Many aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life’s basics but often don’t leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday.
Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don’t know how to go about it. Even seasoned caregivers can be stumped for ideas, so here are a few to get started:
- Take a Sunday drive- Many elders still enjoy watching new construction or being shown how the town that they’ve lived in for decades is changing
- Visit an Ice scream shop- I do suggest encouraging your loved ones to sit outside if the weather’s nice and they are able.
- Have a picnic- Whether you go to a park, stay in your own backyard or use the grounds of the nursing home, a picnic is often possible.
- Visit a friend- See if you can set up a lunch or just a visit with someone your loved one has enjoyed through the years.
- Spring programs- Take your elder to the spring programs that most schools sponsor.
Use these ideas as ensamples. You know your loved ones best. What did he or she enjoy in their earlier, healthier days? Don’t be afraid to ask what they miss doing or what they’d like to do. They may not hear those questions very often these days.
During any of these activities monitor your loved one for dehydration and heat issues if the weather is warm, or chilliness if it’s cool. Older bodies don’t adjust to temperature changes as well as younger ones. Be prepared with sun hats and hooded windbreakers. Also, bring water to drink and watch for fatigue.
And remember, you are doing this for pleasure, so don’t overdo anything.