This past year has been difficult to say the least as the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s lives, especially those of seniors. As 2020 comes to a close, many are looking forward to a more positive year in 2021, both personally and on a larger scale.
One way to make positive changes or work towards goals in your personal life is to set new year’s resolutions. People often choose resolutions based on self-improvement and anyone can set realistic resolutions for themselves for a better new year, including seniors.
It appears that the COVID-19 pandemic will still be around for a while in 2021. This makes it important to create new year’s resolutions to stay positive and healthy as the pandemic continues and to plan accordingly to keep yourself safe.
For seniors, it is especially important to continue to take every precaution necessary to avoid COVID-19. Seniors should also think of new year’s resolutions that can help them stay positive and connected to their loved ones while they continue to quarantine.
The following are some ideas for new year’s resolutions for senior citizens in 2021.
1.Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
As seniors continue to stay quarantined during the pandemic, they do not have to be isolated from family and friends. It is important for seniors to maintain contact with loved ones to avoid feeling lonely.
Seniors can keep in contact with their children, grandchildren, and close friends very easily with the options available. Seniors who are more savvy can video message family and friends through Facebook Messenger, Skype, and FaceTime. These options allow seniors to see their loved one’s faces during their conversation.
For seniors who are not as tech savvy, they can still keep in contact with family and friends through phone calls. No matter which option seniors choose, it is highly beneficial to maintain regular contact with their loved ones.
2.Engage in Physical Activity
Staying physically active is important for everyone, including seniors. As the pandemic causes people to be less active as they shelter in place, engaging in physical activity becomes more important.
During the winter, seniors should keep their physical activities indoors. Examples of indoor activities for seniors include lifting hand weights, yoga, resistance band workouts, and riding exercise bikes. When the weather is nicer, seniors can engage in physical activities outdoors including walking, jogging, swimming, bicycle riding, yardwork activities like gardening, and others.
When engaging in physical activities, seniors should warm up by starting with less intense physical activities and cool down at the end of their workout. It is important for seniors to only engage in physical activities that are within their abilities and it is beneficial to have someone nearby in case of an injury.
3.Keep Mind Sharp with Memory Exercises
While sheltering in place, it is just as important for seniors to keep their minds in shape as well as their bodies. Seniors can keep their minds sharp with the following games and activities:
- Arts and crafts: Any type of arts and crafts projects including kitting, scrapbooking, drawing, painting, and others will keep seniors’ hands active and allow them to express their creativity.
- Word and number puzzles: Puzzles like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are great for challenging the minds of seniors. These puzzles involve recognizing patterns and problem solving.
- Jigsaw puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles not only stimulate the minds of seniors but can also help them relax by reducing their blood pressure.
- Reading: Reading is a great activity that can get the mind and imagination working and improve memory and vocabulary skills. Seniors can help keep their minds sharp by reading their favorite books, magazines, or newspapers.
- Card games: There are many card games that involve memory skills and problem solving.
- Online games: Between mobile apps and online games, there are so many games available that more tech savvy seniors can play on their phones or computers.
- Playing an instrument: Spending years learning and playing an instrument can help strengthen memory. Seniors who already play an instrument should devote time to practicing in the new year and it is never too late to learn how to play an instrument.
- Games for dementia patients: If you have senior loved ones suffering from dementia, there are many memory games that can help stimulate their minds and slow the effects of memory loss.
4.Protect Against COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic will extend into 2021, making it important for seniors to continue to take the proper precautions to avoid catching the virus. According to the CDC, seniors should continue to do the following to avoid catching COVID-19:
- Always wear a mask when leaving the home or interacting with anyone who does not live in the home.
- Limit in person interactions.
- When in public, stay 6 feet away from others.
- Wash hands often and use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not touch eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow or a tissue. After this, dispose of the tissue and wash hands.
- Clean and disinfect the home, including the most touched surfaces and objects.
Seniors should make it a point to eat healthy in the new year to improve their overall health and give them the strength to help fight off COVID-19. The following should be part of a healthy diet for seniors:
- Lean protein including lean meats, eggs, seafood, and beans
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains including whole wheat pasta and brown rice
- Low fat dairy
- High fiber foods like citrus fruits, berries, beans, and carrots
- Vitamin D foods like fish, milk, orange juice, and supplements
- Avoid foods that are high in sodium or sugar
6.Learn a New Hobby
Seniors will likely need to remain quarantined for a good chunk of 2021 which can lead to boredom. This may be the year for seniors to pick up a hobby that they have always wanted to learn.
There are several hobbies that seniors can do in their homes, including writing (stories, poems, journal entries), visual art (drawing, painting, coloring), knitting, online or computer games (senior appropriate), playing an instrument, scrapbooking, cooking or baking, and others.
These hobbies can all be done safely within the home and seniors can learn by looking up instruction videos. Taking up a new hobby is a fun and fulfilling way to spend time while in quarantine.
7.Ask for Help
The above mentioned new year’s resolutions will help seniors keep in touch with loved ones, stay healthy, and find fun ways to pass the time as the pandemic continues into next year. One last thing to consider for the new year is getting some in-home help for elderly loved ones who need it.
At Assisting Hands, we provide complete home care services to help seniors with personal care, household activities like meal preparation, and transportation to take care of the grocery shopping and get to doctor appointments. We can handle any level of care including memory care for those suffering from dementia as well as 24/7 home care when needed.
Our caregivers are carefully screened for COVID-19 for the protection of your senior loved ones. You can rest assured that our caregivers will not only provide excellent in-home care, but also be a companion to your loved ones which is important as the pandemic continues.
Assisting Hands Home Care provides senior home care in Naperville, IL and the surrounding areas of DuPage County.