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.
Click on any of the categories below to explore more!
The National Center for Creative Aging created a free Creative Caregiving Guide with short videos lessons in painting, poetry, music, storytelling, and dance exercises. View this fun “Sing like a Bird” activity here.
Looking to get out and enjoy live music as the weather gets warmer? Check out this list of outdoor family friendly concerts around the Triangle here.
BBC Music Memories provides an easy method for creating/saving a music playlist to Spotify. Or even easier, M4D Radio (Music for Dementia) offers era-specific stations available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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
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
Listento 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 videoperformance of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “What the World Needs Now” by students at Berklee College of Music that has gone viral.
Exercising Your Body and Mind
Check out this 5-minute exercise from Silver Sneakers that is both fun and for good for your brain! Silver Sneakers is a great resource for finding easy exercises you can do at home or at select gyms and senior centers in your community.
Heart Healthy Dancing!
It’s Heart Health Month and what better way to get your heart moving than through dance! Dance the Macarena with this energizing sit or stand chair yoga with Sherry Zak Morris.
Fall Prevention Exercises
Yoga at Home
Follow along with JJ Gormley, Certified Yoga Instructor with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving as she guides you through gentle seated chair yoga. Choose between various prerecorded videos ranging from 15-30 mins 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 engagedduring 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 videosranging 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!
Get Out Your Dancing Shoes
Check out these “Dance for PD” classes for free online through the Mark Morris Dance Company. While designed for people with Parkinson’s, the movements are gentle and easy to follow.
Transportation and Travel
Virtual Park Tours
Google delivers the splendor of nature within U.S National Parks through interactive virtual tours. Experience stunning views and gorgeous landscapes in Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Florida, by clicking here.
Experience the mesmerizing appeal of train rides on YouTube. Enjoy the locomotive ‘Drivers Eye View’ of the Brienz Rothorn Bahn railway in Switzerland, with rugged mountainsides and snow-covered peaks.
There is also a live 24/7 traincamera gives you the train driver’s view from the comfort of home.
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!
Stroll Through a Museum
Browse NASA’s Image and Video Libraryfor recent, historic and the most popular images, audio files and videos.
All Things Nature
Tropical Butterfly Garden
Take time to enjoy the sounds and wonders of nature through this relaxing video featuring butterflies in a tropical garden here.
NC Zoo Adventures!
Experience the NC Zoo virtually every Wednesday at 10 a.m. for a LIVE and fun educational presentation about animals and nature on their FACEBOOK PAGE. Prerecorded videos are also available on their website.
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 camat San Diego Zoo. Scroll below the video to be introduced to the herd.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Tune into a webcamand 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.
Cool Easter Eggs
Making Cool Whip Easter Eggs is a tasty and enjoyable activity your loved one with dementia will surely love. All the ingredients in this activity are edible so you can enjoy them later with your Easter dinner!
Nutrition and Dementia
March is National Nutrition Awareness Month, and for individuals with dementia nutrition is important for optimizing cognitive health. View this article from Brain & Life featuring Cooking Tips and Simple Recipes for Alzheimer’s Patients.
TV & Dementia
Now watching TV can be a positive and enjoyable experience for individuals living with dementia with new streaming services like Zinnia TV. Zinnia TV provides pleasant stress-free videos for people living with mid- to late-stage memory loss or dementia. Learn more about Zinnia TV here.
DIY Inexpensive Activities
Finding engaging activities for those with dementia does not have to be expensive or complicated. View these 10 Easy and Inexpensive DIY Ideas for Seniors with Dementia from DailyCaring.
There’s an App for That!
With the invention of touchscreen devices keeping your loved one with memory challenges engaged and cognitively stimulated is now easier than ever. The Alz Buddy app is filled with music, images, games, and historical figures.
If you are looking for other dementia friendly apps check out this article by Formyplan.com featured here.
A Pop of Art
Pop art is a movement that emerged in the late 1950’s. This art movement was inspired by commercial and popular culture. Enjoy hundreds of fun and famous Pop art imageshere!
Robotic Furry Friends
Take a trip into the past by checking out these classic photos from LIFE Magazine’s famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt here.
Finger Painting Is Not Just for Kids!
Looking for a fun way for your senior to express themselves through art? Try homemade finger painting! This sensory friendly idea, that may help reduce anxiety, is featured on Daily Caringwebsite. Get the paint recipe.
A Huge List of Dementia Activities
One caregiver has complied a large list of dementia activity ideas. Think about pulling out old Duplos (large Legos), trying the Famous Duo Cards, or singing along with this Karaoke playlist of hymns and patriotic songs.
Pick a Color!
A relaxing activity for people with dementia is adult coloring books. The Colorwebsite provides an extensive list of fun pictures to choose from! These can then be shared with family and friends.
10 Fun, No-Fail Activities for People with Dementia
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 box can help your older adult feel connected to their past career and previous hobbies. Fill any kind of box with copies of photos or non-important keepsakes from hobbies or work; for more information, visit this article.