Can You Actually Die of Boredom?

Patients in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility are often limited in their mobility as well as in their contact with the outside world, which can often cause feelings of isolation or depression. Spending long days watching television or waiting for the next meal can be a mundane and boring existence for them.  However, family members (even those who are far away), can help alleviate the boredom and improve the mood of a loved one in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility.

Our Public Relations Director, Renee, has a dad who is currently in a rehabilitation/skilled-care facility that is 750 miles away from her. He mentioned to her recently that he is feeling bored. To help alleviate his boredom, she came up with a few ways to make him feel more at home there and less isolated from his family:

  • To give him something to look forward to, she and her young children call him every night at the same time. He loves to hear the voices of her 9 and 5 year old children. He knows the call is coming after dinner and before he goes to sleep, and has mentioned to her mother how happy he is to receive the call.
  • Before he entered the facility, he loved watching YouTube videos of his favorite music and shows. Renee’s mom left a tablet at the facility so he can do so whenever he wants to and play his favorite games, such as Angry Birds.
  • Renee also puts together care packages for her father with things to remind him of his favorite comforts, including a mini slot machine, similar to the one he has at home. She included his favorite cake (after the nurse said it was ok), t-shirts of his favorite sports teams, and pictures of the grandchildren. She plans to send something regularly to lift his spirits.

Renee’s mother visits every day for several hours and has found that exercise is also helping to play a role in enhancing not only his mood, but also his overall feeling of well-being. While many seniors and nursing home residents are not be able to participate in a traditional exercises, there are stretches and chair exercises that can be modified to work with many facility residents.

By participating in exercise programs, the extra movement as well as the camaraderie and companionship found in a small group setting, facility residents, such as Renee’s dad, could alleviate their sense of boredom and isolation. Forging relationships with those around them can be a comforting and rewarding experience for any person, regardless of their age or physical abilities.

If you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Long-Term Care Planning Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 in Fairfax or 540-479-1435 in Fredericksburg to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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