October is here, and that means no lack of pumpkins and gourds. There are all kinds of creative Fall and Halloween-related activities, including recipes. Whether your parent is living with you or their own home, planning engaging activities with them is important for their well-being and mental health.
Pumpkin Patches Aren’t Only for Kids!
If your parent is mobile, or you or their caregiver can take them in a wheelchair, then take them to a pumpkin patch! They’ll enjoy watching the little ones run around while getting some fresh air too. Many places offer fair-style foods, festive activities, and Fall-inspired accessories, that are sure to bring back happy memories. You can even bring a few pumpkins home for crafts and other activities.
Here are a few suggestions for activities activities that will keep your parent busy, happy, and healthy. If you have young children in the family, this could be an entertaining cross-generational activity as well!
1. Masquerade Masked Pumpkins: Paint your entire pumpkin a fun color such as magenta or just dot it with some multi-colored glitter. Add a fancy feathered mask. If you want to take it one step further, help your parent cut holes for eyes, letting candlelight shine through for an eerie effect! Electric LED candles are great for this.
2. Silver Spider Web Pumpkin – Save your parent the trouble of painting a cobweb’s fine lines. Trimming the inside of a silver doily creates the same effect. Simply print this template, place it over the doily, and cut along lines. Have your parent apply the web to a pumpkin with glue. Add a furry black spider!
3. Goth Gourd – Here’s a craft even Grandpa will enjoy. All it takes is a black top hat and black glue-on mustache to make a very elegant jack-o’-lantern — no scooping, carving or painting required! Prop the pumpkin on a cake stand for an extra-dignified effect.
We love that pumpkins are not only delicious in Fall recipes; they are also considered a ‘superfood’. It is an excellent source of Vitamin A which is important for good vision and healthy skin and has a moderate amount of Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system. Pumpkin and squash also lower blood pressure, promote heart health and help with sleep. Here are some easy recipes you can enjoy making with your senior.
1. Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes; These individual cheesecakes are sweet, creamy, and delicious – and take only a few minutes to prepare! All you need is softened cream cheese, a can of pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Click here for the recipe.
2. Pumpkin Soup – Make a tasty soup in just 20 minutes. You’ll be surprised how delicious canned pumpkin is if you just add a few of your own spices and other ingredients, such as cumin, cayenne, and ginger. Here is a recipe that includes a drizzle of maple syrup to give it a caramelized touch. Yum!
3. Pumpkin Spice Latte: This time of year, coffee places are all about pumpkin-flavored drinks. You can make your own Starbucks-style drink at home. Here’s a fun and easy recipe you and your parent can enjoy making together. Ingredients include pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, vanilla extract, whole milk, cream, and espresso or coffee.