There are many reasons active, healthy seniors may not be able to be out and about in their communities. However, life goes on, and there are many fun indoor activities for a senior who's home alone, as well as for those who are confined to a nursing home.
Online Entertainment for Bored Seniors
One is a lonely number unless you can find something stimulating, fun, and entertaining to occupy the hours. There are so many things you can do online that you might never feel bored or alone.
Social media can be an endless source of entertainment. On Facebook you can connect with old friends, make new friends, start your own Facebook group, or participate in an existing group. You can like and follow your favorite celebrities, sports teams, etc. Plus, there are plenty of online chat rooms and forums for seniors.
Take Up Blogging
As a senior, you have lots of memories, thoughts, and acquired knowledge that you can share and bring to life for others with your own blog. You can start and host your blog at WordPress.com for a little as $4 per month. To begin blogging, select "Get Started," choose the layout and design for your site. Then follow the steps to create an account, and you're ready to start sharing your stories.
Find Pen Pals
Having Pen Pals is a fabulous way for you to learn about other people, cultures, and ways of life. Traditional, snail mail pen paling is still very popular, but communicating online has taken pen pals to a new level. Global Penfriends is a website designed to facilitate online as well as more traditional pen pal relationships.
Watch Comedy Classics
YouTube has a Classic Comedy Channel that can provide hours of laughter and reminiscing. Here you can find videos ranging from Bugs Bunny to The Three Stooges, I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, etc. If you like stand-up comedy, Comedy Central Stand-Up can also keep you entertained and laughing.
When you're confined to your home, getting enough physical exercise can be a challenge. There are many chair yoga DVDs, however, there's a fantastic free 30-minute routine of gentle chair yoga that a senior can follow on YouTube. Adding chair yoga to your daily routine is an excellent way for the elderly to incorporate regular but gentle exercise into their day.
You can learn from the best at MasterClass. At MasterClass, you can watch any class, anytime, with no limitations for $180 per year or $15 per month. However, if you're interested in something a bit less costly and you're looking to brush up on your basic school skills, you can sign up to access free online courses at the Khan Academy.
Create Your Family Tree
Spend some time researching and tracking down your family history. Start your family history search for free, although you may only get so far. Ancestry.com allows you to piece together a family tree. A senior can entertain themselves by taking advantage of the 14-day free trial.
Other Things a Shut-in Senior Can Do
The internet and TV can be entertaining, but it's essential to limit the time you spend sitting in front of screens. It's best to find a few other fun ways to fill your day. Below are a few other suggestions. Of course, if you can't leave your home, you may have to recruit family or friends to shop for the items you'll need to get started.
Stay Current With the News
Staying current on the news is important. Make reading the newspaper while drinking your morning tea or coffee part of your regular routine. Daily news publications will keep you current on events and happenings in your community. If you don't already receive a daily paper can simply call for a subscription.
Plant an Indoor Herb Garden
If you have a green thumb and can't get out into your yard, consider planting a small indoor herb garden. Plant your herbs in loose soil and small pots. Place the herbs in a location where they'll get at least three hours of sunlight each day. You could also make the idea of an herb garden more specific by creating a pizza garden. In a pizza garden, you grow the fresh basil, oregano, and thyme that you'll use to make homemade pizza sauce.
Create a Family Cookbook
Meals are memories, so if you have old family recipes, round them up and create a keepsake family cookbook to share with your kids and grandkids. Decorate a three-ring binder, handwrite each recipe, place each in a page protector, and organize all the recipes into categories. You can make this even more special by adding a personal comment to each recipe.
You've likely saved scraps of this and that to remind you of the special times of your life. Scrapbooking is a great way to round it all up and creatively put it all together for posterity. Not only will scrapbooking spark memories of good times, but it's also a solitary undertaking that can have you smiling to yourself.
Make a Treasure Chest
Put together a nostalgic treasure chest by making a time capsule for future generations. Search around your home for memorable old items you've saved, like records, cd's, newspaper clippings, movie stubs, magazines, etc. Also, include a dated handwritten letter in your time capsule and then put it in back of your closet for someone, probably you children, to find at a later date.
Create a Memoir
Create a written or voice memoir to preserve your life reflections for your children or grandchildren. You could use a leather-bound journal or you can voice record your memories using your computer, smartphone, or a digital handheld voice recorder.
Ideas for Nursing homes
If you live in a nursing home, there are likely many events the home has planned. Still, if you're an active senior, there are other things you personally can do that would be creative, fun, entertaining, and mentally stimulating for both yourself and your elderly companions.
Create a Laughing Basket
Use a large wicker basket and fill it with fun items. It could include jokes and funny saying written on folded pieces paper. But the laughing basket could also contain silly toys or masks, rubber noses, noisemakers, etc. You then just encourage other residents to dip into the basket several times a day and pick up something to laugh at, share and enjoy.
High School Photo Party
Collect old high school photos of your fellow residents and spread them out on a decorated table. Once the group is assembled, select a picture and have the group guess who's in the photo. Once the person is identified, pass it around while the person tells a story from their high school days.
On Cue Happy Dance
Scheduled a happy dance day when all the residents stop what they're doing and start dancing around when they hear a particular song, perhaps The Macarena or The Chicken Dance. Then play the music several times a day and enjoy the laughter.
Start a Book Group
If you're an avid reader, you could invite other book lovers in your nursing home to join you at a weekly gathering. Here you can discuss the themes and underlying meanings of the books each is reading with others who share the same passion. You could even incorporate a book swap.
Read Daily Horoscopes
Gather a group of your fellow residents each morning after breakfast for some fun astro-inspiration. Read aloud a general daily horoscope for everyone, as well as for each of the Sun signs. Many newspapers have daily horoscopes, but you can also find them online at Senior News, Senior Specific Horoscopes, and Tarot.com.
Take Care of Yourself
If you're a senior and feel lonely, smile, even if it's hard, keep in touch by phone, and learn to love technology. You can plan activities for the week ahead and put them on your calendar. This way, you'll have something to look forward to each day. But most importantly, take care of yourself, and, as much as possible, continue to do the things you've always done to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing.