10 Productive Activities for at Home Seniors

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Home is a place that brings comfort and peace. But too much time at home can be isolating and detrimental to health. That’s especially true for older adults, many of whom find themselves housebound due to limited mobility, lack of transportation, or a shrinking social life. Fortunately, there is hope for the stuck-at-home senior. Home offers the perfect venue for activities that boost quality of life and well-being. If you can’t get out during the senior years, don’t get discouraged. These ten ideas will help make the days at home productive, rewarding, and fun:

Enroll in an At-Home Course

Keeping the mind stimulated through learning is one of the best ways to stay engaged as a senior adult. And it’s easy to do by enrolling in a course you can complete at home. You’re never too old to acquire new knowledge, no matter what your abilities and interests. Consider a history course offered online, a scripture study through your house of worship, or a virtual cooking or craft class. You might also check with a local senior center for a listing of at-home courses.

Get Musical

Research has shown that music has the power to reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase cognitive function. It’s also good therapy for those suffering from arthritis, as listening to music releases brain chemicals that relieve pain. Music provides a distraction from negative thinking and feelings of aloneness, too. Whether you listen to your favorite jazz or classical tunes, play an instrument, or sing, spending time enjoying music will keep you satisfied and fulfilled for hours.

Learn the Internet

The internet is an exciting and resourceful tool for seniors, who can access droves of information on just about anything–from news items to aging and healthcare topics to instruction for learning a new skill. Plus, browsing and searching cyberspace can make time fly. If you don’t know how to use the internet, find someone who can help. Grandchildren make especially good teachers, since they have grown up in the age of technology and are adept at navigating the Web.

Start a Project

Have you been wanting to make a home improvement? How about start a family history book or write your memoirs? Now might be just the time for a project to fill the days. Home projects give you purpose and reap many benefits. They’re also a productive and meaningful way to pass the hours. Even if you can’t begin a project imminently, there’s no reason to hold off the planning process. Use this time to collect and organize your thoughts and ideas for future use.

Host a Group

While you may be stuck at home without transportation or with a health limitation, not everyone else is. Why not invite them over? Arrange for a group to meet at your home for regular family meals, a quilting or knitting night, or a coffee and social hour. Accept offers from others to bring food or treats so you don’t have to provide each time. If you’re computer savvy, you might consider hosting an online group with family members or friends who are also housebound.

Set Up an Exercise Space

Exercise is critical to the mental and physical well-being of seniors. Fortunately, you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. In fact, the home can provide a comfortable, convenient exercise setting for older adults. If you don’t own exercise equipment, try power walking through the house, doing yoga or floor exercises, or following an exercise video. Make sure your home exercise space is safe, and always consult a doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

Do Volunteer Work at Home

Volunteer work builds relationships and social networks, reduces the risk of depression, and boosts self-esteem–all particularly helpful benefits for seniors. Many organizations have work that can be done at home, too, like grant writing or fostering for an animal rescue group or assisting with a supply drive at your local school district. You might also check organizations like VolunteerMatch.org or AARP for other virtual volunteer opportunities for seniors.

Embrace the Outdoors

Being housebound doesn’t mean you can’t go outside the house. Spending time in the outdoors not only boosts energy and mental health; it can give you a dose of immunity-boosting vitamin D.  There are plenty of gratifying yard activities to consider. Work in the garden, birdwatch, take scenic photos, or picnic on the patio. If you can’t get outside for whatever reason, sitting near a window and absorbing the beauty of nature helps lift the spirits and brings fulfillment.

Pleasure Read

Has it been a while since you’ve been swept away by a good book? Reading isn’t just a fun way to pass time; you’ll improve your analytical skills, lower the   risk of Alzheimer’s, and lengthen your life with regular reading, according to studies. Choose reading material you enjoy, whether it be a page-turning novel, interesting nonfiction, or the lifestyle page of the newspaper. And don’t rule out audiobooks; they’re an ideal alternative for those with eyesight or other problems that make reading difficult.

Connect with Loved Ones

Spending time with loved ones is a favorite activity for seniors, but getting together in person can be a challenge for the housebound. The good news is there are many ways to communicate today without leaving the house. Email, texting, and social media allow people to stay connected to each other at home. For those who prefer the old-fashioned methods, phone calls and letter writing work well. Bottom line? Any form of connecting makes for a meaningful use of time.

Being stuck at home as a senior adult doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with emptiness and isolation. Instead, fill your housebound days with activities that promote personal health, growth, and satisfaction. You’ll gain a rewarding new perspective on spending time at home.


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