Sandwich Generation caregivers tend to be in perpetual motion. If we’re not busy with senior home care giving, we’re often playing games with grandkids. If we’re not doing that, you can often find us at the computer. Our grandkids tend to stay pretty busy as well, because that’s what kids do. But our aging parents don’t always keep so busy and, while that’s not necessarily bad, it’s also not good. Staying active, mentally and physically, is good for the body, the mind, and the spirits, helping to stave off depression and unneeded worry. How can a busy caregiver help to encourage more activities for their senior parents?
Just as with grandkids’ activity sites, there are interesting senior citizens’ activity sites. One such resource for us is the Nursing Home Activities Resource. While their primary audience is activity directors for nursing home and assisted living facilities, they have an eye out for us senior home care givers as well. I enjoyed looking around their site and found some interesting ideas to share with others plus some old favorites from years past.
Bridge and other card games have been very popular for many decades. My dad had to quit playing a couple of years after he got Parkinson’s Disease, because of his hand shaking, but many seniors can continue to enjoy playing well into their 80s and beyond. I used to drive a dear senior friend all over our fair city once every two weeks, for her Bridge game. She and her friends had been playing since they had worked at the same high school – over 50 years before!
Crossword puzzles were an old favorite my dad enjoyed til a couple of months before he went to be with the Lord, and is something my senior mom still has fun with. Sudoku is a new variation of this. It can be a bit tough for some, but many seniors have taken to it with a vengeance!
My husband’s grandma and grandpa loved to go their church every Sunday night to sing together with others. No sermon at this particular service, just lots of rousing, happy, wonderful old hymns. I would have loved to join them if we hadn’t lived on the opposite coast. Definitely kept their spirits up just thinking about it through the week!
The website includes group activities, things to do by yourself, musical fun, exercises, party plans, and even interesting ideas for those dealing with dementia care due to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, etc.
I especially enjoyed their article on a Luau party, complete with a video of the get-together (with a great song 🙂 ) as well as another video showing how to make paper leis. Many seniors have enjoyed trips to Hawaii in the past and this would be a nice way to spark good memories and stories for the grandkids. For those involved in the senior ministry at their church, this could be a really fun project.
I have been enjoying their newsletter for awhile and am adding this to my bookmarks as well. How about you? What are some of your senior parents’ favorite activities? We’d love to hear about them. 🙂