The older generation is suffering from poor mental health.

Your parents/grandparents can suffer if they lack regular social interaction and are isolated for long periods of time.

I remember my Auntie spending most of her retired days watching TV, luckily she had hobbies still to stimulate her mentally and fend off the depressive effects of boredom and loneliness.

So, what can you do to help the older generation in your family?

Use the Internet to learn new skills together. That way, your relationships will improve and your elderly family members can practice their new skills when they’re alone.

Here are some fun activities to try:

Origami

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of creating animals and other shapes by folding colored pieces of paper. My kids love it.

It’s fun, inexpensive and it stimulates cognitive activity and strengthens hand-eye coordination.

It’s also a peaceful and engaging way to challenge your creativity. Try creating an origami menagerie with shapes of different animals, or an origami “garden,” with images of trees and flowers. (Note: Origami may be a difficult activity for individuals who suffer from arthritis or joint pain in their hands and fingers.)

Time capsule

If you have an interest in history, indulge it by putting together a time capsule. Place objects that are representative of your era such as small toys, a popular novel, the front page of a newspaper, a ticket stub from a movie and a letter of explanation in a stainless steel container that’s securely sealed.

Find a secure location to store your time capsule rather than burying it in your yard or at a park.  If you do this activity with a parent/grandparent, it’s a great way of getting to know more about their past. I bet they’ll share some fun stories as to what they used to do when they were younger.

YouTube

If you enjoy playing a musical instrument, practicing meditation, or doing a favorite craft, consider starting your own Youtube channel.

Youtube is a platform for uploading instructional videos about an activity or subject in which you have some knowledge, experience or expertise. Spread the word about your new channel by letting friends and family know via Facebook.

Fun with sports

If you love following sports and want to do more than sit and watch, why not start a fantasy football, baseball or soccer team? You draft the players you want and your team’s performance is based on the game-by-game statistical performances of individual players. Your team is then ranked against the performance of other fantasy teams in your league. You can register a team free of cost at NFL.com, MLB.com, or ESPN.com. Again, this is a great activity to do with your parent/grandparent as it can help you develop a hobby you’re both interested in.

Be a blogger

Older adults have a lifetime of experience that their younger relatives and acquaintances can benefit from.

Consider sharing your thoughts and memories through a blog, which you can set up through WordPress.com. Write about anything you want and as frequently as you like.

If you have an especially interesting family history, a blog is a good way to preserve it and share information that could be of value to genealogists who are researching the same family history. Blogging is also a great creative outlet and there’s significant therapeutic value to expressing yourself in this manner.

Music

There are lots of free online music lessons that can teach you to play the piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone and many other instruments.

You can also hone your singing ability or learn about music theory, if that’s what you’re into.

If you think you’re too old to get started, studies have shown that adults have an easier time learning to play an instrument than children. Online resources can help you find ways to practice effectively so that you learn faster.

Fun in the outdoors

There’s no time like the present if you have green fingers and want to do some gardening and landscaping. It’s a great hobby, and you’ll get some exercise and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. If you plan to do some landscaping in the front yard, take the time to do some research to make sure your work is up to standards.

Gardening and landscaping are typical of the kinds of activities that you can learn via the Internet. You’ll benefit mentally, physically and emotionally. Most importantly, you’ll have an enjoyable outlet you can turn to every day.

Whatever you choose, mskm the most of the time you have together.

Thanks to Julie for writing this article.

 

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