10 ways to convince your older relatives to stay home
Help them cope with social distancing.
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Social distancing is becoming the new normal—for some of us, at least. Recent surveys have found that older generations aren't taking the need to stay home as seriously, with many continuing to go out. If you're struggling to convince your own parents or grandparents to stay home (and help further prevent the spread of coronavirus), here are 10 tips and products that might help, from online grocery ordering to socializing and entertainment ideas.
1. Help them order groceries online.
"But I have to go to the grocery store" is every parent's argument when you ask them why they have to leave their house yet again. But thanks to online grocery ordering services like Instacart, said argument is no longer true. Instacart allows you to shop all different stores in your area (so there's plenty of variety to choose from) and will even let you select the time you want your groceries delivered. Bonus: While there's no membership required to shop Instacart, you'll get free shipping on orders $35 or more if you join. Another popular online option is PeaPod. One thing to keep in mind? Since these services are in high demand, there may be a delay in delivery so order well in advance if possible.
2. Set them up with fast Wi-Fi so they can stay connected.
Between FaceTiming their grandkids, ordering food and other essentials, and watching their favorite shows, your older relatives are about to be using a lot more Wi-Fi than usual. So they'll need a router that can handle all their activity (so they aren't tempted to leave the house because of slow Internet!). We found this D-link smart router to be the best because it provides surprisingly fast Internet speeds at a price that's much more affordable than other options.
3. Teach them how to use FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts for keeping in touch with friends.
Loneliness and isolation are two of the biggest issues that older generations are facing during this time of social distancing. While they might not be able to get together with their friends and family, they can still get some quality face-to-face time with one of the many social apps out there. Help them learn how to use one, then get them hooked up with a good webcam for the best video-chatting experience. This Logitech webcam (which is sold out on Amazon but still available at Target!) has rave reviews for being high-quality and easy to set up.
4. Sign them up for an Amazon Prime membership.
Fact: You can get almost anything on Amazon. So it's exactly what your parents or grandparents need in order to never have to go to the store again (at least not for the next few weeks). If they don't yet have it, get them Amazon Prime. They'll get free shipping, faster delivery, and plenty of other perks (including access to Amazon Prime TV for hours of entertainment!).
5. Get them a Kindle or book delivery service for reading.
The library might be closed and their book club might (or at least should) be cancelled but the older people in your life can still get their reading fix. Sign them up for Book of the Month, which is a subscription box that delivers a curated selection of monthly must-reads, or get them a Kindle so they can download any book, audiobook, or podcast they want. Our favorite Kindle is the newest Paperwhite because it has 24 different levels of illumination (perfect for young and old eyes alike!) and has the most storage of any of the models.
- Get the Kindle Paperwhite from Walmart for $109.99
- Sign up for Book of the Month starting at $14.99 per month
6. Give them new ways to stay entertained.
Boredom is a real struggle for people of all ages right now—your older relatives included. A few things that can help? For starters, the Roku Ultra (our number one media streaming device!), which gives them access to all of the major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and even Apple TV so they can binge-watch all their favorite shows. And speaking of shows, a Disney+ subscription is a must-have if they're fans of movies like Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, or the animated Disney classics. As for off-screen entertainment, stock your parents/grandparents' home with board games, jigsaw puzzles, and puzzle books.
7. Encourage them to stay active.
Sitting on the couch all day might be tempting but some daily movement will help your parents/grandparents' physical and mental health. Remind them that—at least for now—it's still okay to go for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. Or they can opt for an indoor workout, using accessories like dumbbells and resistance bands to add some strength training. And if they want something more gentle and calm-inducing, get them this top-rated yoga mat and help them find online classes via YouTube or one of the many fitness apps.
- Get the BalanceFrom Resistance Bands from Walmart for $9.99
- Get CAP Neoprene Dumbbells from Walmart for $8.88
- Get the Reversible Mat from Lululemon for $68
8. Keep them safe with a smart speaker.
Being alone at home isn't just boring, it can also be unsafe for older people. What if they fall? What if they have an emergency and need help but can't get to a phone? A smart solution is, well, a smart speaker. We recommend the 3rd Generation Amazon Echo because it has great sound quality (so they can use it for entertainment, as well!) and uses far-field voice recognition so they can talk to Alexa from any room in the house.
9. Teach them how to use food delivery services.
Daily coffee runs, Friday night pizza, their weekly brunch date at the local cafe—your parents or grandparents love getting out of the house for some delicious food. Fortunately, they won't have to step foot outside if you introduce them to the convenience that is food delivery. Many restaurants that have been forced to close are still offering delivery—so show your older relatives exactly how to order from their favorite spots using DoorDash or GrubHub. You can also download the apps to their phone so they can order more easily and even track where their food is at every step of the process.
10. Help them learn a new hobby.
If you don't want your parents/grandparents leaving the house, what are they supposed to do? Suggest that they take advantage of their newfound free time to learn something new. Our editor-in-chief recommends MasterClass, where they can take classes from their favorite celebs including Gordon Ramsay and Steph Curry and learn anything from photography to cooking to comedy. Other great options include learning how to knit with the popular We Are Knitters kits or sharpening their gardening skills by getting a live plant delivered from The Sill.
- Shop We Are Knitters kits
- Sign up for MasterClass for $15 per month
- Shop live plants from The Sill starting at $14
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.