Fighting Boredom: Helping Your Aging Loved One Have Fun
Family caregiving comes with a host of challenges that you may not expect. Many times, when you read blogs online, you encounter articles on the big challenges, like finances, health, or emotional/psychological wellbeing. In today’s blog, we want to focus on something a bit more mundane but equally important: boredom. Our aging loved ones, just like any other person, experience boredom from lack of excitement, variety in life, or activities. Today, we will go over ways to fight boredom in your aging loved ones to help add more fun to their lives.
Causes of boredom often result from experiencing the same routine, being stuck in one place, and not doing activities that you like. Overall, boredom happens when we no longer have meaningful activities to pursue that bring joy and happiness. As we age, we may become less able to do the activities that once brought us joy and happiness as a result of changes to our physical and/or neurological health. For example, if you found excitement and joy in golfing but now your body does not let you golf without experiencing pain, then you may find yourself staying home more often.
Boredom can be dangerous. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, depression, restlessness, and a decreased sense of self-worth. These issues can be complicated and messy to handle, so the best way to solve this problem is to prevent boredom in the first place. Below, we go over some strategies to bring fun into your loved one’s life.
(1) Help them develop a hobby: Brainstorm with your loved one to find a new, fun hobby that they would be able to do. These can be anything, from taking walks, learning a language, cross stitching, solving crossword puzzles, or watching documentaries. Even as we age, our brains still crave stimulating activities, so finding something fun is crucial.
(2) Stay physical: If this is possible, then encourage your loved one to do some physical activities indoors or outdoors, like walking, swimming, stretching, gardening, going to the zoo, and so on. Physical activities can contribute to better brain and bodily health, as well as improve emotional wellbeing.
(3) Socialize: Just because our world may be more isolated as the result of COVID-19, it does not mean we are completely isolated. Help your aging loved one download a video conferencing application so they can connect with other family members or friends. Human beings are social animals, so we need to socialize to survive, literally! So, encourage your loved one to interact with others through video conferencing apps.
(4) Engage with them: One part of family caregiving is being there for your loved one. If you can manage it, try to spend some quality time with them by bringing up funny stories or asking them to talk about interesting parts of their lives. Reminiscing can be a great activity for those living with degenerative neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s.
(5) Get creative: One of the best ways to fight boredom is to hone in on your creative side. Plan an arts and crafts day with your loved one, like making a bird feeder, painting, and/or making a scrapbook.
If you have any questions, then please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.