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COVID19 Changed Everything For Seniors – Staying Home

COVID19 Changed Everything For Seniors – Staying Home

COVID19 changed everything in March, 2020.  Spring and summer plans changed.   Seniors began to shelter at home.  Many, like my wife and myself, still are at home.

Still in winter storage because of COVID19.

COVID19 Equals No Boating

Our boat did not move from winter storage.  Days on the lake are part of spring and summer fun.  Not this year.  There was no boating, no swimming, no walking on the beach and no beach bonfires.  We decided not to risk our health even with social distancing.  So, we stayed home.

COVID19 Equals No Traveling.

Traveling to see grandchildren was out of the question this summer.  We started our little motor home to keep the engine healthy, but it didn’t move since last taken on a trip in December.  We haven’t wanted to fly because of the closeness of passengers.  We could have driven places, but were reluctant to stay in hotels.  We did take day trips to family who live close by.  Long distance traveling wasn’t an option for us

Fun Things for Seniors to Do While Stuck at Home

Play Games

This summer, we played outdoor games like lawn bowling, lawn darts and corn hole.  We haven’t had time for these Lots of fun sheltering from COVID19.silly games for decades.  With  a lot of laughter, trash talking, beer drinking and suntanning, days flew by despite never leaving home.  Even the dog got into the fun begging everyone to try to chase her and get the toy.

We played indoor games.  A variety of puzzles challenged us in the evening.  Some had 500 pieces.  Some had 300 pieces.  Some were complicated scenes with subtle color changes.  Others had more distinguishable pieces.  For 3 years old and up or seniors sheltering from COVID19.Board games, dice games, card games, question games and picture games all took their turn entertaining during the hours at home.  There were no grandchildren around, but just us old folks laughing until we cried.  There’s no shame in enjoying a game suitable for 3 year olds and up.


We have a variety of fruit trees in our yard including apple, orange, lemon, avocado and fig.  We also have We needed the trees because of COVID19.grapes and artichokes.  In summers past, the gardens were a joy but often at the bottom of our to-do list. This summer we pruned, weeded, shaped, fertilized, water and picked.  There was a real sense of contented fulfillment in maintaining these trees.  Flower gardens in both the front and back yards also needed work.  At the end of gardening days, we were exhausted by happy.

Just Sit

There’s a couch, a little cabaret set with two chairs, a bar with stools, the grass, a picnic bench, a hot tub and a fire pit in the yard.  During normal times, all of these places to sit are mostly used for decoration.  These are not normal times.  We found ourselves sitting at the picnic bench for lunch talking over a sandwich and a coke.  The couch was a place for enjoying the warm breeze in the sun.  We grabbed a COVID19 meant more time in the hotter.vacant bar stool for a cool beer in the evening.  When the moon rose and the stars came out, we found ourselves luxuriating in the hot tub.  Before COVID19, our busy schedules kept all these places to sit vacant.  We talked back then, but not as much.

As Seniors, we are concerned about COVID19.  But, staying home to stay healthy has been great.  We stopped running from here to there. We didn’t meet people for this and that.  We stopped finding entertainment over there doing that. We stay home because we are vulnerable.  It turns out that this time was a gift.  We’ll start doing things away from home again, eventually.  We’ll visit family and friends again.  We’ll even travel again.  But we will always know that our home is a safe sanctuary and how much we enjoy being at home together.


Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

Over the years, many seniors move away from siblings, children and their extended family.  Distance grows because of work, financial, housing or lifestyle choices.  As seniors, we encounter health issues for the first time.  Distant family and senior health issues combine to create concerns new and complications.  However, these are concerns that cannot be ignored despite the miles.

Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

My wife and I are on the west coast.  Our family, at least my side, are on the east coast.  We only see each other once every couple of years.  Because of the of the distance, we keep up relationships with texts and FaceTime.  Because my oldest sister has been sick for awhile, we decided to visit her and have a little vacation on Cape Cod at the same time.  Senior health issues seem are frequently the reason for travel with family members are far apart. Over the years, we have compiled some senior travel tips.  We attempted to use them all for this cross country excursion.

Discount Fares

With just a week for the trip, we decided to fly. senior health issues necessitate travel to family members Because we bought the cheapest tickets we had to pay for everything.  Assigned seating was $12 each for every flight.  A carry on was $30 each way.  Despite the extras, we had cheap flights because we did not need to carry much with us.  With planning, we have found that discounts fares are great.  An unexpected benefit of the cheap tickets was that our row was not full on any of the flights.

Small Airports

We fly out of our regional airport.  It means an extra, short flight to a major airport.  Regional airports cost a bit more.  But, they make flying much easier.

The TSA lines are short.  There is a great restaurant on site.  It’s not necessary to be at the airport hours in advance.  Because the airport is close to home, there is no driving time involved.  Usually, someone is able to give us a ride so there is no cost involved for parking the car.  The inconvenience of an extra flight is far outweighed by how much easier the departure process is at a regional airport.  From our point of view, when senior health is involved, things should be as easy as possible.

Travel Light

Inexpensive tickets mean carrying on only one personal item each.  This can be a Travel if senior health issues are the reasonback-pack, computer bag, or a purse.  A carry-on bag can be up to $30.  A full size suitcase is $50.  We have found that one carry-on between us and two backpacks are adequate for short trips.  I usually don’t carry toiletries because they are inexpensive to buy where we are staying.  Everything that needs to be presented at the TSA checkpoint is kept in one backpack for easy access.  The backpacks are light and easy to manage in the airport.

Rental Cars

We get the cheapest rental car possible with cruise control and air conditioning.  This is particularly true if our destination is not far from the airport.  It is often very inexpensive to rent a car from an off site agency because they are not paying the airport transportation tax.  We have found that an Uber to and from an off site rental agency can save up to $25/ day on the car rental.  However, the convenience of renting a car at the airport is nice.  Reserving a rental car online does not require payment so changing pick up times is usually not a problem.


My wife and I like our privacy.  We don’t like having to be “on all the time. As well, we don’t like making other family feel like they have to entertain us.  So, we almost always stay in a hotel when visiting family.  We aren’t extravigent, but we do try to choose accommodations that are comfortable, near to fun things to do and in nice settings.

Staying on the Cape made dealing with health issues easier.

Traveling during the off-season helps.  We choose a hotel on the ocean,  close to night life and not too far from my sister.   Price is always a consideration, but comfort and proximity usually win out over price.

A Reason to Travel

I find the older I get, the more I want to stay put.  Family illness is not the best reason to decide to travel, but it is a reason.  For us, traveling means encounters with the world beyond our backyard.  That’s fun.  We don’t like the security lines when we fly.  We aren’t happy with the traffic in some cities.  Sometimes, weather frustrates our plans.  But, traveling keeps us learning and keeps us feeling young…. even though we aren’t.  Our trip to Cape Cod from California brought me to my sister.  That was wonderful.  But it gave us a chance to play in a different part of the country.  We’re going to do it again.  I hope you will.



Physical Therapy – Embarrassingly Effective

Physical Therapy – Embarrassingly Effective

That time you lifted too much weight 40 years ago has come back to haunt you.  Your shoulder aches after a weekend of playing with grandchildren. For some reason, your coordination is off.  After a couple of visits to your doctor, you are referred for physical therapy.   When facing outpatient physical therapy seniors may be nervous and embarrassed. If you are like me, I get over being nervous, but the embarrassment seems to linger.

During Outpatient physical therapy seniors improveDuring Outpatient Physical Therapy Seniors Improve

American Senior Communities, in a blog posted on March, 2014, states: “Physical therapy can help seniors retain their independence, whether they are managing a long-term illness or just want to improve their general health and mobility.The goal of physical therapy is to help restore and improve functionality, reduce pain and increase mobility for better strength and balance.”

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