We know loneliness can be a risk factor for a variety of health concerns for older adults. However, in the age of Coronavirus precautions, adhering to self-isolation guidelines can be paramount to maintaining one’s health.
The truth is, self-isolation can be boring. As the old saying goes, “a watched pot never boils”. Staring at the clock is only going to make time feel like its passing much slower. It’s time to be creative and consider the many independent, enjoyable activities that don’t require leaving your home.
Here are some fun ideas to try:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Studies have shown impressive mental health benefits from simply writing down a few things each day that we’re grateful for. They can be big things or little, from a surprise phone call from a friend to particularly enjoying what you had for lunch.
- Take a virtual tour. Many places like museums, theme parks and zoos are offering virtual tours or behind-the-scenes sessions. You can even go globetrotting online, checking out Hollywood’s most famous homes.
- Subscribe to good news. Digesting what’s on most of the news today can be difficult. Find a news source that publishes only good news stories to brighten your day.
- Complete a course. The internet is a great resource for lifelong learning opportunities. There are many platforms that offer specific coursework based on a topic of interest, often supplying you with an earned certificate upon completion. Apps can also help you learn a new language.
- Shop online. Sometimes browsing while online shopping can be just as pleasing as visiting the store in-person. Take some time to look at what your favourite stores are offering, rather than just heading right to what you need. A number of stores are even offering free-delivery if their brick and mortar locations are closed.
- Begin a new hobby. It’s is the perfect time to start a new hobby. Consider finding online how-to’s which can help you learn the basics. Does a friend share an interest in the same hobby? Video calling them for advice could be both fun and informative.
- Start Spring cleaning. Extra time can be great for getting odd jobs done. Perhaps you have family photos you’ve been wanting to scrapbook, or you’ve found a letter from an old pen pal that you’ve been wanting to reconnect with. There’s no better time than now. If not, then take some time to reorganize your living space or put together a box of items that you’ve been meaning to donate (as long as you do so after restrictions have been lifted).
- Call a friend or hotline. A call from a friend can be all you need to feel connected to someone else. Sharing a story or a laugh together can create so much happiness. Hotlines are also available to connect seniors who may not know who to call when they are feeling lonely.
- Take a fitness class. During isolation, it’s important to keep yourself moving. Some gyms are offering free, online fitness classes while apps offer 24-7 access to health and fitness routines. When searching, it may be helpful to look for ones tailored to older adults.
- Get some fresh air. While we understand this can be difficult in isolation, you can still open a window and pull up a chair allowing you to breathe in some fresh springtime air. You could even consider planting some bulbs in the window to watch them grow. If you enjoy walking, consider offering to walk a neighbours dog for them one morning or evening, but remember: It’s important to practice safe social distancing at all times.
At Seasons, our Fun Services Managers are working hard to ensure our residents remain engaged and connected during isolation in their suites. We will be providing activities that are self-directed, one-on-one with our staff or programming where residents can safely participate from their open doorway or by telephone. Follow us on social media to learn more.