Does it feel like the senior in your life is less engaged in life than they used to be? Have they gotten stuck in a routine? Check out these 12 ideas to help you rekindle their interests, stimulate their physical and mental capacities, and bring some joy and excitement into their lives:
#1 Brighten Up their Day!
Take inspiration from whatever holiday or season is coming up next to plan a fun and festive art project. Make construction paper turkeys for Thanksgiving, cut up paper snowflakes for winter window decorations, make Valentine cards for friends and family, or paint eggs for Easter. It only takes a few minutes to prepare a great interactive project for everyone to enjoy together.
#2 How Does Your Garden Grow?
Get out the potting soil and small containers and help grandma or grandpa get the garden started—whether indoors or out! Taking care of plants and watching them grow can create a powerful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. And it helps increase happy feelings, especially if the project is shared with you or the grandchildren.
#3 Take the Time to Say Thanks!
A hand-written letter is a breath of fresh air and a treasure that can be revisited and cherished. So take the time to write a Thank You letter to Mom, Dad, Grandma, or another senior. It’s easy to get bogged down in the daily to-dos, but the simple act of saying thanks for both the big things and the small gestures has the power to spread so much joy.
#4 Pack a Picnic
Enjoying the outdoors is beneficial for all ages, especially elders with limited mobility. Whether it be an extravagant spread fit for royalty or a simple sandwich made from scratch, picnics are a great way to get out and enjoy some fresh air, a bit of exercise and some good conversation!
#5 Take a Hike
Research shows that being in nature can have a positive impact on the heart, immune system, mood and even brain function. Simply getting fresh air can be therapeutic, so get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Strolling in summer? Don’t forget the water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray. Walking in winter? Remember to layer up and watch out for icy patches.
#6 Share Your Love of the Game
Watching your favorite team play is so much more enjoyable when you do it with others. Why not plan a watch party for the next big game with your parents or a senior that might be lonely? Build the excitement, bring the party snacks and grandkids, and give your loved one something new to talk about!
#7 Set Up Some Simple Sensory Therapy
Older adults who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s often live with anxiety, agitation or anger. A good way to calm those feelings is to provide sensory activities that occupy the hands and help your loved one connect with the world around them. Gather an assortment of items in a container with different textures, shapes and sizes and let them explore!
#8 Move to the Music
Today’s seniors are part of a generation that revolutionized music, so why not help your parents or loved ones enjoy a live concert in your community? Music benefits older adults by improving mood, reviving nostalgic, happy memories, encouraging socialization, and promoting overall mental and physical health.
#9 Visit with a Furry Friend
Spending time with an animal has been shown to reduce loneliness, as well as improve quality of life, mood, and social interaction in older adults. So next time you visit mom and dad, consider bringing a furry
#10 Celebrate Grandparents
Grandparents Day is observed on the second Sunday in September, but why not celebrate the special grandparents in your family all year? Take the opportunity to treasure the special connection between grandparents and children whenever you can. Visit or invite grandma and grandpa over to spend quality family time together today!
#11 Take a Dip
For older adults, maintaining an active lifestyle is vital, and swimming is particularly beneficial. It keeps the heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off the body, making it the perfect exercise for people suffering from arthritis. Swimming helps improve flexibility, range of motion, and stability—and even benefits sleep. You can find a pool at your local park
district and get in the swim of things
#12 Get the Inside Story
Helping your loved one share their life story with younger generations is one of the most valuable ways to validate all that they’ve done and ensure that their legacy is passed along. Whether it’s in writing, or through gathering mementos and photos in a scrapbook, you’ll be preserving a slice of family history and giving them the meaningful experience of reflecting
and reminiscing on their long life.
Home Care Angels provides assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, eating and personal care, from home service aides. Please call 847.824.5221 to speak with one of our Client Care Coordinators if you would like more information on in-home care.