The latest news on our research and projects including how COVID-19 is affecting us

Providing in-home care during the COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt brought about new and unexpected challenges.  In this complex and rapidly changing environment, you are facing unchartered territory with seemingly no perfect solutions. 

For caregivers, many of the supportive services and respite arrangements in the past have been modified or are no longer available. For example, organizations providing formal respite and caregiving services may remain closed, in-person and in-home services may not be offered as they once were, and informal arrangements with family members or friends may no longer possible given the need to self-quarantine or to remain physically-distant from others. 

As a result, caregivers today are feeling more isolated and more in need of a break than ever before. Below are resources and suggestions for creative respite breaks we hope will be help

Caregiving during COVID-19


If you are looking for information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, trends, or testing in your local area, we recommend the CDC website or the website of your state health department.


The following organizations have developed good COVID-19 information and resource pages that may be useful for caregivers. For example:


Respite & COVID-19

COVID-19 has not changed the fact that caregivers still need and deserve regular respite.  It has, however, changed the way that caregivers can access respite.  We offer two simple reminders and a set of ideas to help caregivers continue using respite during COVID-19:


1 - Get in the habit of scheduling respite, even in the uncertain world that COVID-19 has created.  By scheduling your respite, you will come to count on that break and look forward to the temporary pause in your caregiving routine.  The TLC program uses a calendar and weekly self-assessments to help you monitor and track your use of respite.  By doing this, you are more likely to take respite, and will therefore be more likely to reap the benefits of respite for your own health and well-being. 


2 - Redefine what respite is.  Instead of respite being a large block of time where you physically leave the home, perhaps respite now has to come in smaller-doses, more often.  Maybe you can’t or do not want to physically leave your home for a break.  Thus, respite may include activities such as:


  • Playing solitaire, doing the crossword puzzle, or other mind games like Sudoku

  • Doing a short mindfulness exercise (here is a meditation created just for caregivers)

  • Writing in a journal (here are 25 prompts recommended for caregivers)

  • Going on a virtual tour of a museum or watching a livestreamed concert from your favorite musical artists (see list at the bottom of this page)


These types of short-breaks, especially if they are regularly scheduled, may help you get your mind off of caregiving and give you a meaningful moment of respite during your day, while also allowing you to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by maintaining physical distance from others. 


Some caregivers have successfully used free videoconferencing technologies, such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meets, to provide a diversion for their loved-one, while they are able to do an in-home respite activity. 





Examples of virtual respite opportunities

Caregivers who are now more confined to their homes are increasingly getting respite through the use of interactive experiences online.  Below are some examples of virtual respite ideas; just click on the link and away you go to a music hall, a theme park, a national park, or a museum.    


These immersive and interactive activities can be used by caregivers who want respite, but may also provide meaningful and engaging activities for your loved-one with dementia.




Billboard Music - Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch 

A number of artists are sharing their music through online and livestreamed concerts.  With musical venues and bars on lock-down across the country, you can still enjoy a concert from the safety of your couch.  You can find concerts from pop stars like Miley Cyrus, as well as symphonies and classical music from organizations such as the New York Metropolitan Opera.


2,000 voices strong | Eric Whitacre

Composer Eric Whitacre leads a virtual choir of singers from around the world. He talks through the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, "Sleep," with a virtual choir of 2,052 people from around the world. 


Radio Recliner

Radio Recliner is a streaming radio station run by Resident DJs at senior living communities across the country. New shows at noon EDT, 11 CDT every day. Listen in or consider becoming a DJ yourself.



Crescendo Music Therapy provides contractual music therapy services to businesses and individuals throughout Utah. Board-certified music therapists use the power and beauty of music to reach into the hearts and minds of clients to improve their quality of life.





Redwood National Park Virtual Hike

Enjoy a virtual hike and nice scenery @ Redwood National Park : The James Irvine Trail


Hike to a beautiful crystal blue pond and waterfall

A one-hour hike to a beautiful brilliant blue water pond and waterfall. The waterfall shown at the end of this video flows only a few days out of the year.




Thrill Rides

Top 5 Roller Coaster Rides

In this video you will experience 5 amazing roller coaster rides in 360 degree interactive (virtual reality) videos. The 2nd coaster is inspired by Batman and another one by Jurassic World. 


Surfing 101: A Virtual Reality Experience

Join big-wave surfer Kyle Thiermann in a lesson on the basics of surfing – how to read surf conditions, body movement and the rules of the waves! Just move your cursor to experience a day at the beach.


Visit Virtual Disney World 

Virtually experience Walt Disney World attractions, shows, hotels, monorails, trains, boats, park areas, and more within an interactive 360º video environment. Virtual Disney World 360º videos are best experienced with a virtual reality headset or a smart phone and a virtual headset such as Google Cardboard or Samsung VR. If viewing on a laptop or desktop, you can look around by simply clicking and dragging within the video.




The 8 Best Online Exercise Classes of 2020

These digital classes let you work out with ease. You will find a variety of options and types to help take care of your mind and body.



Art, History, Travel

13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World

Virtual train rides offer viewers the chance to zone out and calm the mind, while seeing new landscapes, some of which many people will never experience in real life, quarantine or not.  You don’t have to worry about train fare or if the onboard amenities are up to par — just pour yourself a hot cup of tea (or a cocktail to fit the destination) and hop aboard.


Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours

Get information on which museums are offering virtual tours!  No travel required.


Tour The Louvre, Paris  

The Louvre Museum is the world's largest art museum; it receives nearly 10million visitors a year. You could spend hours inside the Louvre and then continue your Paris walking tour in the gardens outside.


Pompeii Walking Tour

In this walk, you will start at the main tourist entrance of Pompeii. You'll walk through the various attractions and notable sites. The video includes historical facts about each site and also about the general history of Pompeii.


Eiffel Tower Paris, Elevator Ride Top Floor

This video features a walking tour from the base of the Eiffel Tower to the Top Floor, with a spectacular view from 300 meters.


The Colosseum Walking Tour

Take a virtual walk through one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, The Colosseum. In this walk, you see all 4 levels including the arena floor and the infamous underground, the Hypogeum.


Note:  These are just some examples.  Many more virtual respite activities can be found online.