The global pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. Especially for older adults, the lack of normalcy and decreased interaction with others has significantly contributed to feelings of isolation, sadness, and overall mental and physical health decline.
The one saving grace the past few months was the warmer weather of summer. With small group gatherings (if masks are worn) being approved in many states, time spent outdoors has helped seniors feel more social and happier.
Residents at Wesley Woods at New Albany have said that living in a community has helped tremendously as well, as activities and meals with others would not have been possible at home.
Now that the season has changed and the temperatures have dropped, many seniors living at home are worried that being unable to be outside as much could have additional negative effects to an already not-so-great time.
To help try and ease concerns, we’ve compiled some ideas and resources to stay active and limit isolation in the colder weather.
- Virtual gatherings are still here, and they’re better than ever. Now that we have been facing the pandemic head-on for months, families, friends, businesses, senior centers, and retirement communities have transitioned in-person social events to virtual events. Because of this, people are becoming more tech-savvy, more creative, and more engaged. Talk to your friends and families and contact some local businesses and communities to see what gatherings you can attend virtually from your home and for instructions on how to participate. Are you used to a weekly happy hour on your patio? Set up a virtual one through Zoom instead! Before you know it, you’ll have a full calendar of virtual visits with loved ones and educational opportunities!
All of The Wesley Communities offer virtual speaker series that meet on a monthly basis. Click here for Wesley Woods at New Albany’s events.
- Along the lines of virtual gatherings, visit museums and site-see from your house! Many national parks, museums, and famous attractions are offering virtual visits that feel pretty similar to being there in person. For example, spend time explore The Louvre here, or see all that the Franklin Park Conservatory has to offer from the cherry blossoms to the Bonsai Exhibition here.
- Expand and improve your cooking skills. Even though restaurants are open, and many have indoor seating options, it’s something that should be approached with serious caution. If you’re like a lot of people, eating at home makes you feel more comfortable and less susceptible. To add some excitement in eating more meals at home, take on the challenge of a new recipe or incorporate theme-nights into your weekly menus. Not only can this improve your cooking skills, it also makes eating at home a more exciting and enjoyable experience.
- Use items around the house to get creative with exercising. If you’ve grown accustomed to exercising outside, or you miss going to your gym or senior fitness center, you can transition some of your workout routines to your home using standard household items. To continue with a little cardio, take a few trips up and down your staircase to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. For low weight bearing, arm exercises, try using soup cans for bicep curls or front raises. A chair is also a great item that can be used for a variety of exercises. From squats, to calf raises, the options are endless. Silver Sneakers has shared a great article (with videos) for some chair, yoga block, and bath towel exercises. Click here to view.
- Start planning for the holidays. If you tend to procrastinate your holiday shopping or gift making, use the extra time at home to cross some items off your list. You can order those Amazon items your grandson is wanting for Christmas or start knitting that scarf you gift to your daughter for Hanukkah each year. By starting early, you won’t have those last-minute errands to run or those projects to finish right before the holidays start.
Above all else, look out for one another. Check on your neighbors and try to find gratitude in the simple moments of life. It takes a village to overcome obstacles and we are in this together.