We all have elders in our lives, whether they’re parents, grandparents, or beloved coaches and teachers. Our time with these people usually isn’t as long as we’d like, making it important to spend as much quality time with them as possible. If you’re not sure how to spend time with your elderly loved ones, never fear. We’ve put together a list of five fun ways to spend quality time with your elders.
- Talk to them.
This one is simple, but often overlooked. Many elders just want someone to talk to. This is especially true if they live in a care home. They often don’t get as many visitors as they’d like, so it is our responsibility to visit. Set aside at least one hour per week to visit your elder and talk to them. This is the most important activity, and it takes a relatively small amount of time.
Once you have set aside some time, make sure to pick discussion topics that interest your elderly relative. Remember that all of them have lived full lives and have a lot to talk about. If you want, bring a voice recorder and document his/her stories for posterity.
- Participate in quiet activities.
There are a lot of activities that your elders can take part in. Any physically strenuous activities are not advisable, but there are quiet activities you can both enjoy. These include, but are not limited to:
Going for a drive
Visiting favorite locations
Playing a board game
Reading old documents
Watching a movie
Preparing a meal together
Most elders are capable of participating in and enjoying these activities. Even if you do a lot of the work, they’ll enjoy tagging along and enjoying the company.
- Look through photo albums.
This activity goes hand in hand with the previous two, but is important enough to list here. Looking through old photo albums is a popular activity for many elders. It gives them an opportunity to look back through their lives and remember the wonderful times, as well as the hardships they overcame.
It can also be a learning experience for you. A book of pictures is often a catalyst for many great stories. You can learn much from your elders, and they will certainly love to share their wisdom with you.
- Go outside.
Venturing outside is important. If your elder is living in a care home, or if you are caring for them yourself, they might not see as much time outdoors as they should. Sun and fresh air is good for their health, and they’ll welcome the opportunity to go outside if they’re usually inside for long periods of time.
Some of the activities listed above involve going outside. Pick one of them and do it with your elder. If that isn’t possible, just take some time to sit outside with them. They will appreciate it.