Boredom can carry some fairly unpleasant side effects if engaged for extended periods of time. People can become so bored in La Crescenta and elsewhere that they turn to other stimuli to liven things up – for instance, alcohol, drug usage, and cigarette smoking. In extreme cases, people can become so bored that they do harm to themselves, including the ultimate self-damage, suicide. Some individuals manage boredom by over-eating, and obviously, this can lead to far worse problems. For these reasons, we have a National Anti-Boredom Month, which happens to be in July and seeks to bring greater awareness to people who are the likeliest candidates for boredom. Elderly homebound patients are in this category since they are often obliged to remain at home every single day without interacting or enjoying new experiences. While senior care professionals might do their best to provide companionship and limited entertainment for their charges, fighting off boredom can be a frustrating experience for everyone involved. Here are some ways to relieve the boredom that your stay-at-home elderly loved one may be experiencing.
Explore the online world
There is literally an entire new world waiting online to be discovered, and if you can overcome your senior’s natural hesitancy about working with computers, it can be infinitely fascinating. The possibilities online are absolutely endless, even if you’re a senior novice. Just as a start, you could help your loved one establish a Facebook account, find some friends in the forums, and perhaps make some new friendships to keep life interesting. There are also plenty of stimulating games to be found online, lots of exciting photos of our beautiful world, and enough reading material to fill up a lifetime. Make sure that your loved one doesn’t become frustrated by not understanding how things work on the Internet – provide any needed assistance, and clarify things that are not clear. Don’t let your loved one give up on this because they don’t understand something. You might be able to chase away the boredom and give your senior a whole new outlook on life in the process.
Learn a new skill
You’re never too old to learn something new, including a new skill or hobby. If you happen to hit on honing a skill that is really enjoyable, it can provide hours of entertainment as you sharpen and refine that skill. Sewing, painting, or perhaps even making pottery could be things that appeal to your elderly loved one, and if you help make it happen for them, it could be a lifelong pursuit that keeps them engaged and interested every day. You can have any materials delivered to the home if necessary, so even total shut-ins don’t have to be completely cut off from the rest of the world. If the first one of two new hobbies doesn’t quite catch the fancy of your loved one, keep trying until you find something that really appeals to him/her, and gives them a reason to get up every day.
One of the most rewarding and satisfying activities that any of us can do is to become involved in volunteer work. Helping others who are in need is something that warms your heart and makes you feel needed in the world. Sometimes boredom is the result of a senior simply feeling unwanted and unneeded, and volunteer work banishes all those feelings. There are a great many organizations in your community that would benefit from the contributions made by seniors, and it’s likely that your loved one will experience some really worthwhile and possibly touching moments while volunteering. Check in your community for soup kitchens, big brother organizations, elderly groups, and others that might need some help daily or weekly. Most people simply get a great feeling from helping others, and it remains one of the more noble pursuits that humans are capable of.
Try some board games
There are both old and new board games available, and at least a few of these should be acceptable to your senior loved one. Some of these games can hold your attention for hours at a time, while you’re doing your best to come out on top. Monopoly, for one game, can take up several hours while players vie for financial dominance and try to build up their real estate holdings on the board. Apart from the traditional board games, you might find some online games that really appeal to your senior, for instance, Solitaire. Jigsaw puzzles can be totally absorbing as well, as you struggle to find the right places for each piece of the puzzle. Another great way of participating in a game-type event is using the Wii, which also has the desirable quality of forcing participants to be active in competition. Bowling, playing tennis, and other popular Wii games might be just the ticket for relieving boredom and keeping your senior active at the same time.