Yes, You Can! Staying Active & Engaged During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down. It has made it difficult to enjoy everyday activities, to stay fit, and to spend time with the people we love. Seniors have been affected especially hard.

While older adults must protect their health against the virus, COVID-19 doesn’t have to mean abandoning the things you enjoy. At this moment, it’s even more important to stay connected.

But how?

1. Embrace New Ways to Move

Walking, gardening, moving to music, housework, and stretching are all great ways to keep your body in motion while respecting social distancing. If you’re someone who enjoys the camaraderie of fitness classes, don’t give it up! Instead, make the switch to virtual or online classes to get the benefit of those movements while keeping safe. With so many of us stuck in our homes, new opportunities for virtual exercise are sprouting up every day.

For example, Silver Sneakers offers virtual yoga and fitness classes that help seniors build strength and improve flexibility. Why not try one?

If you’re fortunate to live in an active senior living community like Summit, you have even greater access to health and fitness. There’s never been a better time to pick up a new hobby. Our residents enjoy classes like yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, and more. It allows them to participate in the activities they choose, with their neighbors nearby and social distancing in play.

2. Stimulate Your Mind with Discovery

Feelings of loneliness, combined with the loss of everyday normalcy, can make it hard to stay mentally engaged. Yet, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Nurture it.

If you love to travel and explore new places, take those adventures online. Use your computer or tablet to go on virtual tours of your favorite museum, to learn a new language with an interactive course, or to explore historical events or the works of famous artists with Google Arts & Culture.

Maybe explore seven of the world’s weirdest creatures before lunch.

Then, take a walk around Haut Jura Regional Park in France. Make a day of it.

At Summit, our signature Connected Life program is all about offering classes and educational opportunities to residents. Sometimes that means bringing people together for an in-person, socially distant educational seminar on a new topic like U.S history or watercolor painting. Other times it means hosting a game night, playing cards, having drinks and conversation, or doing our part to bring our community together in other ways. Whatever our residents love to do, we’re busy looking for ways to bring it to them.

3. Stay Connected to Those You Love

Connection is a big part of our mission—helping residents to enjoy activities, humor, and one another. So when COVID-19 threatened that, we jumped into action. When our daily continental breakfast was halted, our team delivered weekly breakfast bags instead. When fitness classes couldn’t take place in person, walking groups and live streaming of fitness programs kicked into high gear. We made it possible for residents to safely gather six feet apart to laugh and share stories with friends.

While isolation can make the world feel small, keeping in touch with family and friends is vital. This includes using the telephone to check in, organizing regular lunch or coffee dates through video calls, or planning socially distant get-togethers to share a meal and conversation.

No one knows when things will truly return to normal. However, that doesn’t mean your physical or mental health has to suffer. Staying active, staying engaged and staying connected are so important to taking care of your health.

If we can help, let us know.