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Safe Senior Activities in Northern Virginia

by September 16, 2020

As social distancing regulations continue, many families are wondering how they can keep their aging loved one engaged. And with large gatherings not being an option, it’s important to know what other activities are available. At Tysons Woods Assisted Living, our senior care support team is dedicated to providing personalized support for each and every one of our residents. We genuinely care that your loved one is feeling extra loved and cared for at this time. 

If you and your loved one are considering moving them into an assisted living community, we are prepared to help you make an informed decision and have a seamless transition. Below, we offer a few suggestions to how you and your aging elders can have fun during the pandemic while staying safe. 

1. Get Creative

Now is a great time to pick up old crafting hobbies or start new ones. As we spend more of our time indoors and social distance, it can get lonely quick. However, starting hobbies like knitting has been recognized by Mental Health America that it lowers blood pressure, slows down dementia, reduces loneliness and isolation, and so much more. 

Next time you’re feeling alone, consider some of the following crafting activities below: 

  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Crocheting
  • Painting
  • Scrapbooking

2. Play Games

Playing cardboard games and digital games are beneficial to strengthening memory and cognitive functioning, as it utilizes shapes, numbers, letters, colors, etc. It also helps prevent social isolation and loneliness as well as slow down Alzheimer’s and dementia, which many older adults experience as they age. 

For example, 88-year-old grandmother, Audrey Buchanan is an avid Animal Crossing player, having over 4000 hours of gameplay. Animal Crossing is a video game where players can interact with villagers and customize their own neighborhood. 

Audrey and her grandson, Paul Huban, are able to stay connected through it by visiting each others’ islands, catching bugs and fish, collecting fossils, and much more. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and Entertainment Software Association released a study in 2016 that showed 38% of older adults aged 50 and older are embracing more video games, which has helped slow down Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

There are many other similar digital games, like Animal Crossing, that allow you to play with others around the world. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and a gaming system!

3. Write Letters

Staying connected through writing letters is a great way to show your loved ones how much you care. Even if you live in the same home or not, writing letters supports brain cognition by allowing you and your pen pals to feel a genuine connection and feelings of acceptance. Forbes also reported that writing letters helps alleviate anxiety, loneliness, and stress. 

4. Family Genealogy

If recording your family genealogy is something you would like to pass down to each generation, now is the time to do so. Remember, memories fade over time. Utilizing the time you do have to write down all the details sooner rather than later is recommended. 

Not only is it a valuable bonding experience and therapeutic, but it will give you a better understanding of your current family dynamics, which can bring you closer to your loved ones.

5. Exercise

Incorporating regular exercise or leisure physical activity (walking, hiking, swimming, household chores) into your daily routine is incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical health. The World Health Organization recommends older adults over the age of 65 should complete “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity” every week.

Frequent exercise helps reduce your chances of getting coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and much more. Not to mention, routine exercise also helps reduce falls, increase cognitive function, strengthen bone health as well. Learn about other ways you can keep your loved ones engaged and active

6. Read A Book

Reading books can have a positive impact on your loved ones life. Talk to your loved one and find out what they’re interested in, and then research and recommend a few books you think they would enjoy. Reading is a wonderful way to strengthen the mind and keep it active and engaged. To keep the ball rolling, consider starting a book club together! For more ideas, read our blog on How to Stay Connected During A Pandemic.

Falls Church, Virginia’s Most Trusted Senior Care Services

Tysons Woods Assisted Living is ready to welcome your loved one to our family community. We understand that moving during a pandemic is stressful, but we can assure you that we are taking the necessary safety precautions to keep your loved ones and our team as safe as possible. Our personalized senior care services prioritizes your loved one’s independence and well-being. We take the time to get to know your family and treat them as our own by providing 24/7 support, chef-prepared meals, engaging activities, and life-long relationships. 

Call our senior care team at (703) 846-0395 for more information on our safety protocols and services today!