As we ease into Fall, we can start thinking about activities for our elderly parent that coincide with the season. The Fall season brings a lot of inspiration for activities – both indoor and outdoor – that can keep your parent active and engaged.
Even with the need to restrict some social activities due to Covid-19, there are still many projects you can do together that are both fun and safe. It’s important for the elderly to keep their mind active and engaged with the world around them, so let’s explore some ways that we can help them plan ahead and enjoy their Autumn days.
- Going on a Nature Walk – The cooler Fall temperatures are ideal for getting out in nature. With Winter coming soon, your parent should spend as much time outside as possible. Not only will they get fresh air and exercise, but it’s also an opportunity to collect Fall foliage that could be used for seasonal craft activities. If you have an apple farm nearby, consider getting out and picking some apples!
- Birdwatching – Fall is a great time of year to watch and identify birds. If your parent is so inclined, you could help them take pictures of birds and keep a bird-watching journal or scrapbook. Even just putting a bird feeder or birdbath out can attract different types of birds for them to watch from a window or front patio.
- Doing Arts & Crafts – There are so many wonderful Fall-themed craft activities you can prepare ahead and do with your loved one. Use the Autumn leaves, flowers, acorns, and berries that you collected on your nature walk to create a beautiful Autumn wreath or door hanger, decorations for a fireplace mantel, centerpiece for the dining table, or festive window decals. Or consider making your own Autumn-scented candles!
- Baking Fall-Inspired Recipes – With summer coming to an end and the onset of nippier temperatures, it’s a great time of year to turn on the oven and bake some yummy treats. You can put those apples you picked at the apple farm in a delicious pie or cobbler, make pumpkin or cranberry muffins, or bake a tasty date nut or walnut bread to go with your coffee. Fall is all about comfort food, so you could also bake some hearty and easy-to-make casseroles, with the vegetables, gourds or squashes and herbs that are so abundant this time of year.
- Working on Puzzles and Word Games – Fall-themed jigsaw puzzles or crossword puzzles are a great indoor activity that keeps your parent both engaged and mentally active. They can be left out on a table and worked on over a period of days, giving seniors something to look forward to.
- Doing a Family Memory Project – A long-term project that could continue into Winter is a family memory project. This is a great way to help elderly parents remember and share their past and connect with younger generations. You’ll be surprised how much interesting – and often very historically significant – information that comes out during these projects, especially if they lived during war times! Ways to preserve family memories could include digitizing old photos and movies, making a digital or paper scrapbook, and working on your family tree.