Staying Active While Staying Apart

In many states Covid-19 cases again are on the rise. Due to this schools, restaurants, bars, gyms, bowling allies, movie theaters and other public places are rolling back opening and reinforcing restrictions. Events have been cancelled or postponed and many of us have been actively practicing social distancing since early spring. The request to remain at home is in hopes to flatten the curve and prevent the further spread of this contagious virus. With all of this in place many of us are starting to get restless and experiencing what experts are calling “pandemic fatigue.” Being in lockdown for weeks brought many unforeseen psychological and emotional challenges few of us had ever experienced.

For some, the stresses eased as businesses and schools reopened, but for some, businesses reopening hasn’t changed their day-to-day. Some have been in lock down or under strict restrictions because of living situation or underlying conditions. So, how do we overcome this and continue to support our loved ones in nursing home care? In this article we will explore options to boosting our loved one’s morale even when we are socially distant.

Share a virtual meal. In our last article we discussed ways to stay connected while staying safe. A tip recommended was to utilize technology such as video conferencing or calling. A few days ahead of time plan to share a virtual meal with your loved one by arranging a tri-pod or books to prop up your phone or iPad at the table and enjoy your dinner together as you would have during our pre-pandemic days.

Surprise them with a monthly subscription. Weather they are into books, crafts, learning or puzzles there’s a subscription box for everyone. Book of the Month Club, for example is a monthly book delivery. Recipients can choose from 1 of 4 books a month. Their website includes a virtual book club and other ways to connect and discuss their latest reads. Other unique subscription boxes include Adults and Crafts and Knit-Wise, for our more creative loved ones and Cookie of the Month Clubs for our sweet-toothed seniors.

Pen Pals. Give your thumbs a break and send them letters through the mail. Enlist your children, nieces and nephews and shower your loved one with letters from their grandkids. Just like when you were a kid, everyone enjoys getting mail. Why not surprise them with a letter from your niece? Everyone involved will enjoy receiving and sending letters. You can get creative and decorate them with magazine clippings or by including interesting articles or recipes! As an added perk you’ll also be supporting the USPS!

Personalized Puzzle. Send them a custom puzzle from Shutterfly or Vistaprint. Puzzles can range from 60 pieces to 1014 pieces and you can choose any image you like. Send them a complex puzzle of your family pet or a fond memory that you shared together as a family. Puzzle will keep their mind sharp and keep them busy for hours!

Send a Care Package. Send your love one a care package with their favorite snacks. Include Sudoku, Crossword Puzzle or Word Search books to keep them entertained while enjoying your scrumptious munchies. Include a deck of cards so they can play with their friends!

Audio Books and Music. If they have a cd player or access to internet in their home, send them an audiobook. Audiobooks come in variety of genres and can be listened to from anywhere. If your senior owns a CD or record player you can also send them CD’s or Records of their favorite bands. 

Online Exercise Subscription. Online exercise subscriptions are becoming more and more popular. Your senior and their friends could participate in a variety of digital group workout classes designed for older adults to keep them moving and active. Many of these classes can be done at home with no additional equipment necessary.  You and your loved one could also attend a live class together (some local yoga studios offer virtual yoga classes, check online for participating yoga studios and times).

However you choose to engage isn’t as important as engaging. Our brains are a muscle and just like the rest of our muscles they require exercise to remain fit. Doing new things, learning new skills and engaging with others by breaking free from a monotonous routine helps keep our brains sharp. Please comment below for other ideas on how to stay engaged during this unparalleled time!

About Bridgeway Senior Healthcare

Since 1981, Bridgeway Senior Healthcare has been committed to providing a continuum of comprehensive services to patients and residents no matter where they are in life. Since quality measures have been reported, its facilities have consistently achieved a CMS 5-Star rating for Registered Nursing, Licensed Nursing, Certified Nursing Staff, and Quality of Care. Bridgeway has received Newsweek’s and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Nursing Homes awards. In 2020, it was recognized as one of the 40 Top WorkPlaces in New Jersey. To learn more, visit

And to check out how we keep all of our residents active, follow us on Facebook!

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