It may be surprising, but did you know that seniors spend more time on their screens than any other leisure activity? In fact, seniors spend more than half of their daily leisure time in front of screens. Screen time can include watching TV, videos and movies, checking email, browsing the internet, or using social media. This increase in screen time serves as a constant distraction and can make it harder for caregivers to connect with older family members.
Older adults are also using smartphones at a very high rate. The pandemic led to many people adopting the use of platforms such as FaceTime and Zoom, which has also served to increase screen time. In some instances, that was the only way to “see” friends and family. Unfortunately, it has turned screen time into an addiction for many and is an easy fallback for aging loved ones who may be homebound. Senior caregivers understand that too much screen time can make it hard to keep older loved ones active and lead to other health issues. Staying active around the house is one of the best ways a senior can remain healthy as they age.
Making sure an elder loved one has a caregiver who will keep them engaged is one of the best ways to give them something to do so they don’t wind up looking at their phone all day. Here are a few activities you can try at home:
Try bird watching:
Birds come in all shapes and sizes. They can be attracted to a home with bird feeders or a birdbath. If your aging loved one turns out to be a real fan, invest in a field guide so they can identify the different species of birds who visit.
Put their green thumb to work:
Gardening is a favorite pastime of many, and it’s pretty easy to get started. Whether your elderly family member has houseplants to occupy their time or a raised garden bed, it’s extremely satisfying to watch their hard work blossom. A home caregiver can help keep garden tools organized and make sure an older loved one stays safe outside by the garden.
Challenge others with a board game:
Does your aging family member like Scrabble or jigsaw puzzles? Games and puzzles are a great way to engage with others and keep their mind sharp. These options are the perfect choice for seniors who might not be as mobile as they once were. Many community spaces like The Center at the Heights in Needham have board game nights, but it’s also something a loved one can do with a caregiver during scheduled visits at home.
Rediscover letter writing (with a pen and paper):
Has it been a long time since your loved one was in touch with a family member who lives far away? How about an old pen pal? Corresponding with family and friends through the mail can be extremely satisfying - both for the sender and recipient.
Try cooking something new:
Eating something new can be very exciting and something many people do less and less as they get older due to falling back on old habits. Finding a completely new recipe or a different take on an older favorite can be a great way to shake things up. Homemaking care services from Griswold Home Care can help with meal prep, so your senior loved one has everything they need for a delicious meal.
Need a little help convincing your older family member to put down the screen and engage in a different type of activity? Griswold Home Care can help. Give our Needham office a call today at (781) 559-0073.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073