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Just for Fun! What to do with your elderly parents this spring.

It’s the in between time before spring has changed things up. The sun is shining but it’s still cold. The wind is blowing, and winter clothes are still in order. It’s too early to go on outdoor outings. Upper respiratory infections and viruses are still a threat.

What to do with your elderly parents? Winter is still dragging on. How to change up their routines? Cheer them up? Introduce some fun and whimsy?

Decorate their calendar with bright markers noting birthdays and anniversaries in the next season. Schedule some outings that they usually don’t do.

You can put in a visit to a plant nursery for bright hydrangeas or hyacinths. Both grow in pots indoors and can be transferred to outdoor plots too. They are both perennials and will give your parents pleasure and beauty for years to come. Hyacinths offer lilac-like perfume too.

Go to a florist shop and look at new styles of flower arrangements. Your parents will be intrigued by the array of blossoms and blooms available these days. When was the last time they visited a flower shop? Encourage your dad to buy your mother a corsage just because. A gentle private suggestion can be the start of a romantic day for the two of them.

Help book a reservation at a restaurant that offers foreign cuisine that they are not used to. Make sure to tell the reservations clerk (or put in the comments section if you’re booking online) if your parents have dietary restrictions and suggest that they offer help with menu selection. Small portions would be advisable. Suggest that they give them a table with extra room for mobility aids. Make the trip to the Vietnamese or Brazilian restaurant especially memorable by investing in planning.

Get them dancing. They need the exercise. Music, company, and lessons will help. Check out local locations for their favorite kind of dancing. Another way to get them into the mood is to screen YouTube videos of the particular style of dancing they used to enjoy.

Get them competing with a new game. Check out recommendations online for games like…. (fill in the ones they have traditionally played with enjoyment). If they liked Jotto back in the day, for example, they will enjoy Wordle, a New York Times game. Make sure the game is not time driven because the brain processes more slowly when one ages. You don’t want to remind them of their frailties.

Put some picnics on the calendar too. It’s not too early to choose some dates along with a list of provisions and supplies needed such as sunscreen, hats, blanket, etc.

Look for listings for local concerts, summer theatre, ethnic festivals, and parades. Pencil them in on the calendar for them to anticipate. Add cute drawings in colorful ink or marker.

If family members from afar such as grandchildren frequently send photos by WhatsApp or phone, get them a wireless color photo printer. Canon has a small new desktop version the size of a small tape recorder called the Selphy. It will print out photos from a phone using an app. This way, the enjoyment will continue way after the initial receipt of the photos. Set it up in an easily accessible place and buy enough photo paper for a while. Buy a new photo album. Filling it will be another activity for them.
Plan fun!

Looking for other ideas? Caring Professionals has you covered!!

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About the Author

Faigie Horowitz

Faigie Horowitz

Faigie Horowitz, MS serves as director of communication at Caring Professionals. She advocates for the senior population on the state level and writes about senior and caregiver issues. She is a columnist for several periodicals. She has spent decades in nonprofit management and serves as a lay leader and founder of several community organizations.

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