Older adults deserve access to resources that can help them maintain happiness, wellness, and autonomy. Aging may introduce a number of challenges, but opportunities to access care, entertain themselves, boost their social lives, and continue learning should be made within reach for them by caregivers as much as possible.
Here’s a list of various virtual resources that caregivers may find helpful in helping older adults enrich their daily lives.
Let’s start with fitness. It is a widely known fact that exercise aids in lowering blood pressure, decreasing the waistline, improving blood sugar levels, decreasing anxiety, and elevating mood, just to name a few benefits. Regular exercise is especially beneficial to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who have comorbidities.
When coming up with a list of exercises, keep in mind that the activities must be enjoyable and sustainable. Meaning, the individual is able to do them for a long period of time. If you’d prefer to have them attend classes instead, here are a few choices:
The Y has a robust list of fitness activities and classes for older adults. Now, they also offer virtual workout sessions such as balance classes, strength training, chair yoga, and senior cardio, among others.
The National Institute on Aging
The NIA has a YouTube channel where you can find several useful videos, including ones about safe exercising. The National Institute on Aging also launched a program called Go4Life with the goal of encouraging sedentary older adults to stay active and healthy. You can also find their videos on the NIA YouTube channel.
Many older adults find religion a very important part of their life. However, with the recent restrictions introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, they may have found it hard to engage in their communities. Here are a few virtual resources to check out:
This website aims to enrich the spirituality and religious development of Muslims, especially those living in the West. It has articles and sermons written in four languages — English, Arabic, Spanish, and Malay.
This site provides individuals of Catholic faith transcripts of the Sunday liturgies for free, as well as discussion questions, and inspirational songs, among others.
The Online Faith Collective houses a collection of virtual worship services, classified by faith. You can find online worship services for Christian denominations, non-denominational services, and Jewish services on the platform.
Zoo and Museum Tours
A lot of the tourist spots and national landmarks started offering virtual tours last year, to accommodate the changes brought about by the pandemic. Older adults can enjoy these online tours when accompanied by family or caregiver.
With MET 360°, you can have a virtual tour of its six amazing galleries.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
For select exhibits, patrons can enjoy either a guided tour or a narrated one.
The most visited zoo in the US, The San Diego Zoo offers live feeds from their fun animal cams, as well as an archive of recordings of their previous panda residents.
You can view their exhibits and watch their animal residents through their guided virtual tours.
Research has shown that continuous learning, both self-directed and through a classroom setup, can help older adults hone their cognitive abilities and improve their self-image.
Operating in six US states now, Senior Planet offers seminars and courses on various topics, such as website design, computer basics, drumming, and holistic wellness, among others. Membership is maintained via an annual donation, with no specific price required.
AARP offers seminars and lectures on technology, free of charge. Topics include housing and retirement, social security, savings and planning, fraud, driving, and medicare, among others. They can either join a live webinar or watch the recorded session.
OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute)
Older adults can take part in their lectures, events, and workshops in different areas like history and government, literature, science and technology, creative arts, and social sciences. Classes require registration fees, depending on membership type.
This famous platform houses hundreds of courses hosted and facilitated by experts, celebrities, and professionals. Classes come in concise and easy to understand 10-minute sessions, with rates at $15 a month, billed every year.
Another great way to stay sharp is to learn a new language. Rosetta Stone provides an innovative approach to language learning. Older adults can attend live tutoring sessions, which can also provide a venue for them to socialize and interact with other students.
The list above provides only a few recommendations for virtual resources for older adults. With the goal of providing them opportunities and venues to stay positive, healthy, and engaged, caregivers are encouraged to be creative in finding more solutions and platforms.