With recent gathering restrictions in Quebec due to Covid 19, we’ve come up with a list of virtual activities that seniors might enjoy to stay connected, light-hearted, and entertained. Whether you’re newly retired and isolating at home, are in assisted living, or with limitations in home-care, there may be something in this list to inspire your next activity. Ca va bien aller!
Connection with our social circles is especially important during the pandemic. Phone calls or text messages are simple and great ways to stay connected, but organizing video conferences on platforms like Zoom with friends and family can take your experience to the next level. People have found creative ways to host Zoom conferences, by creating Zoom parties, where participants share a glass of wine, have meals from the same restaurant delivered to various residences, and decorations added to their backdrop. This can be suitable for special occasions or to add a little cheer to your weekend. However, the importance lies in quality time spent ‘together’, apart.
Another way to stay connected with loved ones can be through social media. As platforms like Facebook have been around for some time, many individuals in our senior community may not have yet joined these platforms. Benefits from maintaining a private profile could include a connection with loved ones, sharing photos, audio clips, and video files. Those who would like to further engage with social media could join local groups, communities of similar interests, and even create pages where they can share their hobbies and interests.
Virtual gaming can be a common activity that is known for younger audiences. However, with such diversity in online gaming, there truly is something for everyone. Seniors can participate in virtual versions of classic games like Scrabble. They can play modern-styled games on their own or with friends and grandkids. Video games have arguably been seen as a negative activity for those who play for long periods of time; however, some believe a healthy amount of gaming in combination with the right kind of games, can help brain function in seniors.
VIRTUAL TOURS & TRIPS
There are some great experiences online when it comes to virtual tours and trips. From touring the Vatican to the Great Wall of China, there are popular landmarks that offer a digital experience of their main attractions. Seniors can enjoy these moments by running a simple search in Google or getting inspired by this list of virtual experiences.
Streaming events are quite popular and can truly be positive and entertaining. Various websites and social platforms like YouTube and Facebook offer live performances from various artists, talks from public speakers, and community discussions led by reputable hosts. Finding different channels and pages that offer the types of entertainment and information that you would like to see, can help you learn of upcoming show dates for free and ticketed virtual events. There are also sports games and church services that are streaming online or airing live on TV for you to watch.
TAKING A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
Sometimes consuming entertainment with a theme or purpose adds to the experience. Why not take a trip down memory lane and choose some of your favourite genres that remind you of a time or era. Playing your favourite musicians from your childhood or watching a classic holiday film can bring about the best type of nostalgia. Of course, there is no shortage of modern TV series, movies, and documentaries to keep up to date with, on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Keeping active is very important and challenging for people of all age groups during the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Quebec and elsewhere. With gyms and activity centres closed, it can be difficult to remain structured and disciplined with our exercise. Making use of the outdoors, while following social distancing rules, is how some are choosing to stay active. However, others may find it difficult as they prefer indoor training. The good news is, there are many online exercise programs, guided classes, and even live group workout experiences. Depending on the level of your mobility, choose a class that challenges you, and keeps you moving. A caregiver may be of assistance to any of the more strenuous movements.
READING, WRITING, LISTENING
We should never underestimate the power of putting pen to paper. Our aged-loved ones can offer us rich experience and wisdom; and to encourage our loved ones to write and express themselves artistically in their later years, is a fantastic way to keep their spirits up and provide them a mission. Creation at any age can be liberating. Writing poems, journal entries, songs, scripts, or novel ideas can be done by hand, but better yet why not typed? Typing is a skill that is never too late to be learned. Alternatively, some adults who have conditions that restrict their capabilities to write and type may find voice notes to be a way to express ideas and songs. Using these digital tools can allow the opportunity for creative works to be shared with social groups online. In the same vein, there are many e-books and audiobooks that one can sit back and enjoy with a cup of tea. In fact, audiobooks have been known to be a fantastic resource for ageing adults.
This may not be the typical virtual activity for a senior, but we believe if your capabilities and environment permit, why not pursue new and interesting possibilities? You may even discover that with some assistance you can explore digital creation programs. Creating simple video snippets to send to your family or recording yourself singing and playing an instrument can be a great project to work on and send as a gift for special occasions.
Aside from online exercise classes, there is ‘virtually’ every type of class to be taken online. If mobility, time, and interest permit – why not try a baking class to follow along with, join a painting group, or maybe finally learn how to square dance. Universities also offer a variety of online courses to those learning to continue education. All of these activities are available and may be possible while isolating during the pandemic.
While families and older adults shelter in place, there are ways to stay active and keep healthy in mind, body and spirit. Younger adults and capable members of our community may find it rewarding to assist our aged loved ones and the seniors in our community t to become familiar with digital platforms and virtual ways of staying connected.