Do you have elderly parents? Are you looking for fun things to do with them?
Just because your parents are getting older doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. There are many activities that aren’t just fun for the elderly but can also help their mental and physical health.
Check out this guide to discover the top fun things to do with elderly parents.
As many people get older, they stop exercising. However, exercising in old age is just as important as it is at any age.
Exercise for seniors helps improve cardiovascular health and heart health, prevent falls, maintain bone mass, and prevent diseases like arthritis and diabetes.
Sadly, only 35 to 44 percent of adults over the age of 75 are physically active. And, only 28 to 34 percent of adults ages 65 to 74 are physically active.
If your elderly parent isn’t physically active, it’s time to help them change things around.
While running and lifting weights is a great way to stay in shape, many older adults find these activities to be too taxing. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises that are elderly-friendly.
These include the following:
- Regular yoga or chair yoga
You could also encourage your parent to sign up for a senior exercise class. Many gyms have senior exercise classes like chair yoga or water aerobics. Not only is this a great way to stay in shape, but it’s also a great way for your parent to meet other people their age.
Gardening is another very fun activity to do with your elderly parent. Gardening allows you and your parents to create something together. It’s a great way to bond, and it’s also a great activity for getting outside and getting in some exercise.
Even if your parent doesn’t have a big backyard, you can still help them create nice small gardening on their balcony. Here are some tips for gardening with your elderly parents:
- Garden in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cool out and the sun is low
- Bring plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat, sturdy shoes, gardening gloves, and sunglasses
- Wrap foam around the gardening tools if your parent has difficulty gripping them
We also suggest hiring a laborer or asking a younger family member or friend to help with the heavier digging, lifting, and grading. Additionally, if your loved one doesn’t have space to garden on their balcony or in their backyard, you could also sign up for a community garden.
3. Do Puzzles
Doing puzzles is another great way to spend time with your elderly parent. Not only is doing a puzzle a great way to relax, but it’s also a great way to stimulate your mind.
In fact, one study from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that doing puzzles can lower your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Another study from Princeton University found that doing puzzles can help improve your motor skills such as dexterity.
Doing puzzles can also help lower your stress levels, improve your mood, and improve your problem-solving skills.
4. Go for a Hike
Hiking is another great way to spend time with your elderly parent.
Many people are afraid to take their parents on hikes because of the rough terrain and the potentially strenuous exercise. However, there are plenty of hikes out there that are suitable for the elderly population.
We suggest downloading an app like All Trails, which helps you pick a hike that meets your parent’s fitness level. Plus, if you’re worried about the terrain, you can buy your parents walking sticks to help navigate
Not only is hiking a great way to get in some exercise, but it’s also a great way to spend some time in nature. Studies show that spending more time in nature can help lower your stress levels, reduce inflammation, improve your short-term memory, boost your immune system, increase your happiness, and increase your levels of vitamin D.
Basically, it’s a great form of self-care.
5. Play Games
Playing games is another great way to spend time with your elderly parent. Playing brain games can help your elderly parent improve their cognitive function and memory.
Even if your parent isn’t as sharp as they used to be, there are still plenty of board games and card games out there for them to enjoy. Some of the best board and card games to play with your elderly parent include:
- Go Fish
- Chess or checkers
Card games and board games are also a great way to get your kids involved, so consider finding games that are fun for the whole family.
6. Start a Book Club
If both you and your parents love to read, then starting a book club is a great way to spend time with them. Basically, all you need to do is choose a book to read every month or so, then at the end of the month, you’ll hold a discussion on the book.
If you have friends with elderly parents in the area or your elderly parent has bookworm friends, you can also invite them to join your book club.
Not only does reading help keep your mind sharp, but reading and discussing the same book with your parent can be a great way for the two of you to bond and share ideas.
7. Take a Class Together
Taking a class with your parent can be a great way for the two of you to learn, bond, and grow.
Many cities have adult community education programs that host a wide range of classes. You can sign up for everything from French classes to painting classes to bread making classes.
Learning a new skill in old age can help your loved one keep their mind sharp. And who knows, they may even discover a new hobby that they love.
Are You Ready to Have Fun With Your Elderly Parents?
Now that you’ve read this guide about the top fun things to do with elderly parents, it’s time to choose an activity and get moving. Before you know it, you and your parent will be closer than ever thanks to one of these new activities.
If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to spend with your elderly parent, you may want to consider hiring an in-home care provider. Check out this guide to learn more about in-home care providers.