Virtual tours and experiences for seniors
The world is a strange place right now and 2020 has shown us the important role that technology plays in being able to stay connected during these difficult times. In particular, using virtual experiences to stay close to loved ones and being able to continue enjoying the world even when you can’t go much further than your local supermarket. Although virtual experiences are nothing new and have been appearing more frequently over the last few years, when the Coronavirus struck, many businesses had to close their doors and as a result, the virtual world sprung into life.
With so many leisure activities closed and people unable to travel, many museums, landmarks, sanctuaries, even personal trainers and chefs have moved online to continue offering their services – virtually. Whatever the course of the pandemic, it seems likely that virtual experiences are here to stay.
This great news for the older generation who may still not be able to go out or travel very far at the moment. So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for virtual tours and experiences that you or a senior member of your family can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own home, here are some ideas.
Virtual museum tours
Some of the world’s top museums have created or given access to virtual tours and exhibitions so that people can still enjoy a little history and culture even if they can’t attend the museum in person. Some of the most popular museums offering virtual services include:
- British Museum, London
- Guggenheim Museum, New York
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Vatican Museums, Rome
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many museums and art galleries to visit, from national to local, from the stone age to modern history. With these great virtual tours, a bit of escapism and culture can be yours with just the click of a button.
A trip to some of the world’s most famous landmarks
On a similar note, many of the world’s greatest landmarks have also set up webcams or video technology so that those stuck at home can at least partially satisfy their wanderlust. From the tip of Machu Picchu in Peru, right the way through to the Colosseum in Rome – there are so many exciting places just waiting to be explored.
You can find out more information about virtual tours and live footage from 10 of the world’s most famous landmarks, right here.
Online cooking classes and tutorials
Fancy getting a little bit creative in the kitchen? Why not enjoy a virtual cooking class? Whether you decide to tune in live or simply watch the online tutorial later, there are lots of chefs out there that want to pass on their wisdom and help people to create delicious food. And what can be more comforting than tucking into a good meal?
A trip to the aquarium or animal sanctuary
A day out to the zoo or your nearest aquarium can be great fun, but it often requires a lot of walking, not to mention it’s even tricker now with new health and safety regulations in place. But the good news is that sanctuaries and aquariums across the globe have made it possible to get your fix of cute and fuzzy animals as you sit at home with your cat.
You can enjoy everything from the pandas at Smithsonian’s National Zoo to the gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Or fancy taking a dive? Then why not go to the Georgia aquarium to watch the marine life in all its beautiful glory.
Are you missing your weekly yoga or water aerobics class? Not a problem! If there weren’t enough virtual exercise classes and tutorials before, this year has certainly seen the availability of online workouts soaring. You could join popular body coach, Joe Wicks for a quick 10-minute workout or if you want something a little longer, join the Move It Or Lose It club where you can work out and socialise with others as you do.
Watch the Northern Lights
With people unable to travel, tour operator Lights Over Lapland created a virtual reality experience in which you’ll be taken on a journey to enjoy the Northern Lights. This is not the only way to enjoy the lights virtually, but it’s certainly one of the best. The tour takes you from the famous Ice hotel to the shoreline of Lake Torneträsk to watch the waves roll in. Gradually you move through the Arctic wilderness spotting reindeer, before finally watching the Northern Lights above Abisko National Park in Sweden.
Catch a concert or a show
It’s time to get yourself all dressed up or even just treat yourself to a fresh pair of pyjamas because tonight you’re going to a night at the opera! You can get your toes tapping to the sound of the Seattle Symphony or the Metropolitan Opera. Or, if the theatre is more your thing, sign up to Broadway HD where you can see all classics from Shakespeare to Cats.
Visit a friend
But a virtual experience doesn’t have to be a grand exploration or experience either, why not simply pop by a friends house? There are so many platforms out there that make it easy to set up a quick video call and have a catch-up and a cup of tea with a friend (or two). From Google Hangouts to Skype, you can feel like you’re sitting in the same room together catching up on all of last week’s gossip.
Author Kathy Lawrence iseditor of When They Get Older
Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash