Checkers and other indoor activities can help pass the time

7 Indoor Activities for Seniors and Caregivers to Enjoy

Bethesda Health | April 9, 2020

Here is the scenario – you as the caregiver and your elderly mother are safe in her home, waiting out the coronavirus pandemic. You have food, medications and toilet paper. You have secured delivery services for any other needed items. You’re set.

Now what?

Spare time is a wonderful thing up to a point, but now you would gladly trade it for something interesting to do with Mom.

Here are a few indoor activities that can help resolve that:

1. Board and Card Games

Rummage through a closet and see what board games are available. Monopoly has been popular for decades. Perhaps there is a checker set, Yahtzee, or Scrabble.

Card games are always popular. Check out this list and explanation of card games with seniors in mind that just require standard playing cards.

2. Video Games

Video games stimulate hearing, vision, and touch. AARP has a site listing video games for seniors and caregivers to enjoy together.

3. Hobbies, Crafts, and Skills

Cooking is a great activity to share with a senior loved one. You may get to see how Mom, who has never written a recipe down, fixes her wonderful vegetable soup! Then discover a new recipe to try together.

Sewing, scrapbooking, painting and drawing, playing a musical instrument or organizing collections can occupy the mind and body.

4. Puzzles

Look for a jigsaw puzzle to put together. Depending on the size and number of pieces, jigsaw puzzles can be quite challenging and time-consuming. In addition, Sudoku and crossword puzzles are extremely affordable to order online and provide challenges as well.

5. Exercise

Being indoors for long periods of time can result in a lack of needed physical activity for both caregiver and senior. These senior-friendly exercises include stretching, balance, chair and core exercises, cardio, low-impact and strength exercises.

Caregivers can perform the exercises along with the senior. However, it is advisable to consult with Mom’s physician before starting an exercise program. The idea is to promote movement, not cause pain. Do not have her perform any exercises that are too strenuous.

6. Movies and Shows

There are several online sources for TV shows and movies.

The Internet Archive describes itself as “a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.” Offerings include old movies, TV shows, and vintage radio programs.

7. Memories and Conversations

Time with Mom or Dad could provide a unique opportunity to learn more about them, the family, and even yourself. A photo album is a great conversation starter, where you can play the game “Who is that?”

To learn about all the other indoor activities available to you within Bethesda communities, check out our Communities page.

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