Planning activities for elderly parents go beyond the basic outdoors versus indoor needs. Depending on their age, you are required to factor in aspects such as their health and mobility. In addition to this, interests also play an essential part in getting the best out of every activity. Fortunately, there are still many areas that come packed with lots of fun. Below, we outline some fun activities for elderly parents that you should consider looking into.
Play Board Games
If you are stuck on how to plan activities for elderly parents, board games are an excellent place to start. Board games have been shown to boost cognitive function in elderly people, with reports indicating that they help protect against cognitive decline. In addition to this, participants also benefit from improved attention spans, leading to shaper thinking and better memory retention. If your elderly parents are constantly held up in senior home care without any quality outdoor events, board games will be an ideal activity. You can start by picking one that is easy to comprehend, allowing you both to first learn the game’s basics. If, however, either of you is skilled in this area, you can teach each other how to play it, making for a fun moment. Consider mixing your game and card selections from past favorites to current ones, ensuring you both have a feel of where your preferred selections lie. Some examples that you can use include scrabble, poker, dominos, chess, monopoly, and bingo. Puzzles can also come in handy, with some like bridge and trivial pursuit being fun alternatives.
Get Creative Together
Tapping into your parents’ creative side comes in handy when looking for ways on how to plan activities for elderly individuals. This second alternative will allow them to get involved in past-time interests while familiarizing themselves with any underutilized talents. Creative crafts can include painting, coloring, and sculpturing. Have fun exploring these creative avenues, even if it means settling for time-consuming ideas like making custom t-shirts. Reports indicate that creative projects help increase positivity while reducing anxiety and stress for loved ones undergoing life-long illnesses. With this in mind, try performing these activities as often as possible to help your parents reap these benefits.
Reading books is another activity that you can also do with your parents. For this, begin by picking genres that interest them, with the most preferred being fiction, non-fiction, and adventure-based. Next, assign chapters to read each week to allow you both to gauge your reading speed. During your meet-up sessions, discuss various points of interest from the chapters, such as recurring themes, fascinating events, and any outstanding characters. Alternatively, you can also take turns reading the book aloud during the evenings, especially if you live with your parents or have scheduled visits at their elderly care centers. Where reading is a challenge, you can also listen to audiobooks as these will also capture your book’s mood and theme. For extra fun, introduce book clubs for other seniors within your parent’s assisted living center. More participants open up room for added interactions, ensuring that your parents have company even when you are not around.
Watch TV Together
Watching a movie together is another tip for anyone looking at how to plan activities for elderly parents. Whether you need a good winding down session or a chance to laugh, TV shows are other fun avenues to explore. Suppose your parents love traveling or taking part in sports. In that case, TV time can also substitute the need for packing and physically attending these events, especially during strenuous periods of the year. From history documentaries to science fiction shows, you will both be spoiled for choice. TV shows can also serve as inspiration for those interested in learning about everyday practices such as investing in repairable salvage trucks for sale. Once you figure out where your parents’ interests lie, make it a point to plan weekly movie nights for extra company.
Create a Family Tree
Another area on our guide of how to plan activities for elderly parents is creating family trees. Family trees hold special memories and a history of one’s generations, some that only parents can provide. Take advantage of your meet-up sessions with your parents to create a family tree while learning about details of your family’s past that you may not be aware of. Make it a point also to take videos of this for a chance to relive this moment and to ensure that future generations can also experience it. Ask about any details of your family’s history, such as relatives that only your parents know of, as well as your ancestral origins.
Visit the Park
Getting your parents moving in their old age will be essential in keeping them healthy, which you can factor into your list of how to plan activities for elderly parents. You can pick your parents from their companion care services and drive to local parks in your area, for starters. Spending time in nature is not only good for physical health but also helps with improved mental health. It has, for instance, been shown to improve one’s overall mood and attitude, helping reduce anxiety and stress levels. Make this a constant activity to allow you to also enjoy each other’s company through the silent moments and during your conversations while taking a stroll around the park.
While some elderly parents prefer the indoors’ serenity or simple, laid-back outdoor activities, some will occasionally prefer lively activities. These include attending concerts or plays at your local venues and national events. Your residence area will likely have these outlined in their websites and social media platforms, allowing you to pick out some that both you and your parents can enjoy.
Gardening is another outdoor activity that elderly parents can participate in without having to undergo any strenuous pressure. For this, you can plant your parents’ favorite flowers in your kitchen garden, install a fence to protect against any destructive rodents, or introduce new vegetables for your everyday use. This means that you get to share an activity over time, ensuring you have frequent communication during the entire process. Keep in mind that excess bending could prove a challenge to ailing parents, so ensure that you occasionally check on them during your gardening.
Bake or Cook Together
Next on our list of how to plan activities for elderly parents is baking and cooking. If your loved ones are interested in a hands-on activity, this will be one that they can enjoy, whether they are professionals in the kitchen or make messes out of every dish. This may also be the perfect chance to learn family traditions and recreate some of your childhood memories, so ensure you make the best out of it. You can also invite more family members to participate, with a larger party making for added fun. While at it, consider making your baking or cooking sessions into weekly family gatherings for a chance to introduce traditions of your own that your parents can also enjoy.
Plan Relaxation Treats
Relaxation treats are a needed comfort for elderly parents, acting as a way to introduce serenity and fun elements to an otherwise dull day. For this, plan for spa days or book professional massage appointments. These can act as pampering sessions for a day away from work while reconnecting with your parents. Where finances are limited, you can also utilize home care treats as an alternative way to spend time with your parents, with simple massage being just as good. You can, for instance, do gentle rubs on their hands and foot massages with an appropriately scented lotion. While doing this, take some time to engage them in conversation, asking them how they feel or how their day was. In addition to this, you can also carry your grooming kit with you for a manicure and pedicure session. Ask them to pick out their favorite nail polish color for an indoor make-up session or in preparation for an outdoor walk to the park.
Exercising is another area to consider looking into if you are out of ideas on how to plan activities for elderly parents. This will, however, require you to factor in your parents’ mobility and health. For those with mobility difficulties, consider sticking to easy exercises. These can include chair yoga exercises that target simple movement of the upper or lower body. For added help with this, you can also consult with professionals on ideal senior workout classes to allow your parents to incorporate both the healthy and fun aspects. Parents with better mobility can, on the other hand, benefit from variations of cardio-based activities, with examples of this being hiking and swimming.
Get Involved in Charity
Getting involved in charity and local organizations can also help elderly parents achieve the fulfillment of giving and helping others. Look up places near you that allow elderly parents to take part in their community activities and events. Some examples include local shelters, adoption centers, or soup kitchens. Rather than getting bored at home, charity work can also help your parents feel useful while improving their mood. Additionally, such activity presents an opportunity to help them engage with others and strike up conversations with new people for fun connections.
Book Pet Therapy Sessions
Pet therapy sessions are designed to bring comfort to participants while also providing mental and emotional healing to individuals suffering in these areas. These areas that elderly parents often struggle with, making this activity an essential part of getting relief. In addition to this, it makes for a fun-filled activity for participants of any age, allowing you to also take part in it. Look up such areas near your location and plan a visit for both you and your parents.
Learn Something New
Learning never stops, making this another area to look into for how to plan activities for elderly parents. But rather than enrolling in any general learning session, consider looking into something that your parents love. This can be learning a new language, playing instruments, or even making a custom home improvement. Whichever area your parents prefer, the variety of learning tools guarantees that you will all have something to look forward to at the end of each day. Remember that some activities may be better suited to physical learning, while others will generally work with online classes. Depending on your parents’ needs, it may be advisable to settle for one that offers the least friction due to mobility.
Plan Virtual Get-Together
In instances where distance proves a problem, virtual connections will be an essential part of planning fun activities with your parents. Here, you can set up Face time or Zoom sessions to catch up with your parents. For added fun, make plans to include more members of the family. You can take your meals together during your virtual sessions or have movie nights. This will allow you to enjoy each other’s company without the added pressure of physically traveling from one place to another.
Have Travel Trips
Last on our guide of how to plan activities for elderly parents are traveling. If your parents are interested in travel shows or still dream about flying to exotic destinations, travel trips will be needed from the house. For this to work, consider any special travel accommodations that they may need, with shorter trips coming in handy for those with limited mobility. Start with local tours to attraction sites such as museums where available or botanical gardens. Visiting such spots during the morning will be ideal as they generally have fewer crowds. Try to avoid weekends and peak tourist vacation times as most areas will also get crowded. If your parents are fit to travel to longer distances, consider picking vacation spots that appeal to them. Make it a point, however, to factor in the weather that would otherwise cause inconveniences.
The above-listed activities are an indication that your parents’ age or state is not a limitation when deciding on how to plan activities for elderly individuals. Whether they enjoy laid-back activities or hands-on activities, you can still have something to look forward to and share with your loved ones.