By Collin Breaux

Even though senior citizens may be staying indoors out of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still activities to occupy their time.

The Capistrano Dispatch recently spoke with Jan Montague, executive director for San Clemente Village, for suggestions on different ways for senior citizens to spend time while they’re indoors during the health crisis. San Clemente Village is a local organization that looks after senior citizens, ranging from changing a battery in a home smoke detector to pulling out weeds in their yard.

Exercise

San Clemente Village offers exercise videos on its website. Montague said the national recommendation is for people to get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. For seniors, this could be using a squeeze ball or doing leg lifts during commercial breaks while watching television.

The time period for an activity—be it 30 minutes or any other interval—doesn’t have to be sustained either, Montague said.

“We’re trying to recommend our members stay active,” Montague said. “It could be walking around the living room table.”

Do jigsaw or crossword puzzles

These activities can help seniors stay mentally sharp. Montague also recommended checking into available library services.

“Anything they can do where they’re not constantly staring at the television,” Montague said.

Play Bingo on Zoom

Staying socially connected during the lockdown is important, particularly for seniors, who may be more at risk for isolation. San Clemente Village drops off bingo cards at members’ homes and hosts virtual happy hours.

“There’s all sorts of things we’ve been doing to utilize technology,” Montague said.

Take virtual tours

Montague pointed to available virtual tour resources on the San Clemente Village website. Links there point to information for free digital shows for New York’s Metropolitan Opera, a virtual tour of the moon from NASA and digital exhibits of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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