January 12, 2023

10+ Ways to Use Virtual Programs to Engage Older Adults in 2023

Active Lifestyle

There's no doubt: online and virtual activities and programming provides increased opportunities for older adults and seniors to connect, engage, and socialize.

If you work with older adults in any capacity, then you know they’re feeling lonely and isolated now more than ever, and it may have crossed your mind to use online technology to improve their lives.

online programming ideas for seniors to beat social isolation
Social isolation–the absence of social contact between an individual and society–is actually as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Virtual technology is the most effective way to reach your community and provide the engagement they desperately need for their mental, social, and physical health. It’s also more cost and time efficient, since you can reach hundreds of members regardless of geography.

Here’s some virtual programming and technology ideas that will help you get started.

10 Virtual Technology & Programming Ideas for Community Centers

Do you ever feel like there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to be done? We understand how busy life can get, which is why we curated these virtual activity ideas you can take advantage of to help manage your virtual recreation events!

1. Virtual Recreation Centers: Connecting Communities

Bring your recreation or community center online! The City of Chandler’s Rec At Home and the City of Peoria's Pop up Peoria are virtual recreation centers are powered by Televeda to bring their most popular recreational programs to members via accessible live streaming technology.

These virtual recreation centers offer every virtual class one can possibly imagine: Yoga, virtual bingo, Tai Chi, karaoke, online trivia, Tours of the Smithsonian Museum, Mt. Washington Observatory, lectures by NASA Scientists, and the list continues! Attendees can learn while interacting in real time with the teachers and the other participants of the class.

And by providing offerings for the whole family, seniors can interact with their loved ones online while having fun within a virtual community.  

Check out some upcoming events here! 

2. Virtual Support Groups

Online support groups can be a great way to feel comforted. Support groups can help adults understand their feelings of loneliness and regain a sense of purpose. And by creating a safe space, they manage isolation two-fold.

At Televeda, we’ve hosted support groups for older adults to meet and learn about the different tools they can use to manage life during stressful times. One of our partners, DuetAZ, also offers virtual support groups to their members so they can connect online despite the social distance.

Check out Care.com’s list of support groups for older adults that are organized by different needs and interests.

3. Social Media Live

YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram live are live streaming services showing millions of live games, sports, music, and more. Fortunately, many seniors are already on Facebook and know how to use it, and YouTube has a simple search bar at the top of their pages for its users. Plus, these services are free.

However, make sure to keep your seniors safe when using these social media platforms. The size and options are a great advantage, but the reach of these platforms also leaves them vulnerable to attempts in online scamming.

Learn how to best keep your seniors safe online here!

4. Virtual Caregiving Online

Virtual caregiving can range from live streaming services with live caregivers, technology platforms with remote monitoring systems, or a caregiver like Addison, a 3D caregiver.

You can do this through telewellness and telecare services.

5. Classic Virtual Online Games

Televeda bingo! 

Bingo, Karaoke, and Trivia: Turning these much-loved activities into a virtual version allows seniors to do something they love from the safety of their rooms and communities.

Read more on how to set up the best virtual bingo, virtual karaoke, and virtual trivia your residents have ever seen!

Join weekly bingo and brain games with the virtual Televeda community!

6. Curated Virtual Programming

At Televeda, we provide monthly activity calendars of curated, expert-led events live streamed on our software we designed specifically to work with vulnerable populations. Of course, we aren’t just the software or classes: we’re the tech support, event managers, content curators, and data analyzers--all to help improve organizations' operational efficiencies.

Televeda Drawing & Painting hosted on Mondays.

We understand that every community is unique, which is why we create data reports tracking wellness and engagement to ensure a positive ROI, and that the vision you have for your center is successful and can best serve your residents.

As a community partner, we develop and implement programming that puts you at a competitive advantage among other senior living centers, and allows you and your staff to focus on the core duties and needs of your community.

Want some more support with your virtual activities? 

  1. Online Activity Ideas for Your Senior Center
  2. Creative In Person Senior Community Activities
  3. Online Activity Platforms
  4. Top Social Platforms for Older Adults

Need some help getting funding with virtual programs? Check out technology funding options here!

7. Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are no longer an idea of the future. Personal gadgets like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Home weren’t specifically created for seniors, but they’ve been making an impact in virtual care. For older adults with memory challenges, Alexa can be a great resource to answer repeated questions, remind users about medication, and alarm setting.

These devices can also be used for enjoyment, such as audio books, music, games, and other activities, all which support the health of seniors. Virtual assistants can also help answer medical questions, call for medical assistance, or be used to contact one’s family.

8. Online Gaming

There are many games available for seniors online, from memory and brain games, to online versions of crosswords, sudoku, mahjong, and puzzles. The AARP offers a wide variety of online games, and if seniors have electronic devices, they can download applications like Elevate and Lumosity for some fun brain “workouts” (check out more memory-boosting apps here).

Online games—especially the brain-game variety—provide intellectual stimulation, improve memory, and aid in preventing cognitive decline. They’re also fun and interactive, and individual seniors can choose their favorites to play, or even to play with family and grandchildren.

9. Live Streaming Worldwide

Several art, cultural, and environmental institutions have been supplying live streams to viewers worldwide. Zoos, museums, and national parks have been sharing various wonders, and celebrities have even been live streaming concerts and music sets to followers and fans. Provide links and sources for these events, and any resident with an internet connection and device can view them.

There are a ton of live, free resource options, and a wide variety to choose from. These lists aren’t exhaustive, but this CNN article has a little something for everyone. Want to make your life a little simpler? See how Televeda organizes your content, calendars, and activities through our free demo.

10. Virtual Education

Continuing education courses may also be a good option for seniors looking to keep their mind sharp and stay engaged. There are tons of websites for seniors to try, and even if not all courses are free, they’ll have great free options.

At Televeda, we offer creative writing courses, art and drawing classes, tech how-to sessions, and more every week! These are always some of our most popular virtual and hybrid events.

Take Advantage of Virtual Programming to Improve Engagement

We know staff at senior centers and community organizations work hard to help their members travel to the senior center, participate in programs, and stay engaged. Televeda is here to help reduce that burden by making it simpler and easier to digitize your virtual recreation management.

Televeda offers a wide range of online community activities that are designed to meet the needs and desires of your members. We’ll work with you to create your personal engaging, interactive virtual senior center lobby where they can attend any live class they want!

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