If you're caring for loved ones at home, much of your regular schedule may be disrupted. You may be desperate for ways to keep your loved ones busy and yourself from tearing your hair out! Here are some ideas to help out:

 

  • Reading - Choose a book to read together and read aloud to them. Or connect with other family members and friends on the phone or video chat and do a book club - either sharing info about the books each are reading or you could all read the same book and discuss. Re-read an old favorite or try a new book. You can order books online for delivery or download ebooks or audiobooks from your publilc library (if you don't already have a membership you can join the library online in most places).
  • Send a card or letter to family members and friends - it's the perfect chance to revive that old tradition that people don't do much anymore! Write to first responders and military and thank them for what they are doing in this crisis. Write to nursing facility staff, home care staff and others who care for older adults. Write to friends you know are also stuck at home. 
  • Document your loved ones' life story - it's the perfect time to start that memoir or make a video of your loved one telling stories about their life. You can check out StoryCorps for guidance on how to do that (and they also have an app you can use). 
  • Try jigsaw puzzles, board games and card games. My Mom loved to play Uno and we just adapted it so Dad could play too (he had Alzheimers). Sometimes the older, simpler games are easier for your loved ones to play (remember Chutes and Ladders?!), and others will relish a competative game of Monoply or Checkers. 
  • Take an online adventure. Virtually tour museums or explore outer space with NASA’s free online video and image library. From bees to birds to bison to bears you can observe nature and animals with Explore.org’s livecams. Re-live your own adventures by flipping through photo albums and videos. And dream about (and plan) your next adventure — near or far — when the coronavirus social distancing advisories are a thing of the past.
  • Movies and TV shows are always good - but if your loved one is getting too anxious about coronavirus you might want to limit time watching the news. Think about TV series you can "binge watch" - it's fun to watch an entire series in a row! Old movies are fun and bring back memories, and musicals are fun to sing along and the plots aren't too complicated!
  • Get organized - have them help you organize a drawer or closet. Scan paperwork and shred to get rid of paper. Organize photos and make photo albums. 
  • Go for a drive or get outside and take a walk - that is still allowed in most communities. 
  • Enjoy time together - for some this is sort of a unique opportunity to spend time with loved ones and have good conversations, reminisce and just "be". 

What are you doing to pass the time? 

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Comments

For decades my parents met their friends at the local donut shop to chat and generally check up on each other. As I aged I found a lot of wisdom in their daily meetings and started doing it with my friends before work. When Coronavirus hit and locked us in our homes we started using the live streaming abilities of Facebook and YouTube to meet at the "Donut Shop at the Beginning of the World" to just check in on each other and discuss whatever topics pop up, just like normal conversations among friends. Friends invited friends and now we have 30-40 people hanging out together live online every morning for about 45 minutes.

 

Turns out, this sort of social interaction of people caring about one another has been scientifically shown to have multiple health benefits which probably explains why my parents are both in their late 80's and still in great shape, mentally and physically. 

 

Anyway, if you're on Facebook look into doing live video meetup to drink some coffee or eat some breakfast with your friends everyday, even just for a few minutes. It really does help!

-Mark

I wish it was that simple.  I live alone and am visually impaired.  No one checks on me.  Neighbors are awful, and not a lot of friends. The few close friends I have are dealing with their own illnesses and dramas.These last six months have been hell.

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September is Emergency Preparedness month.

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Emergency preparedness kit

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