After housechores, video calls, what now? Ways to keep senior citizens engaged.


Senior citizens just like any of us are bored with all the limited things they've got to do during the lockdown. After four months of being inside the house, household chores and video calling their family members or friends seems like a mundane activity. So how can they occupy themselves that will keep the boredom away? 

Here are a few innovative ideas that will keep the elderly keep busy as well as involved in something fun while sitting at home during the pandemic;

1.Learning has no age bar: Ask them what musical instrument they wanted to learn as a kid/youngster. If they used to play one, even better, take them back to their old times but insisting that they should play or teach children at home. If not, look up a tutorial on how to play a song on their choice of instrument. There is a high chance they might give reasons for not learning a musical instrument as they might feel embarrassed of not getting it right the first time. Here you might have to jump in to keep their courage and morale boosted. 

2. Creating and exploring playlists:Teach them how to create a shared playlist on Spotify. Once they get a hang of it, help them understand how to search and add new songs to the playlist. Also, they could share the list with their friends. This will help them feel connected with their friends as they all get to listen to each other's favourite songs in moments of melancholy. 

Teach them a little about exploring podcasts. They'd have tons of genres and stories and documentaries to listen without stressing their eyes like they would do with TV. And the podcasts can be heard anytime--in bed, during free hours, or when walking.

3. Write an artistic expression: Expressing their emotions might get difficult for them with age so why not write all the words that they relate to and create a word poetry? Introduce them to new forms of art and how they can create one themselves without having to learn too much for it. 

They can also keep a dream journal, where they enter all the things they'd wanted to do for ages and couldn't complete them. Help them create their 'bucket list' and make plans to fulfil those soon after the lockdown and COVID conditions ease up. 

4. No age limit for gaming: There is no age for playing games. Be it puzzles, word games, poker or anything that interests them. Introduce these gaming apps to them on their smartphones as they get to play with different people from different countries and make new friends too. 

5. In-house date with the partner: Plan an in-house date for your old folks once in a while so they have something fun to look forward to. Create a restaurant type atmosphere--candles, proper crockery and cutlery, an elaborate 5-7 course menu, flowers, printed menu, napkins..the works--and treat them as the guests to the restaurant.

6. Get back to colouring:Adult colouring books have gained much importance as they help calm down the anxious and nervous mind. Mandala art, zen doodling, or a simple free flow of  paint--and their time would never be free again.