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WHAT SENIORS CAN DO TO KEEP BUSY DURING CORONA VIRUS

By: David Brummer

 

While most of the world’s attention is focused on finding a vaccine – if possible – to help in the fight against COVID-19 coronavirus, the most common way governments across the globe have chosen to try and prevent its spread is through lockdowns.

 

Such an approach has the benefit of governments forcing people to socially distance themselves through keeping them mostly in their houses. However, it is important – particularly for seniors – to maintain their physical, mental and emotional health in check – particularly at a time when the majority of them cannot enjoy physically close contact with their families and friends.

 

Exercise

 

It is crucial to maintain a level of movement, even if you cannot perform your usual exercise routines. It can be all-too-easy when one can’t have the pleasure of seeing friends or even merely interacting with staff and other facility users, to let things slide. If one has access to a yard – and especially if the weather permits – there are many exercise tutorials available online that one can do in spaces both big or small. For example, check out this ten-minute chair workout specifically catered to seniors that can be done anywhere at home. Move It or Lose It – a fitness company that targets seniors – also provides live workout sessions on their Facebook page free of charge.

 

Read

 

In a lockdown it can become especially tempting to while away the hours sitting in your favorite armchair mindlessly watching tv. Although Netflix would be delighted to have your subscription – and perhaps you’ve already signed up – it doesn’t mean that you have to or should spend the entire day glued to a screen. These are stressful times and the joys of reading can help provide an oasis of calm – at least for a little while. Reading keeps the memory sharp, even if it’s something you’ve read before. It can help reduce stress, and by not looking at a screen it may give you a better night’s sleep too.

 

Learn a language

 

Let’s face it, many of us who aren’t essential workers have an awful lot more time on their hands. Now could be an excellent opportunity to tackle newfound interests. Learning a language, for example, could be an excellent way to help stimulate the mind and learn about another culture. It may seem too optimistic to make plans too far into the future, but that new language may also come in handy when embarking on that bucket list trip to Europe or South America you’ve always wanted to go to. The app Duolingo, for example, offers fun and interactive language lessons in over a dozen languages.

 

 

Spruce up the home

 

Some folks have been in their homes for about two months already and maybe those walls could do with some improvement – or just a change. It is important to know that giving your room a lift will not require an outlay of several thousand dollars, but can be achieved relatively cheaply. Think of using a company like Mixtiles. You provide the pictures, they provide the 8×8 removable tiles that the image is printed on. It is quick and really easy. Best of all, they can be configured in a variety of ways and don’t do damage to the walls. Perhaps a grid full of large pictures of your children and grandchildren will really help bring you joy and brighten up your days.

 

Take up a hobby

 

Perhaps you’re a frustrated artist and have had a hankering to get your hands dirty for years. Drawing, painting or photography can be excellent ways to spend many happy hours when freedom of movement is restricted. Now is the time to pick up that musical instrument and there are several applications available to help you play like a pro. For example, Yousician can help you get the hang of the bass, guitar, piano and ukelele in no time.

 

The key is to try – as much as possible – to keep both your body and your mind active. There is a terrible danger in this time of coronavirus of atrophy; of muscles in the body and the gray matter in the brain. Although it is an admittedly difficult time, it could also be an opportunity to do new things that will enrich your life.

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