Fighting Boredom During This Pandemic
"If this COVID-19 pandemic goes on for more weeks, months, even another year—how do I keep my mother entertained? She has lost all connection with friends and family. She’s 90 years old and doesn’t use computers, so all of the wonderful technology that most use to keep in touch with others does not work for her. I worry that the coming year is going to be very tough on her, and I’m wondering how I can help to keep her happy and engaged."
You’re dealing with a tough situation, and it’s certainly possible that the next year or so may not be business as usual for all of us. Keeping mom contented and entertained could be a challenge, but there are solutions.
Because of your mother’s age, she’s already experienced some extreme times. She lived through the Great Depression and was a young adult during World War II. Her early life was not easy due to these events, and for her, this pandemic may be just another event. She knows that it was common for people to assume uncommon roles during those times, and that it may be time to do so again.
I recommend the following to make this next year memorable and productive for your mother:
- Contact a local health care provider or three to find out what they need. If she is able, she can sew masks, make gowns or provide baked goods. Help her find something to do that will touch the lives of others.
- Consider a simple video display like Amazon’s Echo Show that would allow her to connect with you and friends, visually. It’s easier to use than a computer, not too expensive, and connects her to other humans quite easily. It will mean getting Wi-Fi if she doesn’t already have it, though it could be well worth it.
- Plant a garden with your mother and donate any food she can’t use to health care workers or first responders.
- Write letters and cards to friends. It’s old school, but could be much appreciated.
- Do something for the neighbors, like baking cookies to leave on their porches in cute baskets.
- Collect and trade puzzles, keeping one in production at all times.
- Trade great novels with friends and family.
These are only a few ideas, and most involve reaching out to others to help them or brighten their day. We’re never too old to make a difference. Any gesture your mother makes will be appreciated by those on the receiving end. It will also give her a purpose during this challenging time. Only the two of you know what she is capable of actually doing, though she may rise to the challenge and surprise you.
I wish you success in the coming year and would love to hear how you engage your mother. Be safe.
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