Staying Engaged While Social Distancing
In an effort to make your day a little brighter, here are activity ideas to do at home. We hope these activities will stimulate discussion, encourage reminiscing, get you moving, or simply bring joy. From links to concerts, museum tours or live dance classes; to directions for craft projects, or conversation prompts, we hope to add some fun to your day.
Advice All the Way from London!
The Alzheimer’s Society, UK’s leading dementia organization, suggests 5 great ways to keep moving at home – tips for people with dementia. From bowling with plastic bottles for pins and a rolled-up pair of socks, to gardening tips, and more — we hope you’ll find some new ways to keep moving.
In the Mood for Music from Your Past?
Check out the Nostalgia Machine and pick a year from the past to listen to music from your high school days, college parties, or your first love.
Sing Along with Nashville’s Music for Seniors
Lincoln Center Moments
Lincoln Center Moments offers performances designed for individuals with dementia and their care partners. Each performance is followed by a discussion, movement, music, or art-making activity. The program is free, but registration is required. To register, fill out this form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-875-5375.
Attention Classical Music Lovers
With live venues closed, more concerts are available online. Check out these 10 concerts recommended by the New York Times. Happy listening to you!
The Choral Society of Durham
The Choral Society of Durham shared with us their Community Outreach Concert, beautifully presented with the “hope that the music will be one small act of building bridges, linking us together arm in arm as we strive to shape the world into a more just, caring and peaceful place.” Enjoy a variety of songs including the spiritual, “There is a Balm in Gilead,” and “West Side Story’s” favorite love song, “Somewhere.”
Radio Recliner is an online radio station run by residents in their rooms at senior living communities across the country. New shows at noon every day.
Music for Seniors
Music for Seniors connects Nashville-area musicians with older adults through live and interactive music programs designed to engage, entertain and educate.
Old Time Radio
Listen to radio shows from the ’40s, 50s and ’60s. The archive includes favorites such as, “Gunsmoke,” Father Knows Best,” “Martin & Lewis,” and “Dragnet.”
Durham Medical Orchestra
Duke’s Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant leads health care professionals and students—from their homes across Durham County—in a performance of a new piece by Durham composer Steven Bryant.
Virtual ‘Love Sweet Love’ From Quarantined Berklee College of Music Students
Check out this video performance of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “What the World Needs Now” by students at Berklee College of Music that has gone viral.
Get Out Your Dancing Shoes
Exercising Your Body and Mind
Chair Yoga Dancing
New Exercises for the New Year!
Try these ten-minute chair exercises that reduce the risk of falling and are designed for seniors by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock academic health system. Check them out here.
Ideas for Exercise and Physical Activities
Activities for Everyone
9 Cognitively Stimulating Activities to Do at Home
Alzheimer’s San Diego has great ideas for staying engaged during the pandemic or anytime. From conversation starters to a list of the 50 best Karaoke songs, you’re sure to find some new ideas.
Seated Tai Chi for Seniors: 3 Simple Routines Improve Flexibility and Well-Being
Tai chi is a gentle exercise that improves balance and reduces fall risk. Check out tai chi with these three short videos for beginners.
Pilates & Yoga for Parkinson’s (or anyone else) – Movement While Sitting in a Chair
Poe Wellness Solutions and The Parkinson’s Movement Initiative have very generously created Pilates and yoga for Parkinson’s videos. Visit the webpage for the videos here.
Tai Chi to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls
If you’ve never tried Tai Chi, start with this short video. The instructor will guide you through gentle and relaxing movements with a beautiful body of water in the background.
Virtual Movement for the Mind
Check out these exercise videos from Alzheimer’s Support, a dementia organization in England. The videos range from very gentle movement to more active exercises.
Beat the Heat and Walk at Home!
The Walk at Home series offers workouts that make exercising in your own home fun and easy. Choose videos ranging from 10-45 minutes.
Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, offers workout videos to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life. Great options during the pandemic or anytime!
Transportation and Travel
Experience the mesmerizing appeal of train rides on YouTube. Enjoy the locomotive ‘Drivers Eye View’ of the Brienz Rothorn Bahn railway in Switzerland. Let this breathtakingly beautiful scenery transport you to a pollen-free adventure along the rugged mountainside, through tunnels and even snow-covered peaks. Videos are best viewed in ‘full-screen’ mode.
Stroll Through a Museum
You can’t go in person right now, but many museums around the world are offering virtual tours of their exhibits. From the Guggenheim Museum in New York City to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, they are waiting for you to drop in at your leisure.
If so, check out the next best thing — virtual walking tours from Watched Walker. Select from hundreds of walks ranging from beautiful beaches to lively Paris streets. Read about them in this Frommer’s article or go right to Watched Walker’s YouTube channel. Thanks for the tip Jeannine!
Need a Change of Scenery?13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World
Enjoy beautiful landscapes from Colorado’s Pikes Peak to a Japanese countryside as you travel virtually with these relaxing videos. Hop aboard!
Browse NASA’s Image and Video Library for recent, historic and the most popular images, audio files and videos.
All Things Nature
Spring has Sprung!
What better way to see all spring has to offer. Enjoy this virtual series of famous artists’ gardens, including that of Monet’s beautiful garden in Giverny, Normandy, which was the inspiration for Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. Take a virtual tour today!
Happy As a Lark
Bird Feeder Cam
This West Texas Bird Feeder Cam allow us to watch dozens of birds enjoying some lunch.
Live Views from the Georgia Aquarium
Visit your favorite marine creatures through webcams at one of the world’s largest aquatic exhibits.
Hang Out With Some Elephants
You’re watching the live cam at San Diego Zoo. Scroll below the video to be introduced to the herd.
The Best Live Animal Feeds from Around the World
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Tune into a webcam and be delighted by the antics of the sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of the jellies.
A Kaleidoscope of Orchids
Enjoy this 21-minute virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show.
Coloring Pages from the “Alzheimer’s Brain Box”
Pick a Color!
A fun or relaxing activity for people with dementia is adult coloring books. This activity works well on touchscreen devices or tablets, where it is easy to tap and fill the spaces. On the website, The Color, there is a great choice of pictures from flowers to animals, trains, circus… the list extensive! Once you have colored the picture you can print it off or share it with friends and family as there is also an email option. Sorry to say, but you’ll see some ads on this site.
10 Fun, No-Fail Activities for People with Dementia
Relax in Front of a Crackling Fire
Watching and hearing a campfire or fireplace burn is relaxing. To enjoy the sounds of fire burning without the fuss or danger, curl up in front of a virtual fireplace such as this classic fireplace with crackling fire sounds.
Engage your loved one’s creative side by making simple crafts together.
Webinar: Engagement in a Time of Quarantine Part I & II
This webinar is part of a newly-developing series from the TimeSlips Creative Storytelling team. Join MacArthur Fellow and TimeSlips Founder/President Anne Basting, PhD., as she shares additional avenues to connect while observing social distancing.
Click on the link to see Part I: https://vimeo.com/401431835
Click on the link to see Part II: https://youtu.be/0AJEV0Tzf1s
Create a Memory Box
A memory or rummage box can help your older adult feel connected to their past career and previous hobbies. Get any kind of box and fill it with things they would have used at work, copies of photos and non-important keepsakes, or objects from hobbies.
To learn more about the benefits of memory boxes, along with tips for making them, read this article.