We’ve talked quite a bit about how we’re helping our residents adjust to life in a COVID-19 world. But we also realize that many seniors still live at home, and nine months into the pandemic, you may need some tips as well. Without knowing how much longer seniors will continue to be asked to go out as little as possible, these tips can help keep you engaged and connected at home.
Keeping Connected While at Home
Staying in touch with friends and family isn’t a bonus, it’s a necessity for seniors. Pre COVID-19 social isolation affected nearly 1 in 5 seniors, according to AARP. Social isolation is much different than feeling lonely, it’s being psychologically or physically detached from your family, friends and community. What’s more, it can cause seniors to have a greater chance for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system and cognitive decline as well as even anxiety and depression. Living alone is one of the risk factors.
Here’s how to keep connected:
- Video Chat – You may have already been using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to keep in touch, but make a point to do so with at least one friend or family member a day. Even if it’s just a quick chat. And if you can’t do video, a phone call works too!
- Take Part in a Community – It may take some creativity, but it’s still possible to connect with people who share your same interests. You could try games like Words with Friends as well as Facebook Groups or even AARP forums.
- Spend More Time with Pets – Who says connection just has to be with people? Spending time with your pets has numerous benefits too, not the least of which is companionship. Go for more walks, teach them more tricks and play ALL their favorite games – they will love you for it!
Keeping Active and Engaged
It goes without saying that it’s important to stay active as well. In fact, 31 million adults age 50 or older are inactive according to the CDC and a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also found that 67 percent of adults aged 60 and older are sedentary for at least 8.5 hours a day. That number is even higher for those who live alone. What’s more, it isn’t necessarily just physical exercise that seniors need, it’s also vital to keep your mind engaged.
Here’s how to keep active and engaged:
- Exercise – The YMCA has free, on-demand classes for seniors and Planet Fitness is live-streaming workouts. But really any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate counts and don’t forget balance as well as flexibility exercises like yoga or Tai Chi – there are plenty of online options for that too!
- Learn – With all this time on your hands it’s the perfect opportunity to learn something new. Class Central offers free Ivy League courses and TakeLessons can also connect you to teachers on a range of subjects. Or, learn a new language with Babble.
- Spend More Time in Nature– Whether it’s gardening, reading on the front porch, chatting with neighbors from the driveway, sitting by the window or just keeping the windows open, spending time in nature has numerous physical and mental benefits.
Senior Living Can Make Life Easier During COVID-19
One of the biggest benefits to senior living, particularly now is that you’re never alone. Here, friends, neighbors and caring associates are always nearby. What’s more, you don’t have to coordinate all these activities above on your own. Most communities, like ours, have a Director of Engagement to plan it all for you from fitness to enrichment to social opportunities – socially distanced of course! And there are plenty of technology resources as well to keep you connected to family and friends.
You may be wondering if you can even move to senior living right now. Yes, you can! Our communities are making sure the move-in process is safe and smooth with a range of safety precautions in place. In addition to following strict local, state and federal guidelines, we’re also performing COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to your move-in date and on day seven, as well asking all new residents to shelter in their apartments until after the second COVID-19 test is negative.
What’s more, with everything you need under one roof you’ll avoid public touchpoints altogether and with limited access to visitors, as well as 24-hour staffing, you can have peace of mind in living here – the risk of exposure may even be less than at home!
To learn more about senior living at Vitality, contact us to schedule a virtual tour.