You’ve been planning all week long to visit your older loved one at their nursing home, but you can’t seem to figure out how the two of you can have some fun and create lasting memories while you are there. Sure, visiting a senior makes them feel loved and appreciated, but it can quickly get awkward when you run out of exciting things to do and say.
So, what activities can make your visit a success and brighten your loved one’s day? Here are some ideas.
Enjoy Some Brain Games
Although most established residences offer many activities to keep seniors engaged and feeling purposeful, the Pennsylvania nursing home Riddle Village notes that you also need to bring some excitement to your visit. Brain games will provide lots of fun and help keep a senior’s mind engaged and focused.
There are so many games you can choose from, including riddles, quizzes, cards, jigsaw puzzles, word searches and crossword puzzles. The best part is these games are affordable and easily accessible. Pick some up online or at the store before your visit, and enjoy this fantastic way to bond with your loved one, while keeping them inspired.
Watch an Old-Time Movie
If you fear you’ll run out of things to say during the visit, consider watching a movie, show, or documentary with your senior loved one. It will provide hours of entertainment without anyone feeling any pressure to strike up a conversation.
When choosing a movie, keep in mind that the film industry has changed a lot over the past few decades, and your senior may not be so receptive to the latest advancements. To be on the safe side, ask them what their favorite movie is, or look for one that falls in the classics category. Next time you’re going to the nursing home, take your tablet and some popcorn with you.
Bring a Furry Friend Along
Taking your family pet to visit your loved one can warm their hearts and add some much-deserved excitement. Spending time around pets has been shown to bring feelings of happiness and psychological healing.
When planning to take your pet to your nursing home, talk with the nursing home to learn their pet policy and carry proof of immunization. Also, make sure your pet is predictable, friendly, well-behaved, and always keep them on a leash.
Create an Art Project
Art and craft activities such as painting, sewing, knitting, and drawing keep people engaged and improve our quality of life, as well as improve brain function and mood. So, why not help your loved one create a beautiful piece of art that they can hang in the room. And you don’t need to head to an art studio to craft a masterpiece.
You can now find a full paint set complete with an easel, brushes, canvas, palette, and picture frame that will allow you two to get everything done together. An arts and craft project will not only offer a new twist but also help your loved one unleash their creativity, have a sense of accomplishment, and possibly even develop a new hobby.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Pictures have a special way of bringing back sweet memories and sparking stories. On your next visit, get some family photos that your loved one has not seen for years. Even better, you can buy a digital picture frame to display multiple photos in slideshows when you are not there. The senior can place it on their bedside or side table, and you can remotely load some fresh family pictures every few days.
There Is So Much You Can Do
There are so many fun activities you can do to bond with your senior loved one. Just think about the hobbies your older loved one likes and consider their physical ability. You can read a novel, listen to some music, share a delicious meal, and if their health allows, take them for a walk or short outing. The important thing is making the effort to spend quality time together.
Updated: March 7, 2021