Seniors: Ideas to pass the time on a stay at home order

You’ve got four walls, a few windows. You may have memorized the spot on the wall in the hallway that has a little paint chip and possibly even worn the flooring in certain areas from wandering back and forth, back and forth.

A few weeks ago, your home – whether you are living in a house, a condominium, an apartment, retirement home, or personal care home was a place of comfort, a place where family and friends gathered.

With the onslaught of social distancing measures due to COVID-19, your home may not bring you the same comforts that it used to. With the Stay at Home order issued by health authorities to stop the spread of the virus, the pandemic is taking its toll on everyone, including seniors.

If you’re starting to feel a little cooped up and stir crazy, perhaps some of these ideas will help to break up the monotony of the days and weeks ahead.

  • Remember that staying at home doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside. One of the most important things to do, if you can do so safely, is to get some fresh air every single day. This may mean just sitting near an open window with the sun beaming in, bundling up and sitting on a balcony or veranda, or if possible going for a walk. Being outside will boost your energy levels and lift your spirits.
  • Grow something. There is still time to plants seeds for this year’s garden or even for a few pots on the patio. If you don’t have seeds or the ability to get any, be creative and use the seeds from fruits or vegetables that you purchased to eat. Just for the fun of it see if you can get an apple, lemon, tomato, or orange seed to successfully emerge out of the soil. All you need is a container, potting soil, water, sunlight, and maybe a bit more patience!
  • Pass on your family recipes. Pull out your cookbooks and write out all of your favourite recipes (or photocopy them if you have access to a photocopier) to create a cookbook that could eventually be photocopied for all your family members. Alternately, you could pick two or three of your favourite recipes, and copy them out for your children or grandchildren. You can mail them out or save them as a special gift to pass along when you’re finally able to see one another.
  • Plan for the future. This next idea may make some people feel uncomfortable, but since you have a lot of time to think and plan this is the ideal time to make some decisions. Put together a list of items that are special to you and decide who you would like to give these items to either in the near future or when you pass away. Consider antiques; unique or historic furniture; jewellery; artwork; china sets and fine dishes/glassware; special collections of coins, stamps, and other items; tools, clothing such as fur coats; souvenirs from travelling; family heirlooms; and any other items that are important to you.
  • Pull out your photo albums or boxes of photos. Simply enjoy the special memories by looking through them or take it a step further and organize your photographs. It’s lovely to have a collection of photos, but it’s often frustrating when you don’t know who is in the photo or what is happening. If you don’t have photo-safe pens, number the photos and just use sheets of paper to identify who is in the photo, the year, where it was taken, and if it’s not obvious what was happening in the photo. You can do the same for photos that are already in albums, simply record the important information on pieces of paper to keep within the album. Just be sure to create a numbering system to keep things clear and in order. Future generations will be grateful to you and your organizational skills.