As we enter the fall and winter season this year, things look a little different. Many seniors continue to isolate at home because of the Coronavirus pandemic and this can take a toll on their mental health.
It’s important for seniors to work with their families, caregivers and health professionals to develop a plan that allows them to safely take part in activities they love and maintain positive mental health through activity and connection.
At any age, our health and wellbeing are enhanced by regularly participating in the things that bring us purpose, hope and joy. For seniors, taking part in these activities can be more difficult, older people who feel younger than their age show less brain aging, better memory and less depression. And studies show that staying engaged is important for a senior’s mental and physical health. Medical professionals recognize that social determinants of health, especially those that affect mental, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, impact health outcomes and quality of life.
There are always opportunities for meaningful moments and joyful days with a little planning, conversation and intentional action.
Fall activities tend to focus on connecting with loved ones, enjoying the turning season and spending time outside before the weather gets icy.
- This year, many people can’t see their favorite sports teams play in person. But fall is a dream for seniors that enjoy football, baseball and hockey and there are ways to participate virtually. Seniors and their loved ones can watch together over a video call or have a socially distanced viewing party at home, as long as everyone adheres to recommended safety guidelines.
- Enjoying fall foliage is an activity in itself, and can be done sitting on the porch, going for a short walk or on a longer hike outside. Raking leaves can even be fun when done with loved ones.
- Eating is another activity that seems to be more fun in the fall – family dinners for those isolating together, baking projects and Halloween fun are all opportunities for seniors to participate in activities they enjoy while maintaining their nutrition goals.
The holidays are filled with opportunities to enjoy music, celebrations with family and community service.
- Holiday shopping is a fun activity usually done outside of the house. However, online shopping may be the best way for seniors to get their gifts without visiting the mall.
- Singing, dancing, playing instruments and listening to holiday carols are ways that seniors can enjoy music, no matter what the weather looks like outside. Streaming music services often have a wide selection, allowing seniors to pick their favorites to listen to through a phone, virtual assistant or computer.
- While there are ways that seniors can serve others year-round, volunteering can be even more meaningful around the holidays. Finding virtual volunteer opportunities is even easier this year – writing letters, knitting blankets and finding old coats and sweaters to donate can all be done safely at home.
Comfort Keepers® can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, we create individual care plans for every client. These plans include wellness goals that consider physical, mental and emotional health. Our caregivers can help support physician-prescribed diet and exercise plans, provide medication reminders, provide transportation to appointments and help seniors engage in the activities they love the most. And, our caregivers can help senior stay connected with loved ones through video chats, phone calls and care updates. We believe that every senior should experience the best in life. If you have questions about Comfort Keepers uplifting in-home care services, please contact us today.
AARP. “Keep Your Brain Active by Doing Things You Love.” Web (video).
Science Daily. “Feeling Young Could Mean Your Brain is Aging More Slowly.” Web. 2018.
Forbes. “The Risks of Social Isolation for Older Adults.” Web. 2017.
Lifehack. “19 Fun Activities for Seniors to Stay Active Physically and Mentally.” Web.