Seniors who are homebound face extra challenges, such as loneliness and lack of physical activity, which can turn into serious health risks. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your loved ones stay active as they continue to age in place!
Up to 3.6 million people over 65 in the US are considered housebound. Often, those who are housebound suffer from medical and/or mental illnesses, including limited mobility, weakness, poor balance, and memory disorders. Some are even homebound due to lack of social support or assistance. Between the isolation of being at home and the challenges that illness can bring, homebound seniors often have trouble staying active.
Common Challenges Homebound Seniors Face
Seniors who are homebound often suffer from a medical problem, psychiatric disability, or a memory disorder. When seniors are homebound, they often face challenges such as:
- Feelings of loneliness
- Hardship receiving medical care and/or going to appointments
- Difficulty buying groceries and other essentials
- Mobility problems within the home
- Lack of exercise and physical activity
- Trouble finding mental stimulation
- Few conversations or social connections
- Decreased quality of life
Tips for Staying Active When Homebound
Despite being homebound, there are ways in which seniors can stay active, mentally stimulated, and connected with friends and loved ones, which can help them live healthier, higher quality lives. Use these tips to help seniors stay both physically and mentally active:
Find Exercises That Seniors Can Do at Home
Physical activity is a natural form of stress relief. It also helps seniors stay flexible, fit, and healthy. Some great exercises for homebound seniors include:
- Seated strength training
- Aerobic exercise
Help Seniors Enjoy a New Hobby
Trying something new can help seniors stay sharp and active. Activities like knitting, reading, painting, wood carving, and scrapbooking, are great choices.
Stay Connected with Loved Ones
Socializing doesn’t require going out. Seniors can connect with others by:
- Using Skype or any type of video chat to catch up with friends or loved ones when possible
- Regular phone calls when video chatting isn’t available
- Corresponding with friends and loved ones through letters or e-mail
Set Seniors Up in Online Communities
There are lots of ways for seniors to connect with others online. If they really like writing, for example, they could subscribe to and even write for a blog. Online communities, chat rooms, and digital games all allow seniors to socialize without leaving home.
Play Games Regularly
If seniors have favorite board or card games, make time to play on a regular basis. They may also be able to play some games by themselves.
Taking Care of Their Place
For seniors able to perform some maintenance, cleaning, or decorating tasks, it’s good to keep at it. These sorts of activities can help seniors stay active and take pride in their home.
Top Ways to Help Homebound Seniors Stay Mentally Sharp
- Learning something new
- Regular conversations
- Practicing memorization
Home Care Tip
Often being homebound can be discouraging for seniors. Help them stay positive and encourage them to stay active by participating in their activities.
At Harmony, we are devoted to the well-being of our clients, which includes helping them to live quality, fulfilling lives while aging in place. If you feel your loved one may benefit from home care or home healthcare services, call us today!