This is a guest post submitted by writer Sarah Jennings.
Our elderly loved ones play a special role in our lives since the day we are born. We don’t always have time for to visit them but when we do it is important to make the best of it since it then are with us for a significantly shorter period of time then the rest of our family. As a child I spent most of my summers with my grandma while my parents worked. My grandma always made sure I had a good time when I was a kid and I made it a point to repay her as an adult. Here are five of the best activities you can do with your elder loved ones to get the most out of your time together.
1. Card Games
Your grandma could be a sweet, innocent looking old lady until you put a deck of cards in her hands. Card games keep the mind sharp and are something anyone can play at any time. Rummy, Golf, Hand and Foot, and Crazy Eights are classics that are always entertaining for both of you. Be careful when she tries to pull out her little mini-purse full of change though, she’s about to get serious. Ask her neighbors how she got all those dimes.
2. Go Out For A Meal
Chances are your grandparents liked to spoil by overfeeding you when you were young. Take them somewhere they would like to go and treat them. A little change in routine is good for our elderly sometimes, especially if they don’t get around so easily anymore.
3. Go For A Simple Walk
If you are like me and have a tight schedule sometimes just a walk to catch up on things is the best thing for both you and grandma or grandpa(or mom and dad). Ask them how they are doing, if there’s anything knew. If they are disabled and require a rollator or some other walking aid, keep it simple and stroll through the park as opposed to trails in the woods.
4. Watch their Favorite Program with them or a Ball Game
Whether it is grandma’s favorite soap opera or grandpa’s favorite team playing, a good way to get in the habit of regular visits is to show up the same time that their favorite show comes on. You can watch the show and catch up or chat as you’re watching the game. Sometimes just being remembered and having your presence is all they want and occasions like this could be more meaningful to them then you think.
This one was my personal favorite to do with my grandma. Chicken foot is a great game that takes a couple hours to complete. It’s simplicity allows for excellent bonding during this time and is great to include kids in as it can help them learn to match the dominos and learn organization.
There are many other activities you can do with your elders to warm their hearts but these are the ones I personally recommend. Sometimes brightening their day is what brightens yours. Sometimes when your overwhelmed as an adult it can be good to go visit them, you might just feel like a kid again, if only for a brief period of time.
Sarah Jennings has been taking care of others her whole life. In 2005, she moved her mother into her family home. She uses her personal experience to share with others about caring for the elderly. She currently writes on behalf of Brookdale Assisted Living.