Activities for older people cocooning

Covid-19 is posing a major interruption to the way many of us live our daily lives whether we’re a young person in quarantine or a senior who is cocooning. Opportunities to go for coffee or a walk with friends have been put on hold as we come together as a community to stay apart and limit the spread of infection. If you’re not used to spending a lot of time in the home, this may be a challenging time.

Whilst we are currently undergoing Social Distancing, Leo Varadkar mentioned that we may soon move into a period of cocooning. Essentially, cocooning is the actions taken by others to support the people who are being asked to reduce their social interactions. In this case, it is elderly and people with long-term illnesses who will need to be cocooned.

Cocooning is built to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable in society however we know that social isolation and loneliness can have an impact on people’s wellbeing and mental health, particularly amongst the older population. The best way to counteract the harms of social distancing and cocooning is by filling it with new approaches to being social and interesting ways of passing the time. We’ve collected together some options for keeping social and keeping active during this period.

The Grandpad 

The Grandpad is a tablet device specifically designed for seniors. It provides accessible audio and video communication tools, music, games and applications catered towards older users. Read more about it and it’s subscription model here.

AllWaysWithYou

Allwayswithyou is a cloud-based specialised social media platform that allows people to share their lives with their loved ones through photos, communication and other types of media. It is designed for easy, safe use with older users at the core of its function. It can be used to build a circle of loved ones that you can keep updated through sharing content and keeping in contact. Sign up for AllWaysWithYou here.

 

 

Phone A Friend

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean you can’t socialise. Use the time to call your family or a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while.  A long catch up can be the perfect remedy for boredom and will bring you closer to the people you care about. If you’re tech-savvy, using an application like Skype on a computer or laptop will allow you to video call so you can see them in person. If you’re not sure how it works, reach out to a family member for help or watch the step-by-step guide below.

Brain Games

Did you know this week is Brain Awareness Week? Keeping your cognitive skills sharp is an important way of improving and preserving your memory whilst also being a super fun way to pass the time. Brain games like Sudoku, or Crosswords can be found in most newspapers and in abundance online. If you haven’t had the chance to grab a new newspaper recently, check around the house to see if you have old papers or magazines and you’ll find fun for hours.

If you’re online, there’s plenty of dedicated websites that focus on brain training such as Neuronation.

Exercise

It’s not just your brain that can be exercised indoors! Being cooped up in the house may make it seem like you can’t keep fit but there are plenty of exercises that can be done from the safety of your living room. The video below shows seated exercise tutorials. If you have a back garden or space you can walk in whilst still maintaining social distance, try your best to get in a daily walk. The movement is important for keeping all your gears running and getting a bit of fresh air can do you the world of good.

 

Learn something new 

This is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or learn about something new. Painting can be a rewarding and fun past time and there’s plenty of online tutorials for getting started such as The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.

If art isn’t your thing, now could be a great chance to find out more about your heritage and your family tree. Websites like Ancestry.co.uk can be used to access historical records that allow you to trace your family history. These websites can come at a cost though so be mindful of not accidentally paying for something before making up your mind.

Catch up on reading

Who hasn’t got a mountain of books they have never gotten around to reading? Take this time to catch up on those books that have been gathering dust in your house. Reading is a great way of getting your brain active and also provides you with some quality time away from screens – reducing stress and helping with better sleep.

Some Recommended Tools and Purchases:

The Kindle

A Kindle is an e-reader that allows you electronically read e-books purchased online. There are many different brands but the Kindle is one of the most well trusted – it’s easy on your eyes and the almost any book you can think of would available on the Kindle store. The Kindle starts at around €89 and can bought on the Amazon store.

Nintendo Switch

For any of you who are super tech savvy, the Nintendo Switch might be just for you. It’s a little pricey – prices start around €200 – but for anyone who likes playing games, it’s a treat. Offering 100s of different video games, including many brain training and puzzle games, it’s a handheld console perfect for anyone who’s young at heart. Read more about it here.

Online Streaming Services

The RTE Player is free to use and allows you to catch up on all of your favourite RTE shows. Watch it here.

Similar to the RTÉ Player is the Virgin Media Player, another free service where you can watch anything that’s been on the Virgin Media tv channels in the last 30 days. Watch it here.

Netflix is a highly popular streaming service. It’s a paid service that starts at €7.99 and has hundreds of famous TV shows and movies from all over the world. Check it out here.

For music fans, Spotify is a wonderful library of thousands and thousands of songs and playlists featuring old and new artists from all over the world. Join here.