch or deck.
Play some brain games.
Games can reduce the likelihood of dementia and improve cognitive health, especially during long isolation. Virtual activities are a great way to stay mentally stimulated while having fun. A great place to start is the AARP website that features an extensive collection of senior-friendly games, puzzles, and memory-boosters. To get started, visit games.aarp.org.
Virtual Movie nights.
Even though you are separated, watching movies with friends or loved ones can still be a communal activity. Choose a day and time, and then choose a movie or show you can all watch simultaneously on Netflix or any other shared streaming service. Then start the movie at the same time and text, FaceTime, or Zoom each other while you are watching so you can share the experience – as if you were all in the same room!
Cooking or baking.
Is there a favorite recipe you haven’t made in years? Or maybe a new one you’ve wanted to try? You don’t need a special occasion to indulge your sweet tooth or prepare a special dinner. Are you cooking for just one or two these days? Save as leftovers or freeze the rest for an easy meal later on.