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AARP Expert

Coronavirus isolation - Things to Do with Loved Ones when Stuck at Home

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’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? 


My husband and I have re-instituted the Sunday drive. Don't go too far but it's nice to have a change of scene and do get out of our county & check out some others nearby..

AARP Expert

Well done!


Community Manager
Community Manager

@JoanM716983 That's a great idea. I love that!

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Super Contributor

There are cat tricks you can teach. One is letting it find the hidden treat under an opaque glass.

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