Senior Housing Connection

three ladies


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Too often, visiting our senior relatives becomes a chore that we shirk from, unsure of how to interact with them. We remember them as strong active men and women and it saddens us to see their decline. Don’t let that stop you from creating wonderful visits and memories with your favorite senior citizen. You can adapt most of the following ideas for simple activities to fit any senior despite their health or independence level.

Fun Summer Activities to do with Seniors

Sit and watch the sunrise or sunset with them. Many seniors like to rise early, habit from long years of working. Bring some fresh coffee or fresh juice and go outside to sit and watch the sun come up.

In the evening, sit with them as the sun sets. The sounds of crickets, or frogs in the summer evening is stimulating and there are always those lightning bugs to remember from their childhoods. You might even try catching one. As it becomes dark, look up and see if they can find the Big Dipper or other familiar constellations in the night sky.

Take your senior to a children’s baseball game. There’s nothing like children to put a smile on a senior’s face. Take along comfortable safe lawn chair for them to sit in. Those bleachers can be kind of tough on we older people!

You can go to the Parkwood Heights Park. Take some bird seed to feed the ducks, and maybe even tuck in a fishing rod to just throw in the pond or creek. Even if no fish are caught, the fun of tossing in that line will bring back memories and spark conversation. Just sit under a shady tree on a warm sunny day and maybe take off your shoes and theirs to feel the grass underfoot. Be silly a bit, laugh and remember the first days of summer when they were a child. Talk about summer games they use to play.

Shell some peas, snap some beans, eat some fresh tomatoes from the garden. Seniors love the memory of all those gardens they worked in. These simple garden related tasks will bring back vivid memories of their own childhood helping Mom and Dad in the garden or their own gardens and their children.

Find out what their favorite book or author is and read a chapter each time you visit. Make it a exciting serial, build interest and predict what’s going to happen next. Good books for this are old favorites and classics like Heidi, Tom Sawyer, Ben Hur, The Good Earth, Robinson Crusoe or any other favorite of theirs.

Find an outdoor music concert. Many cities are having these free for their citizens. Take a lawn chair. Pack a sack dinner or stop and buy it at their favorite fast food spot. Order something different! Or order a particular favorite food.

Cook fried green tomatoes. Cook elephant ears like they use to have at the fair. Make egg salad and eat it with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Let them help do the cooking!

Go on a simple picnic. Make it simple. Drive through their favorite state park and find a picnic table and eat a simple brown paper bag lunch.

Whatever activity you choose, do it with love and take your time. Speak slowly, clearly and distinctly. Offer simple instructions. Don’t treat your senior like a child, but with the dignity and respect they deserve for their well lived life. Make new memories, and reinforce old ones. Talk to them and let them talk, listen to them. Let them tell you their memories and share their life through life reflection. It will make them feel wonderful and you too!