If you have a loved one in a long term care facility, the social distancing part of this new routine may be weighing a little heavier on you. So many emotions come into play… you want to see them and spend time with them, but the elderly and those with chronic health conditions are quite vulnerable. It just isn’t wise to see them, not that any care facilities would let you anyway.
Many of us are passing the time on the internet with Netflix marathons, the newest Spotify playlists, Zoom happy hours, and the like.
But what is your loved one up to these days; how are they passing the time? With heavy restrictions on movement throughout a lot of long term care facilities, they’re probably stuck in their room a lot. But the world wide web isn’t all YouTube videos and social media. No matter a person’s age, it’s full of fantastic things to see and places to go. Your loved one can tour museums and parks, get in a good workout, or even play a little bingo without ever leaving their space.
If you’re thinking “yes but Mom’s not tech savvy… at all”, you’re in luck. Most of these things involve little more than clicking a link, so whether they’re on a tablet, laptop or desktop, they can be cruising the information superhighway like a pro in no time. But if they’re really not any good with technology, just ask the facility staff to offer them a helping hand. We’ve linked to everything below, so it’s easy to take a step away from quarantine life, even just for a minute.
Online Church Services
Many of us really appreciate our social communities. Those who lean heavily on their faith to see them through the tough times, might be struggling mightily with being so cut off from their source of strength.
Though it’s not the same as physically being with one’s spiritual brothers and sisters, a sense of normalcy and familiarity is valuable. That’s why the Christian World Media Live Service Guide is so great: it allows you to search your city and find church services nearby. This way even if you can’t be there in person, you’re always there in spirit.
Online Exercise Classes
One thing that is certainly plentiful in this brave new stay-at-home world is home workouts. Every teacher, trainer, gym rat and Richard Simmons out there has a YouTube channel with workouts to try at home. It’s a bit more challenging to find something appropriate for the older set, or those with limited mobility. But there are some great resources out there, and Give Fit is one of them. With accessible workouts and accountability tools to help keep you motivated, there’s something here for everyone.
Online Gaming Forums
When the New York Times crossword is done, and Sudoku too, there are plenty of other places to turn for more play. It’s no secret that brains of all ages love a good puzzle, and Lumosity has compiled a large volume of fun and engaging cognitive games. Check them out here: https://www.lumosity.com/landing_pages/970
If they’re more into casino-type games, you can find plenty of those too. We like Bingo.com because it offers free options, so there is good fun to be had without spending a dime. https://www.bingo.com/
Tour The Most Famous Museums Of The World
Museums are veritable treasure troves. Gifts of perspective, sent to us from those with something important to share. Paintings, sculptures, installments and exhibits… it’s all here at your fingertips.
British Museum, London
Tour the Great Court, discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and see Egyptian mummies here: https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. Discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras: https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/solomon-r-guggenheim-museum-interior-streetview/jAHfbv3JGM2KaQ
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
You’ll experience two exhibits here: A study of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-gallery-of-art-washington-dc?hl=en
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
This popular gallery houses dozens of famous works from French artists including Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, and many others. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris?hl=en
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-museum-of-modern-and-contemporary-art-korea?hl=en
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Pergamon Altar. https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/pergamon/m05tcm?hl=en
Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including Vermeer and Rembrandt. https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/rijksmuseum/iwH5aYGoPwSf7g
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, with more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 personal letters. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/van-gogh-museum?hl=en
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
A huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs from as far back as the 8th century. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-j-paul-getty-museum?hl=en
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
This gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/uffizi-gallery?hl=en
MASP (The Museu de Arte de São Paulo), São Paulo
MASP is a non-profit, and Brazil’s first modern museum too. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/masp?hl=en
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
Filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the storied Mayan civilization. https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-national-museum-of-anthropology-mexico-city-ziko-van-dijk-wikimedia-commons/bAGSHRdlzSRcdQ?hl=en
What list of virtual gallery tours is complete without a nod to Mona Lisa herself? https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
Roam The National Parks Of The US
For homebound adventurers who prefer touring the galleries of Mother Nature, there is a host of options available. Explore the glaciers of Alaska, the caves of New Mexico, and a remote park 70 miles off Key West, without ever leaving your chair.
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Check Out An Online Concert
Entertainers have been stepping up their online presence lately, big time, and we’re all winners because of it. Billboard and NPR both have fantastic curated lists of concerts to watch, so you’re sure to never miss a beat.
Join An Online Choir
If your loved one is more inclined to give a concert than watch one, you’ll be pleased to know there are online choir groups they can join. Now your songbird can tweet with anyone, anywhere in the world.
http://www.onlinechoir.uk/ – first session free
Join An Online Book Club
Actress and activist Emma Watson runs Our Shared Shelf a feminist book club with over 100,000 members. Each month the group chooses a new book that deals with themes of race, gender, and justice, and opens up a friendly, literary dialogue on Goodreads:
We can’t possibly talk about book clubs without talking about Oprah! Join her official book club for challenging and inspirational reads.
The Rumpus Book Club charges a monthly fee, but they also send you a new, unreleased book every month. And you get to have an online discussion with the author, which is pretty amazing.
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop is another book club with a twist. Instead of getting together to read books, you help young inmates get access to books, support, and writing instruction. You might donate books, or help to give writing feedback to young incarcerated writers.
History lovers, rejoice! History Book Club is a great place to read about and discuss your favorite time periods.
There are so many more options for online entertainment, that this list could go on and on. Hopefully this points you in the right direction, and helps to alleviate some of the boredom that’s sure to creep in from time to time. And just think… if you can get them into surfing the web now, could family Zoom meetings be far behind?