When elderly adults must live with chronic illness that often affects their mobility and independence, it can mean they spend long hours at home with family caregivers and home care providers. While these dedicated individuals do a fine job in looking after the aging adult’s physical needs, it’s common for seniors to experience some boredom. Family caregivers and home care providers should spend some time thinking of ways that elderly adults won’t be bored as they make the wise choice to age in place at home.
Boredom Can Be Bad for Senior Health
Nobody can be entertained all day and night, but homebound aging adults can be exposed to periods of boredom more frequently than others because they may be unable to move around much or pursue activities that would help them feel fulfilled. Boredom can actually contribute to low self-esteem, loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression. Mental health issues have a direct impact on physical health, making boredom the start of a potentially unhealthy senior.
When adults have spent decades being active, raising families, working a job and participating in social events with friends and in the community, it can be a big blow to their self-esteem when all of that stops as they age. With their health declining and their reliance on family caregivers and home care providers, many aging adults become more isolated and withdrawn. While boredom may not seem like a big deal to some, it is an incredibly debilitating problem for elderly adults.
Ideas to Prevent Boredom in Aging Adults
Family caregivers and home care providers have many options when it comes to alleviating boredom in aging adults. The key is to hone in on their interests and abilities and create activities that suit their personality. Here are a few examples of activities that can get rid of boredom in aging adults:
- Join social media and connect with family members
- Start a container garden
- Begin birdwatching
- Learn a new language
- Join a virtual book club
- Listen to podcasts or audiobooks
- Play video games suited for seniors
- Do puzzles or models
- Take an online class
- Try out a craft, like embroidery or leatherworking
- Sort through family photos
- Watch a themed movie series based on an actor, director or genre
- Begin an exercise program, like yoga, tai chi or senior aerobics
- Write in a journal or record memoirs
- Adopt a senior dog or cat
- Try out new recipes
Everyone wants to feel engaged and happy, even aging adults with multiple health issues. For seniors who want to enjoy their day-to-day lives aging in place at home, a robust schedule filled with interesting and engaging activities is the best way to ban boredom.