4 Creatively Simple Ways for Seniors to Stay Social While Social Distancing
For many of us, the social distancing parameters that have been put in place within our communities are doing their job to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep us safe. But they’re also presenting a bit of a challenge for social entertainment—especially when it comes to finding interactive activities that can still be enjoyed at a distance. This is where a little creative ingenuity really does the trick. Below are some uniquely creative ways seniors in Life Plan Communities are staying socially connected with friends and neighbors while still maintaining some social distance.
Remote Control Races
For those who thrive on challenges or love a little excitement, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the friendly competition of organizing and staging your own remote-control car races. Whether you’re racing your own RC entry or just watching as a spectator at a safe distance, you’ll be hard-pressed to not get caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of this action-packed activity, not to mention the free pass to act like a kid again.
What you’ll need: To get the races going, you’ll need at least two remote-controlled vehicles and a designated hall or open indoor/outdoor space to act as your motor speedway. Participants can either bring their own RC contenders or take turns operating shared vehicles. From there, you can organize head-to-head races or stage a championship tournament. The key is to have fun.
Basket Case Challenge
In this fun twist on the Food Network show, “Chopped,” participating contestants are given activity baskets that include 3-4 random objects or craft supplies. They are then challenged (whether as individuals, couples, or small teams) to create a work of art that incorporates all the items in the basket within a set amount of time. Once the buzzer goes off, the crafting stops and the judging/art show (and laughter) begins.
What you’ll need: To kick this one off, you’ll need a space large enough to safely accommodate the necessary crafting workstations for the size of your group. You’ll also need a basket for each participating person/team. Each basket is then filled with the same 3-4 objects so that each team faces an equal creative challenge. And don’t forget: the crazier the objects, the more fun. You’ll also want to provide a handful of other standard supplies to support the crafting, such as tape, scissors, glue, etc. Once everything is ready to go, set the clock and let the craziness begin. As an alternative, this activity may also be carried out virtually from each person’s home, should safety or distance be a concern.
Social distancing advisories have made group movie nights difficult, but not impossible. Simply plan a night, set a start time, and pick a flick to watch. The twist is to have all participating movie-night goers stream that same film, preferably at the same time, from the comfort of their own apartment homes. After the movie, plan a time to reconnect as a group to discuss the film or plan the next movie-night event.
What you’ll need: To push play on this activity, pick a streaming platform that everyone can access, such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime, etc. Cable or satellite TV services will also work if there is a scheduled show that works for everyone. After you’ve landed on a specific movie, and where to access that movie, set a night and a time for everyone to settle into their respective living rooms and enjoy. For an added bit of fun, distribute microwaveable popcorn or other fun movie treats to each participating movie-watcher ahead of the showing.
With many travelers finding themselves temporarily grounded, or even stuck at home, for the foreseeable future, they’re looking for new ways to get out and see the sites. Fortunately, the internet is saving the day by making it possible for many of the world’s great art museums, historical sites, aquariums, zoos, and even theatres to provide virtual tours. In some cases, these tours are live-guided, allowing you to ask real-time questions or schedule your virtual visit with others for a more interactive experience.
What you’ll need: To get this trip off the ground, you’ll need a connected computer or mobile device to access each location or tour service’s specific website. In most cases, live tour service sites will clearly list their specific streaming requirements, including schedules and costs. If your selected tour has audio or includes some element of interactivity, it never hurts to have a pair of headphones at the ready. It also helps to know where to look for possible tour options. Here are a few to get you started:
While ongoing pandemic concerns may be governing a lot of our current actions and decisions, many senior adults are jumping at the chance to make Life Plan Communities their home for life, thanks in large part to the safety and security they provide. It also doesn’t hurt that these communities provide residents with countless opportunities, like these, to live life to the fullest—and have a little fun in the process.