As a loved one begins to age and becomes increasingly homebound or unable to get out often, it can become difficult to bring variety into their day-to-day lives. Your loved one could easily end up doing the same activities at the same time day after day. Even though they may enjoy these activities, it’s not far-fetched to anticipate growing tired of them after a while and craving the introduction of some changes into a schedule. Alternatively, you may see your loved one’s daily or weekly schedule growing monotonous and want to introduce variety for their emotional and mental health. Regardless of the cause, if you’re looking for ways to change up your loved one’s daily schedule, these tips will help you.
Introduce your Loved One to Social Media and Chat Groups
With social media, it’s easier than ever for homebound seniors to connect with old friends and others in their social circles. Social media has many benefits for seniors’ mental and physical health. In one study of older adults, participants who used social media were found to be less lonely, had fewer depressive symptoms, and were generally more satisfied with life. If your loved one is interested in social media, help them set up profiles on a few different websites. Show them how to message people through these sites, and help them find family members and old friends’ profiles.
If your loved one is looking for a way to talk to family and friends face-to-face, introduce them to online video chatting. Set up Skype or another online video call service on their computer, and give them a tutorial in how to use the service. Add in the contact information of some family members and friends, and show your loved one how to login and call their contacts.
Your loved one may also want to meet other seniors. If they are looking for this, try setting them up on a few different chat rooms. There are many different chat rooms that are exclusively for seniors. You’ll also be able to find chat rooms for a wide variety of hobbies, from poker to fishing to crocheting. Have your loved one choose a few chat rooms to participate in, and help them set up their username and password.
When you introduce your loved one to social media, video chats, and online chat rooms, you’ll be able to easily add variety to their day. Every day, they’ll be able to talk to new people through their chat rooms, and they’ll get to reconnect with old friends over social media. Once your loved one is set up on these websites, they’ll be able to spend their days chatting with old and new friends. Social media is the perfect activity for elderly people who want to spend a large part of their day socializing.
Bring your Loved One New Board Games
Many family members find joy and other benefits in playing classic card games or board games with their elderly loved ones. Whenever you visit your relative, you may find yourself playing the same games over and over again. If this is the case, try bringing your loved ones some new games to add variety to this routine. You can buy a few newly released games from the store that you think your loved one will like. Or, you can grab some old favorites from your closet and bring those with you when you visit.
You can also ask your loved one’s in-home caregiver to bring in their favorite board games. Your senior care provider will be able to introduce your loved one to a few new games that they may have never played before. These could end up becoming some of your loved one’s favorite games to play.
Vary your Loved Ones’ Meals
Your loved one will get tired of eating the same thing every day, even if those meals include foods that they like. If your loved one has an in-home caregiver who makes their meals for them, check in with the caregiver and make sure that they’re varying your loved one’s meals. Give the caregiver a list of your loved one’s favorite foods, and ask the caregiver to create different meals that use these foods and other healthy ingredients.
If your loved one is cooking their own meals, work with them to create a meal plan. Help them find meals that are easy for them to make but that use a variety of interesting ingredients. If your loved one is able to leave the house, take them grocery shopping with you. Or, if they are homebound, help them grocery shop online. After you’ve grocery shopped, help them create a meal plan for the week ahead. You can also join your elderly loved one for a meal a few times a week.
Suggest New TV Shows, Movies, and Books
Your loved one may end up watching the same TV shows over and over again throughout the day. To introduce variety into their day, suggest new TV shows to watch. If the show is on when they’re asleep, show them how to use a DVR to record the show to watch later. You can also introduce them to newly released movies, and you can bring DVDs when you visit them.
If your loved one prefers reading over watching TV shows, keep them updated on newly released books. Get the books for them from the library or the bookstore, or help them order the book online. You can also order them classic books that they never got a chance to read. If they have trouble reading small print, consider buying them an e-reader. With an e-reader, they’ll be able to easily change the size of the print. Your loved one will enjoy getting to read a wide variety of newly released and classic books.
The Importance of Variety in Senior Care
If your elderly loved one is homebound, you still can help them create a schedule that includes a variety of activities, foods, hobbies, and social interactions. Your elderly loved one will enjoy having a schedule that contains many different interesting activities throughout the day. When you’re creating your loved one’s senior care plan, work with your in-home caregiver to create a care plan that leaves room for variety.