May 4, 2020
5 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active During Social Distancing
Staying Active & Why It's Important
Staying active during the Coronavirus is hard for anyone, but especially for senior citizens living in an assisted living community, like Summerfield Senior Living. While it’s easy to get into the habit of binge watching our favorite shows all day, is that really the best choice? Staying active during this time is especially important to our seniors. Senior citizens need to be the most careful. So how do you continue to stay healthy not only physically, but mentally?
Get off the couch and get moving. Go for a walk around the community. Getting a little fresh air and sunshine is one of the best medicines both mentally and physically. Being outside on a beautiful sunny day seems to help with any mood. Take a walk around the block, to your mailbox or sidewalk. If your lucky, you will see a friend or neighbor out doing the same. Schedule a time with that friend to “meet” outside for a nice socially distanced wave or chat.
This can be anything from learning to paint, craft, sew, needle point or even just drawing a picture. Learning a new skill or practicing a talent you already have is mentally stimulating and keeps your brain active. A great opportunity during this pandemic would also be to make homemade masks. These masks would give you a project, help your friends and neighbors, serve the community, stay protected and may even earn you a little extra income. Many people are making and selling masks right now, so why not? What inspires you? What is it you have always wanted to do, but never took the time? Maybe your idea of art is more related to music? Why not take up playing your favorite instrument, or learning to play a new one? You may find a talent you never even knew you had. Don’t limit yourself!
Learn About Technology
A lot can be said about technology these days. While most seniors may not know a lot about it or how some of it is used, I would bet you could find some help from your caretaker. Even a phone call to your son, granddaughter, niece or a friend may help walk you through ways of keeping in touch virtually. Facetime, Facebook, Zoom…these are just some of the ways we can keep in contact with our loved ones. The best part about many of these options is that they can all be used on a cell phone. You are not limited to just sitting in a chair while you chat. Facetime with your granddaughter, but head outside to give her a virtual tour of the community. Show your nephew over facetime the newest hot rod in the neighbor’s driveway (at a distance of course). Does your daughter like flowers? Show her the roses you recently planted by the community center.
Learn to garden
Gardening has so many benefits during this time. Not only can you get outside and move around, you have something to take care of. Nurturing a plant stimulates our minds and allows you to feel needed. You have the best of both worlds with physical movement and mental stimulation. For those that may not be able to get outside, there are a variety of plants that can be grown indoors as well. Pick the plant that is right for your situation and get going. Gardening, whether it’s flowers, plants or even vegetables is a great way to stay active.
Be a Mentor
This is my favorite pick of all. What better way not only to help yourself stay active, but to help a child stay active as well? There are so many resources available to students through the minds of our seniors. Many times, our schools are teaching about events seniors have lived through and you may even have a personal account of the topic. What if you had a student assigned to you that you could read to, or have them read to you via zoom or facetime? What if this opportunity allowed you to write letters, or better yet receive them from your assigned student? Maybe you could even teach this student a thing or two about gardening, art or music.
Staying active during this time can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. These ideas are only scratching the surface as to what opportunities are just waiting to be discovered. With a little thought, and let’s face it we have plenty of time for that, you can come up with so many more ways to not only stay physically active, but keep your mind moving as well!