Being housebound can be a challenge at any age. During the Covid-19 pandemic, a record number of seniors have struggled with isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and poor sleep quality, all of which can have a detrimental impact on physical and mental health.
Many seniors come with a lifetime of skills to combat those issues, and many have done just that. Whether pursuing hobbies, finally getting to long-postponed house projects, or just catching up on all the books and movies missed while leading a full life, many seniors found good ways to keep busy at first. But eventually, we run out of projects and need to get creative to keep our brains engaged and active.
Thankfully, technology offers us many different opportunities to engage. Virtual tours of the world and even of space are available online, as are a vast selection of virtual activities. Virtual tours are not the same as actually being there, but they still can provide the sense of openness your mind needs without ever leaving your house. And the virtual activities available online include exercise classes, entertainment, and arts and crafts.
- Travel to Britain! The British Museum provides a fascinating opportunity to view its collection by strolling through a vast timeline graphic beginning in 2000 AD. The artifacts are also categorized by geographical source, so you can focus specifically on location, whether Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, or Oceania.
- In the United States, the Guggenheim provides a variety of online offerings, including a virtual tour specifically designed for people who are blind or have low vision.
- Head over to Europe. You don’t have to fly to Holland to check out Van Gogh’s masterpieces. The Van Gogh Museum offers online access to his artwork along with his letters.
- Italy is another wonderful online destination. The Uffizi Galleries are just a click away, and without leaving your couch, you can even take a fabulous tour of the vast collection at the Vatican.
- Then grab a croissant and some hot chocolate while you explore the Louvre. The Mona Lisa is looking forward to chatting with you.
- Afterward, travel on to Berlin to tour the Pergamon Museum. Here you will find an antiquity collection, an Islamic art museum, and a Middle East museum.
- The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea contains a fascinating and wide-ranging collection of both ancient works and art from newcomers. Check it out!
Virtual Zoo and Aquarium Tours
- The marine organisms at the National Aquarium in Baltimore are looking forward to your visit. You won’t even need to get wet.
- The Bronx Zoo offers fabulous virtual tours, including virtual wild encounters with some of the residents.
- The Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England, may seem far away, but you can visit their red pandas whenever you please.
- There’s nothing quite like koalas on the cuteness scale, and they are pretty relaxing to watch too. Check out the koala cam at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Australia:
- The San Diego Zoo has a lot of fun going on, including a brand new Hippo Cam!
- Okay, pandas definitely give koalas a run for their money in terms of adorable. Check them out at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
- From gorillas to elephants to rhinos, the Houston Zoo has a webcam for that.
Explore the World
- Not quite ready to go hiking yet? No problem. You can take virtual tours of Yellowstone Park.
- It’s always fun to see how the other half lives. If you aren’t royalty but want to check out their digs, take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace.
- Then head over to China and walk along the Great Wall.
- You can experience a 360-degree view of the Coliseum without having to get on a plane.
- You won’t have to time travel to see Pharaoh Ramesses VI’s tomb and burial either.
- A virtual tour of the catacombs in Paris is a mouse click away.
- And if you want to see it all from above, check out the NASA Space Station.
- For a list of upcoming online music events, check out Billboard.
- The Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall provides an array of free concerts.
- The Paris Philharmonic has put lots of their concerts online too.
- Love country music? Check out the Old Opry’s offerings.
- If dance is your jam, you’ll enjoy what Alvin Ailey has to offer.
- The Vienna State Opera offers free live and recorded options.
- Love a good monologue? Here are famous actors performing them online.
Arts and Crafts
- Love scarves? Take up knitting!
- If you like to doodle, you can learn how to make a comic book.
- Study modern watercolor techniques, and you could be the next Renoir.
- Michael’s Arts and Crafts offers lots of free classes on a variety of crafts.
- Enjoy the ancient art of paper folding with step-by-step origami instruction.
- Here’s a free guide to figure drawing.
- You know you’ll have to send a card sooner or later. Why not make a pop-up one?
- Friendship bracelets are another great way to keep friendships warm.
- Everyone needs to move to stay healthy. Try these exercises.
- Here you will find some more fun ways to move.
- Get fit and have fun at the same time!
- Tai Chi is a great way to increase mobility.
- Join the many folks who practice yoga regularly.
- Strength and flexibility are important goals for seniors, especially those with pre-existing conditions.
- Love to ballroom dance? Try it in your living room!
- More of a hip-hop person? Here are some lessons in other types of dance.
- You know you’ve always wanted to try belly dancing. Why not now?