As the world continues to grapple with the global pandemic, many of us are trying to learn to live with this new normal while still taking the appropriate precautions to stay safe. That means finding COVID-safe activities that allow us to get outside, socialize with others, and engage with the world without putting ourselves in danger.
But how exactly can older adults socialize during COVID-19? Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying up-to-date on your vaccines and wearing a mask in indoor public places if you live in an area with a high COVID-19 community level. It’s also best to avoid poorly ventilated indoor areas and maintain six feet of distance if you’re indoors in public or around someone who might be sick. However, if you have underlying health conditions, you may want to speak with your doctor about additional ways to stay safe.
COVID-19-safe activities for retirees and seniors in 2022
While COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions may differ based on your community, the following are some activities for seniors that are generally considered safe at this time, regardless of where you live. With that said, it’s still important to continue monitoring CDC guidelines and listening to your doctor’s guidance.
When you imagined your retirement, maybe your bucket list included trips to Paris to tour the Louvre or San Diego to explore the world-famous zoo. While the pandemic might have temporarily put your travel plans on hold, you can now take virtual tours of some of the most popular exhibits from the comfort of your own couch.
Museums like the Louvre, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum invite you to take free online tours of their galleries, while the San Diego Zoo, Houston Zoo, and Monterey Bay Aquarium offer live camera footage of their animals. These online platforms let you experience the thrill of these exhibits without having to travel.
Going on walks is one of the best COVID-safe activities for retired men and women. For one, the CDC says you are less likely to be exposed to the virus outside, and if you decide to walk with others, you can still maintain a comfortable distance from one another.
What’s more, walking is a great activity for seniors, as it can do wonders for your health and well-being. Studies show that it can improve your heart health, lower your blood sugar, strengthen your muscles and bones, and even reduce pain. And to top it off, when you go for a walk, you can enjoy the change of scenery and some fresh air.
The pandemic has certainly made many of us feel more lonely and isolated than ever before, which is why connecting with friends and family is so important right now. If you can’t see your loved ones in person, then virtually connecting with them is the next best thing. Using your smartphone, computer, or laptop, you can use a program like FaceTime or Skype to video chat with your friends and relatives without leaving the safety of your home.
This COVID-safe activity is especially crucial for seniors and retirees, as strong social connections can help maintain good emotional health. Interacting with those you love can reduce your stress, help you find fulfillment, enhance your sense of belonging, and even lower your risk of depression. Not only that, but simply seeing your loved ones, laughing, connecting, and sharing stories is good for your soul.
As we previously mentioned, the CDC recommends gathering outside if you plan to be around others. This opens up many activities for retired women and men to enjoy, such as attending small outdoor concerts, visiting farmers' markets, joining a gardening club, watching open-air theater performances, and volunteering in nature.
Of course, you’ll still want to avoid crowds and maintain six feet of distance whenever possible, but these activities provide you with the opportunity to safely interact with others and take part in small events or gatherings while enjoying the great outdoors. For extra protection, it’s always acceptable to wear a face mask around others, even when outside.
Even though the virus is still rampant doesn’t mean you can’t engage in your favorite hobbies by yourself. In fact, quite the contrary! Whether you love doing puzzles, gardening, camping, fishing, practicing yoga, hiking, or biking, you can do all these activities on your own without the risk of exposure. These safe leisure activities for retirees can also sharpen your cognitive abilities and keep your mind and body active, too.
Above all, what seniors need to know is that it’s always best to consult with your doctor about COVID-19-safe practices. What’s more, wearing a face mask in public is still considered one of the best ways to protect yourself, so you can always continue to wear a mask when around others. Aside from that, taking advantage of virtual opportunities, getting outside, and partaking in solo activities are all great ways for seniors and retirees to stay safe during this pandemic.