Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Do you work for a senior care service? Are you looking for activities to do with your elderly adult? It doesn’t always have to be something new. In fact sometimes the activities that are simplest or the ones that were done long ago work the best.
All families are different. What things did you enjoy doing together? Playing cards? Going to see a movie? Enjoying family meals together? Working on a creative project as a family?
For starters, one of the easiest and most enjoyable activities to share is eating a meal together as a family. Help your elderly adult invite some of his family members over to share a meal and some good times together. You can decide how the meal will be provided for and prepared – do a potluck and ask everyone to bring something, or prepare something simple like a salad bar or soup and sandwiches. For bigger family dinners, enlist the help of some of his family members.
Play a favorite game. What was one of grandpa’s favorite games? Checkers, Rook? Find a game that several or even all the invited guests can participate in. Grandpa will have a great time visiting and enjoying their company over a fun game.
Photo albums are fun to browse through. Most elderly folks love going over all the photos and talking about the memories they bring back. This is an especially good activity for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, as the long-term memory remains strong well after the short term memory has faded away. Seeing the familiar faces and events from long ago sparks happy feelings and gazing at the pictures helps the person become lost in happy memories from long ago.
Ask the elderly loved one to tell stories from long ago, and describe what life was like in the past. To make the story-telling even more special, have someone record it digitally or even by taking hand notes. Later these stories can be compiled and shared with family members. These stories can – and should – include struggles that were endured and hardships that were overcome as well as life’s joys and triumphs.
Most elderly people don’t get outside that often. Combining an outside trip with the inside companionship can really heighten their joy as well as get them some fresh air. If grandpa can walk, maybe a leisurely stroll would be good; if he is in a wheelchair someone can push him. A little bit of sunshine is good for lifting a person’s spirit.