There are many ways for seniors to stay busy, feel good and keep smiling that will make the hours melt away during these long days. Take a look at some of the innovative and fun things seniors everywhere can do right now!
Go to the “virtual” park: One of the most difficult aspects for many seniors is not being able to spend time outdoors. Thanks to Google and the National Park Service, however, the outdoors is ready to come to them! Through Google Arts & Culture, seniors can take a virtual tour of five of our nation’s most beautiful national parks from the comfort and safety of their couch with just a click. These incredible tours include parks in Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, and Florida, and offer a range of climates and sights. No cruise or helicopter ride required!
Take in a show or concert: Yes, theaters are closed for the duration, but that’s no reason to skip some of the world’s best theatrical and musical productions. Seniors can enjoy an evening at The Metropolitan Opera or the Royal Opera House, spend an afternoon at the Vancouver Symphony or take their pick from a huge variety of musical artists performing “Living Room Concerts.”
Spend time at a museum: Few places can capture the imagination and transport us in time like a museum, and now museums around the world are online and open for visiting. Wander through history from prehistoric times to the present day at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History or The British Museum; learn about flight at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum; and for art lovers, try the links in Oprah Magazine’s article, “19 Virtual Museum Tour You Can Take Right Now for Free.” Another great source of museum possibilities is the USA Today article, “Take a virtual tour of these 12 amazing museums closed because of coronavirus.”
Play a game
Card games: Being alone doesn’t mean play is out of the question. Remember solitaire? No computer required, just break out those old decks of cards and learn more games to play alone. Start with several varieties of solitaire from cardgameheaven.com, and move on to more fun with a deck of cards from building card houses to trying to beat the clock in “7 Ways to Entertain Yourself with a Deck of Cards …” from allwomenstlak.com.
Online games: Another excellent source of games to play alone is Agame.com. From old favorites like Tic Tac Toe, Hidden Objects and Hangman, to more invigorating games like Train Driver Simulator, Off-Road Cycle 3D, and Boeing Flight Simulator, there are more than 2,580 from which to choose. All are online and free for the playing.
On-paper games: Also, just for the love of the game, try pen-and-paper games that require just that and a little brainpower. Icebreakerideas.com offers games to play alone, as well as others to play with family and friends in the future.
Laugh Out Loud
Mark Twain once said, “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” Right now, laughter can be our weapon to help slay the bad news, the sadness, the loneliness, and the fear humanity is feeling. And it’s free! Here are a few suggestions:
Play it again: Remember when the radio was the center of the entertainment universe? It still can be with a visit to YouTube’s Old-Time Radio Comedy page. From Abbott & Costello to Fibber McGee and Molly to Jack Benny, these 36 videos are fun, funny and full of memories.
Podcasts from heaven: When everything seems hopeless, spend a little time listening to podcasts from some very funny people via vulture.com’s “The Best Comedy Podcasts to Binge During Coronavirus Quarantine.”
Off-screen comedy: Books are another great reservoir of comedy and one of the easiest to tap into, especially during the quarantine. If comedy is not a usual reading genre, here are a few lists singling out some of the most popular comedy books over time. Start with Esquire’s article, “32 Of The Funniest Books Ever Written,” for a list with well-written descriptions. Next, check out BuzzFeed’s “32 Books Guaranteed To Make You Laugh Out Loud” which bears the warning to “read these in private since spontaneous maniacal laughter may ensue,” and from refinery29.com, “These Books Make Us Literally Laugh Out Loud” offers another not-to-be-missed list of funny favorites.
While it’s important to maintain the current restrictions relevant to halting the spread of the coronavirus, it’s also essential to keep our spirits up and our lives going forward. Try out these options and don’t hesitate to share your favorites with other seniors, friends and family. After all, we are all in this together. Stay home, stay safe!