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3 ways to combat boredom and isolation: Engaging activities for older adults

Amy Weiss | Apr 13, 2021

Did you know social isolation is one of the leading causes of depression for older adults? For those living alone, and for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, isolation can be a real struggle. But aging doesn't have to be lonely. And, it doesn't have to be boring! Having a healthy social life is important, especially for older adults, and provides the following benefits:

  • Can reduce rate of cognitive decline by 70%
  • May reduce risk of developing dementia by 40%
  • Improves enjoyment and quality of life
  • Increases knowledge and self-confidence
  • Reduces stress by 85%

Here are four ways seniors can combat boredom and isolation, whether gathering safely with loved ones and friends or finding activities to do at home.

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1. Excercise and fitness

Most people are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise, but staying active can also benefit you mentally, socially, and emotionally. Specifically, group exercise has many benefits and can be done virtually or in-person. Tips like committing to a routine and rewarding yourself can help you get the most out of your exercise.

  • Gathering safely: Connect with the fitness technician at one of Walker Methodist's senior living communities (or trainer, if you have a gym membership) and ask about group classes or one-on-one training.
  • Engaging from home: If you live at a Walker Methodist community, connect with your fitness technician to see if virtual options are available. Many free classes are also available online and can be watched live or played later. (Tip: start searching by a specific type of exercise, such as yoga for seniors.) Or, give these four indoor exercises a try.

2. Try something new

Learning new things is especially beneficial older adults, especially those with memory loss. Whether you attend a craft hour at your Walker Methodist community or tour national parks virtually, it's never too late to learn something new.

  • Gathering safely: Ask your life enrichment team members about activities and programs you can attend. Or, explore what's available at community centers in your town.
  • Engaging from home: If something interests you, like knitting or art history, search YouTube for free tutorials or education. Check out these online learning opportunities for seniors! Start a hobby, try a new recipe, complete a crossword puzzle... The possibilities are endless.

WWRWalkingPath3. Connect with loved ones and friends

Sometimes all a conversation with a loved one or friend is all it takes to brighten your day. Thankfully, there are different ways to connect safely. According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships and close relationships increase your sense of belonging, happiness, self-worth, and wellbeing; reduce stress; help you cope with traumas or challenges; and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Close relationships also may reduce the risk of health problems like depression, high blood pressure, and more.

  • Gathering safely: If you're able, ask someone special to you to go for a walk on a nice day. Or, when it's recommended and safe to do so, have a friend over for dinner (this might the time to show off that new recipe you perfected!). If you live in a senior living community, spiritual life activities may also be a great place to connect, stimulating your brain and soul.
  • Engaging from home: Tools like Zoom and FaceTime have made it almost effortless to connect with others. If you need help getting started, check out these tech tips or ask a team member for help.

Socializing safely and living fully

Socialization foster relationships, establish good communication skills, and promotes a sense of community. Connecting with others keeps people young at heart, emotionally vibrant, and mentally sharp. Fighting boredom and isolation doesn't have to be done alone. Walker Methodist senior living communities are safe, welcoming places that can help you or your loved one live fully. Our team members offer the emotional, physical, social, and spiritual activities older adults need to live happy, fulfilling lives. Now is the time to live your life!

Contact us today to learn how we can help you experience the best in senior living.

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