We’re marking one year since the COVID-19 Pandemic disrupted life and separated so many of us. In that time, we’ve all gotten a bit more tech-savvy. We’ve made Zoom an everyday verb, and look forward to “facetiming” family members throughout the day.
But it’s been a long year, and while the vaccine is delivering immunity – and hope- around the country, we need to stay socially distanced a while longer. Seniors are more vulnerable to complications from the virus and in an effort to keep our residents safe, The Wesley Community has had to enforce safety regulations to lessen the spread.
So, while Seniors do enjoy connecting with family and friends via their SmartPhones, it’s time to get even more creative.
Here are 5 Virtual Activities for Seniors that You Haven’t Tried Yet
By taking a virtual tour, you can travel somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going, without leaving your home, or paying for tickets. Visit the Great Wall of China or the Galapagos Islands. National Geographic offers a virtual tour of Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave. You can also tour the Vatican for a lot less than the cost of a flight to Italy.
Feeling less-sophisticated, and more child-like. Take a trip to Disney and ride It’s a Small World, or swing into SeaWorld to interact with Antarctica penguins.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be in-person. If you have skills to provide from a hobby or previous career, chances are you can contribute virtually. Teachers can tutor online. Lawyers and realtors can offer consultations virtually, as well. Non-profits often are in need of administrative support you can do from your home. Check out the AARP’s list of organizations using virtual volunteers and find your fit today.
Zoom Book Clubs
If you live in a Senior Living Community such as The Wesley Community, you can connect with your friends and neighbors by forming a Zoom Book Club. Reading a book together over a week or a month produces conversation and shared experience. Zoom has breakout room options as well to form smaller groups and prepare fun presentations together.
You can also create a Book Club with your grandchildren. Children love to read and be read to. Pick a book, or series, that you can enjoy together and set up a weekly or monthly Zoom time to discuss. Go all out! Wear costumes, use props, and make snacks that coincide with the book’s content. Have you read the Harry Potter series? Your grandkids might read them all again with you, just to introduce you to a favorite.
Kahoot! A digital platform for creating your own trivia and games. Teachers use it all the time, but it’s not just for the classroom. Use Kahoot! To make games with your neighbors and friends. Channel your competitive energy and make a game on any topic, in any language even. You send a pin to your friends, and everyone can play along remotely.
Learn to Doodle
Beloved children’s author and Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence, Mo Willems began his Lunchtime Doodles in March of 2020, when children had just been sent home from school. A “Mr. Rogers” for a new generation, his 30-minute doodle lessons are meaningful, and instructive for all ages.
Mo Willems shares his studio and his love of cartooning, while giving tips on art, and encouragement to the artist in everyone. Make these “doodle lessons” part of your daily rhythm and feel less alone, and more creative.
It’s been a tough season in which we’ve lost much. But we’ve also gained – creativity, innovation and access to art, education, and community virtually, like never before. Feel alone or in a rut? Try one of these virtual activities. Connect, create, and experience something new, safely, until we can gather together again.