Activities to Keep Boredom For Your Homebound Loved One At Bay
Many seniors with health and mobility challenges are unable to drive or can’t leave the home due to medical complications. Being homebound can be extremely isolating for seniors, as they have to rely on others to come visit them and bring them what they need. While your homebound loved one may have physical therapists, aids, or nurses coming in throughout the day, it still doesn’t provide the same level of independence and social exposure they used to have. It’s National Anti-Boredom Month, so here are some ways you can keep your homebound loved one in San Francisco and elsewhere active and happy.
Read With Them
Who doesn’t like being read to? Reading is a fun way you can spend time together while keeping their brain engaged. In fact, reading for pleasure has been found to improve both short- and long-term memory in older adults, says Neuroscience News. It also improves memory, reduces stress, improves sleep, and delays cognitive decline. So whether you pick up a book, magazine, tablet, or audiobook, get your senior loved one interested in a new topic to engage and stimulate their brain.
You could even organize a monthly book club with your aging parent and a few friends so they can read and socialize at the same time.
Explore New Hobbies
There are plenty of hobbies that older adults with limited mobility can engage in, such as:
- Indoor gardening
- Learning a new language
- Playing a musical instrument
Take this opportunity to help your loved one engage in a new hobby — perhaps there’s something they’ve always wanted to explore. This helps keep their mind active and prevents boredom.
Encourage Regular Exercise
Having a regular exercise routine to do every day will keep anyone out of the doldrums. Even with limited mobility, there are many exercises homebound seniors can engage in, such as chair yoga or seated exercises. There are even exercises that can be done with a walker to ensure stability, says DailyCaring.
The National Council on Aging says there are many physical health and mental well-being benefits associated with exercising for older adults, from improved energy levels to greater self-confidence.
Revisit your loved one’s creative side with arts and crafts that can engage them and channel their interest. Some ideas include coloring, drawing, painting, sculpting, and scrapbooking. You can also organize family photo albums together or create a family recipe book that will live on for generations. Bering creative brings health benefits, too. Research shows that engaging in creative activities helps those facing chronic illness to decrease their negative emotions while increasing positive ones. It can also reduce stress and anxiety while improving medical outcomes.
Being homebound doesn’t necessarily mean your senior loved one can’t venture outdoors. Getting fresh air is essential, not to mention the fact that immersing yourself in nature can boost your mood. They may only be able to sit on the porch and watch the cars go by, or sit on the back deck to watch birds come to the feeder. Any outside exposure is good. For those who have a bit more mobility, you can encourage container gardening to keep up their green thumb. A walk each day also brings many cardiovascular benefits as well as mood-boosting effects, even if it’s just down the driveway to get the mail and back.
Reach out to family and friends and ask them to stop by for a visit when they can, especially people with babies or friendly pets. Who doesn’t cheer up when holding a beautiful baby or petting a furry, well-behaved dog? Health benefits of pets for the elderly include decreased blood pressure, lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and decreased feelings of loneliness.
Games and puzzles can be a great way to bring you both together and test their attention span. You have many options, from group games to one-on-one games. Whatever you choose, this is an ideal opportunity for spending quality time. Choices include crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, card games, and classic board games.
Listen to Music
Listening to music or singing along to music is a great way to chase away boredom in homebound adults. There are many benefits to this, as music has the ability to reduce anxiety, pain, and blood pressure, as well as improve quality of sleep, mood, memory, and mental alertness, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
We hope you enjoyed these tips for banishing boredom, isolation, and loneliness in your homebound senior. We can help out on our end as well here at Pathways Home Health and Hospice.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Need more inspiration and help in ensuring your homebound senior isn’t bored? Our home health caregivers and companions can plan out activities with your aging parent to keep them engaged, active, and socially refreshed. Contact us at 888-978-1306 to learn more about our homebound senior care services in San Francisco and elsewhere.