Keeping patients or elderly parents entertained at home can be a full time job. Even more when the whole family is at home during a global pandemic situation. If you’re juggling a full time job, children, parents, pets and anything else life throws at you, we understand the challenge and we are here to help.
Our nurses and caretakers are available to serve you and your family during tough times. We also want to empower you to support your elderly loved one while at home in a ‘new normal.’
Here are a few of our nurse and companion recommended activities to keep your loved one active, entertained and comfortable at home. Whether your homebound family member is in pain and needs distraction or is simply bored and needs company, it’s a good idea to have a list of ways to keep seniors busy and mobile.
While these activities are helpful for seniors specifically during the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic, this list can also prove useful to anyone who is homebound or bedridden for an extended period.
1. Virtual Gatherings – We’re incredibly inspired by the serge of video meetings and virtual calls during this pandemic. Platforms like Zoom.us and Skype make it possible for everyone to stay in touch and connect from anywhere in the world and maintain social distance. Try planning family video gatherings or sharing a meal digitally. This creates a social interaction and pleasant family time even during quarantine.
Arrange for weekly video calls for your loved one and their relatives and friends. Online clubs can also be motivating and offer socialization for seniors who are homebound but mentally active.
2. Digital Media -With modern technology digital media is an obvious go-to for entertainment for seniors. We suggest thinking outside the box. Try entertaining your elderly parents with ebooks, audio books or podcasts and other broadcasts. Although this may be ‘screentime,’ it lets your loved ones interact with screens in a new way.
Instead of just watching TV or playing mindless games, digital reading materials are a great way to keep the mind active, learn new things, and stay entertained. Most libraries provide digital entertainment for their patrons at no cost. If you’re in the Miami area, visit www.MDPLS.org to register for a library card and download your favorite ebooks right away.
3. Handheld Crafts Most seniors have had some practice with handheld crafts or tools. We always suggest that anything that keeps a patient moving and focused is helpful.
A few of our top picks include:
- Watercolor painting
- Airplane Models
- Simple Woodcraft
Often these types of practices act as strengthening exercises. These activities are simple enough and can be therapeutic for joints and support long term joint flexibility and mobility. Seniors maintain or strengthen skills like hand eye coordination, dexterity, fine motor skills, and even creativity.
4. Planting and Gardening Being hands on with nature, like planting seeds and caring for plants, are incredibly therapeutic for the human being. This activity is great for seniors because it is a slow process and can be incorporated as much or as little as desired. It creates a good ‘long term’ goal or project to keep seniors in positive spirits and feel they can contribute.
Being part of the process and the plant life cycle can be rewarding. Caring for plants gives seniors a sense of fulfilment. Plant herbs or small vegetables for an even more rewarding experience. It is thrilling to eat something one has grown themself.
5. Physical Activity Although this activity sometimes catches flack, it is incredibly important to human well being to exercise. This doesn’t mean your senior parent should go run 10 miles, but exercise within their means. Physical activity takes many forms. Take a walk or practice some simple seated stretches.
Choose activities that target your parents specific needs. For example, if they suffer from heart disease or heart related issues, try incorporating cardio practices and mobility training.
Those experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety can do a meditation to calm the mind. Try this 5 Minute Breath Meditation. Simple breathing exercises can make a world of difference and simulate mild physical activity for the body.