Do you find yourself puzzled regarding what activities you can do for your senior? As we see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel on many levels – with the arrival of Spring and the beginning of the end of the need for restricted activities due to Covid-19, we can now think about getting outside with our seniors and enjoying the beauty of the season! As part of their mental health and memory care, it’s important for the elderly to get out and engage in activities that connect them with their environment. As a personal companion or adult child of a senior, you may be wondering about fun, yet safe activities to do in connection with Spring. Here are some ideas that will help you plan ahead for both outdoor and indoor activities, so your senior can also enjoy and celebrate the season.
Outdoor Activities to Consider
Spring is a great time of year to enjoy the beauty of all the flowers coming into bloom in addition to the abundance of birds, bees and butterflies, and other creatures. Some outdoor activities a personal companion can do are:
- Gardening – Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor activities for seniors. This is a great way for them to stay active and maintain their strength and flexibility. This light aerobic activity combined with fresh air is very beneficial and can easily become a part of your daily routine. If your senior is in some way disabled or you don’t have access to a garden, consider getting some potted plants for their patio, balcony, or windowsill.
- Walking around a flower field or nursery – Flowers have immeasurable benefits – in our daily lives and on the most special of days. They bring beauty and cheer, tell a story, take us back in time – to a moment, to a place, to a memory, to a season. The unique power of scent also lends itself well to memory care. Familiar smells can help remind one of pleasant feelings and memories from the past and encourage engagement and connection.
- Going on a picnic – What better way to enjoy warmer, sunnier days than with a long and lovely picnic? Your senior may know of some great recipes for sandwiches and salads that you can prepare together. Pack a good old-fashioned picnic basket and make a day of it!
- Enjoying an Outdoor Concert – Many local organizations put on outdoor music events that your aging parent may really enjoy! Enjoy the sound of music while taking in some fresh air and outdoor scenery.
- Visiting a Farmer’s Market or Craft Fair – A Farmer’s Market is a multi-sensorial experience. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes at your local market – and you can pick up some fresh, often organic fruit, vegetables, and flowers while you’re at it! Farmers Markets often include craft fairs where you can see arts and crafts by local artists.
Indoor Activities to Consider
Spring provides inspiration for all kinds of indoor activities such as arts and crafts and cooking activities. For those who celebrate Easter, Passover, or other religious holidays you can plan activities that are centered around your loved one’s faith as well – and include the grandkids if they have any! Here are some suggestions that a personal companion can help with:
- Spring-inspired art – Budding branches and flowers make great themes for art projects. From collages to watercolors to more advanced art such as acrylic paintings, there are plenty of wonderful projects you can plan for your senior.
- Handwork and craft activities – For our more dexterous seniors, knitting, crocheting, and quilting activities are wonderful projects that can be done in groups as well. Local craft stores often sell craft kits – for all levels of ability – with everything you need for a fun and engaging project.
- Handmade holiday greeting Cards – Help your senior create their own holiday greeting cards using collage, origami, watercolors, or by simply coloring in and cutting out a holiday-themed printable. Their friends and loved ones will love receiving a hand-crafted card for any holiday!
- Cooking and baking– Is there a favorite family recipe for this time of year or around the holidays? Make sure to ask your senior for the recipe! Examples of this are hot cross buns, boiled egg recipes, spring vegetable casseroles, and roast meats such as ham or lamb. There are many wonderful desserts for this time of year as well, such as the famous strawberry shortcakes, fruit tarts or pies, cheesecakes, and mousses.
- Gather with family – If Covid-19 vaccinations have finally made it possible for your senior to gather with family – then plan a celebration like no other! Whether it’s gathering over a meal, playing games, or just telling stories, make this a memorable event for your senior. For those who can’t attend, you can use video calling services such as Zoom or Skype to include them in the event.
Whether you need help from a personal companion to help with activities that are inside, outside or both, we hope these ideas will help you welcome Spring and the joy, healing, and renewal this wonderful season brings to all of us!