Now that the novelty of free time at home has worn off, many are going a bit stir crazy. While it’s not good for anyone to be sedentary, it can be particularly harmful for seniors. Known as “the sitting disease”, spending too much time with little to no physical activity puts them at higher risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, Type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline. It can even put one at more risk of depression, which is already a concern during this challenging time. We’ve taken some ideas that we’re using in our senior living communities and paired them with resources that you can use to stay active and have a little fun while home.
For more information, check out our COVID-19 Survival Guide for Seniors (and those who love them):
Go Virtual to Stay Active
Technology has been a tremendous asset in our senior living communities during this time. It’s one of the best ways to figuratively break down those walls you’re stuck inside of right now! It can take you just about anywhere and enable you to do so many things – some that maybe you have never even considered before! Ideas include:
Field Trips – San Diego Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, Yellowstone National Park, the Louvre in Paris, the Great Wall of China – even Mars!
Events – Enjoy live theatre performances through BroadwayHD, musicians performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Series or your favorite artists’ may even be hosting live shows on their social media accounts. You can also see live performances from the Philadelphia Orchestra or opera at some of the world’s most famous venues through OperaVision.
Classes – Try learning something new with free Ivy League courses from Class Central. Milk Street Online Cooking School is offering free classes and artist Mo Willems is offering “lunch doodle” classes on Kennedy Center’s YouTube channel. Although not a class, you can also learn about business, science, tech and just about anything else with Ted Talks.
Fitness – Okay, you actually have to do the work, but the YMCA is offering free, on-demand classes, as are Gold’s Gym and Orangetheory. Planet Fitness is live-streaming workouts each day.
Hobbies – Take up knitting with Third Piece’s interactive classes, get instructional quilting videos from the National Quilters Circle or even get in touch with your inner artist with free adult coloring pages through Crayola or the Colorfy app on your phone.
Enjoy Being Offline
Your grandkids may think differently but as we know, you can still have fun and stay active away from the screen too. We’ve been encouraging residents to play games and puzzles, have started ‘window visits’ among families and have hosted family parades which are a huge hit! Other offline activity ideas include:
Spending More Time with Pets – Take them for walks, teach them new tricks, play Tug-of-War and other favorite games or even catch up on grooming. They will love the extra attention!
Experiencing Nature at Home – Spend more time gardening (or take it up), read on the back patio, chat with neighbors from your porch, have lunch outside, sit by the window with your coffee or simply keep the windows open.
Journaling About Your Experience – This could be the perfect time to put pen to paper with memories or adventures during your life. Also while challenging and scary, the COVID-19 pandemic is an historic event so it’s important to chronicle our individual experiences. It can be therapeutic as well!
For more information, contact a community near you to arrange a virtual tour!