Five Ways to Take a Fun Trip at Home with Your Senior
Nostalgia, preparation, and a little TLC is all you need
Use your computer to engage your parent with memories of yesteryear. Seniors are intrigued and stimulated by visual reminders of times and places from their pasts. You don’t have to take them to a history museum. Just do a little planning before your session and bookmark the sites of interest you will visit. You can even take some photos of the travels with grandma and create a permanent keepsake of your enjoyable trips down memory lane.
3 Museums virtual tours.
Prep for the session by identifying the dates and location of your senior’s birth, high school graduation, marriage, honeymoon, jobs, trips, homes and places where joyous events occurred. The person’s photo albums will give you clues for when and where family reunions were held, weddings of family members, holiday experiences, and more.
If your senior was born abroad or resided overseas for a time, finding photos and sites for that period will be most interesting for them and elicit many memories. Be prepared to switch on the recorder app on your phone. Do one occasion or location per session. You want your elderly parent to enjoy the time together and not become too tired or overstimulated. Know his or her limits.
- Where I was Born could be one topic. Most hospitals have historic photos on their sites. Googling can find others. Include the neighborhood where the person was born and find what the home and local stores looked like at that time. Take your aging parent home again.
https://1940s.nyc/map/photo/nynyma_rec0040_1_02180_0172#16.62/40.852289/-73.937939 is a site developed by the NYC Municipal Archives, which digitized all the 1940s photos of each building in the city that were part of a project of the WPA. Most cities and towns with a long history or of interest to tourists will have a wealth of historic photos and memorabilia. Don’t forget to check out the museums in the locations that you are visiting.
Where I Went to School, Where I Went on My Honeymoon, When I Visited My Uncle in Canada are other inspirations and occasions to focus on times and places to visit.
- Popular Entertainment from the senior’s youth can bring back memories of movies, singers, fandom, and stars. Find documentaries of their interests and decades of your senior’s youth. Dig out
- Find contemporary travel films and visit places your loved one visited in times gone by. He or she will certainly enjoy the contrast between how things look now and what they were like then.
- Ask your loved one casually if there was ever a place on his or her bucket list that he did not get to. Then make it happen with the internet. Prepare snack food and watch the streaming travelogue together. You will make his dream come true virtually!
- Locate a feature film about a major controversy or election from the person’s past. Watch it together.
The key takeaway from this is that doing these things together, plus the stimulus and the preparation will be appreciated. If there are too many gaps you will lose the interest of the senior, be prepared. Screen some of the material to ensure that it is suitable. Not scary.