Explore virtual activities for older adults in the Bay Area. Seniorly offers some resources and tips on finding online activities and meetups for seniors.
Virtual events have been a boon during the pandemic, allowing people to stay connected with others during an intensely stressful time. Happily, virtual events have continued even in many places where in-person events are back on. While some of us might feel “Zoomed-out,” these virtual activities are vital to keeping housebound people engaged in their communities. Apart from virtual social clubs, happy hours, and live shows there are exercise and dance classes, tours of museums and parks, and more to keep minds and bodies occupied even if folks cannot join in person.
Virtual activities for older adults are particularly beneficial as many seniors might be less mobile, due to disability, age, or being at a higher risk for COVID-19 (not to mention flu or
other diseases which can hit older adults harder than younger). Seniors who are homebound can take advantage of technology to join in and enjoy socializing, learning new skills, and exploring fascinating topics. We have some resources and suggestions for finding virtual activities for older adults in the San Francisco Bay Area, in particular, but you should be able to find similar virtual activities run by organizations in your area, too. And don’t forget that with virtual events, you can reach almost anyplace in the world.
Bay Area non-profits and other organizations have been great about hosting virtual events during the pandemic, and many continue to do so. Be sure to check local senior centers and community centers to see if they offer online or virtual events, or if they can help you in-person with understanding the technology necessary for such events (ask about Zoom tutorials). If you’re looking for virtual activities on behalf of a loved one, make sure they have the hard- and software as well as the savvy necessary to join in virtual events.
San Francisco’s Community Living Campaign has a list of virtual activities for seniors in the Bay Area. You can look at upcoming events (some are in-person), such as virtual tech classes (If you want to get better at attending said virtual activities!), writing classes, yoga, tai chi, and painting lessons, all online.
Bay Area Older Adults has a list of virtual educational lectures you can register for and learn about nature, co-existing with wildlife, the science of aging, and more topics. Though their in-person day trips are also back on, you need proof of vaccination to attend.
Seniors at Home offers virtual classes and support groups for seniors in the Bay Area and their caregivers. This non-profit organization also has in-person meetups for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The YMCA of San Francisco offers online workshops, classes, and meetups for older adults. Take advantage of textile lessons, lectures on stress relief, and exercise classes for balance and strength.
There are so many virtual activities for seniors in general that we can’t list them all here, but a few stand out, like AARP’s Virtual Community Center. Here you can find a wide variety of online activities and classes for free. Check to see if your local (or even distant) museums offer virtual tours of exhibits and experiences. Ask local small businesses if they offer virtual courses, like if a local cooking school offers online cooking classes, or your local yarn shop if they offer virtual knitting nights.
Staying well connected while you can’t or prefer not to join in on public events and outings can be a challenge, but technology makes it easier than it’s ever been before. Socialization is important to everyone’s well-being, but especially seniors, for whom an active lifestyle is vital to their physical and mental health.
Emma Rodbro is Seniorly’s Head of Product Experience & Operations. Emma’s passion for reducing social isolation in aging populations was undoubtedly influenced by her own experience as a teenager and spending time with her grandfather. Emma went on to earn her Bachelor or Arts in Public Health and Sociology from Brown University and holds a Master’s of Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley. When she’s not at work, Emma is a volunteer at DOROT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the challenges of an aging population.
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