With the COVID-19 pandemic happening today, longer are the days when we are stuck at home and called to navigate a new normal. A time like this could trigger stress and anxiety to anyone as we all change the way we spend our days, mostly just stuck at home.
For families caring for senior parents, this could be challenging when it comes to maintaining their overall well-being. Since senior citizens have a higher risk of getting infected, we must care for them and find ways to keep them healthy and active. Here are some activities senior parents can do at home.
Encourage your senior parents to move as much as they could because it is beneficial to their health. Despite age and mobility issues, getting the body moving for blood circulation, endorphins, and firm muscles and joints is essential.
Seated exercises and yoga for seniors are some forms of low impact exercises that may be suitable. Help them get into a routine of exercising by exercising together or looking up online workout videos that they can follow.
Meditation brings about focus, relaxation, and awareness. This activity, as simple as it may seem, can boost mental wellness, especially in these trying times that affect how they feel and think. Several guided meditation applications are beginner-friendly, and a simple breathing exercise can also be a start to feeling more mindful and calm.
Connecting With Loved Ones
With the help of technology and social media, catching up with loved ones is possible. Setting up video calls with loved ones and friends can keep senior parents busy and make them feel treasured through the time spent with them. Through video calls, senior parents can gain a sense of connection despite the physical distance.
Allow senior parents to reminisce with simple life story exercises over a meal or during some downtime. Ask questions about their childhood, their unforgettable memories growing up, or things they have learned along the way.
Ask each family member to come up with a question and let the conversation flow. Doing this activity enhances their memory and also gives them an avenue to reflect and express themselves.
Revisiting old pictures can also be a fun activity for them to tell stories about their life. Kids at home or could also join in this activity to strengthen bonds.
Take it one step further by organizing photo albums or scrapbooking to keep themselves busy and creative. Through this, senior parents could gain a sense of fulfillment and contentment, feel positive emotions, and relieve stress.
Reading boosts cognitive health, maintains concentration, and provides opportunities to connect. There’s a various range of reading materials that your senior parent may find interesting such as lifestyle magazines, daily biblical readings, and bibliographies.
Meanwhile, audiobooks and podcasts can be fun alternatives to reading as well, especially if there are health concerns like visual impairment.
Dig into old cooking books or try out a new recipe. Cooking is a great way to allow senior parents to participate in daily house activities or chores. This activity can also be a way to bond with family members and learn from each other.
Perhaps assign them to cook one meal weekly or ask them to teach other family members their specialty recipes. The whole process of preparing and sharing a meal can also establish good relationships at home.
Gardening is another way to help senior parents increase their mobility and flexibility while at home. It also allows them to relax as they connect with nature. Moreover, it could give a sense of responsibility and purpose as they care for plants. This activity helps stimulate their brain and body, and it is easy to do with materials that are readily available at home.
Listening To Music
Senior parents can find enjoyment in listening, dancing, and singing to their favorite music. Allow them to share with family members the music they enjoyed growing up.
Research also shows that music helps stimulates the brain and keeps us healthy. Platforms such as YouTube and Spotify can help you search for music and instantly travel to the past.
Caring For Senior Parents During The Pandemic
Now is the time to be creative and resourceful in providing activities for senior parents, given the limitations. According to Dr. Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, “Our senior patients need additional measures of care and protection, and COVID-19 only exacerbates those needs.”
So we must prioritize taking care of senior parents during these uncertain times that can strike vulnerability in them. The last thing we want is for them to feel stressed or for their present health conditions to worsen if they have any.