Crisp air and blue skies are some of the best parts of autumn, but for the more senior members of your family, it can be the beginning of a quieter season with less contact with friends and families. As families return to busy routines, it can be harder to make time for fun and visiting. It’s not winter yet, however, and there are still plenty of ways for your aging mom and dad to stay active and involved.
Here are ten activities to keep your senior parents connected and busy through fall:
1. Visit a farmers’ market
Fall is an excellent time to visit a market as vendors will have tables full of not only produce, but also jams, preserves, baking, and handmade goods. Enjoying scratch made treats made locally is a great way to not only extend summer, but trigger some fond nostalgia in many seniors. Did they once make blueberry jam, apple pies, and green tomato relish? You can bet a market will get them sharing their stories.
2. Take family photos
Autumn is a lovely time to take family photos, so why not include your senior mom or dad in an afternoon of creating memories? We often worry about capturing our kids as they grow up, but it’s just as sweet to capture a few shots of the family together including grandparents. A simple visit to a park can yield precious memories later.
3. Share back to school news
If you have kids who went back to school in September, or older kids who started university, have them share a few details with their grandparents. What classes are they taking? What are they looking forward to most? Calls and visits will be more rewarding for both throughout the year if they can build from details shared early.
4. Enjoy a fall community supper
Many communities and places of worship host fall suppers as a way to bring neighbours and community together. It can be a good way to reconnect with local friends and acquaintances your senior mom or dad may not see often, and these can be valuable connections through the winter.
5. Visit a craft and/or hobby show
Our senior parents often enjoyed hobbies or handcrafts at some point in their lives, and many still do! A craft or hobby show can help revitalize an old interest, stir up interesting memories, and be a fun outing for all.
6. Drive in the country
Most areas of the country provide gorgeous fall scenery, and an afternoon drive can be an excellent outing requiring little mobility on the part of seniors. They can enjoy a comfortable ride but still take part in an easy and inexpensive experience.
7. Attend or watch a football game together
Watching a high school or community football game can be just as much fun as watching a professional team play – especially if a favourite grandchild is playing. For some families, fall means football, and there’s no reason why seniors can’t join in the fun. Bring them along to help cheer, or if they like the pro games, join them to watch (don’t forget to bring snacks and even jerseys!)
8. Bring family over to pick apples, or help with other fall chores
If your older mom or dad are still in their homes, they likely can manage most things with some care and support. However, major changes in the season can bring extra work or responsibilities that may be tricky to handle alone. If a tree in the backyard is laden with apples, bring family over to pick them. Rake leaves, clean up flower beds, and leave your mom and dad cozy and ready for winter.
9. Plant bulbs in their garden (and yours) for spring
If you and your parents both enjoy gardening, a nice way to stay connected is to share a few plantings where you can. Even if you don’t live in the same city, you can both plant or share bulbs in the fall to be enjoyed come spring. Anticipation of good things can make the winter feel shorter – and that’s a good thing!
10. Visit a pumpkin patch
Later in fall, many families head out of town to visit pumpkin patches to choose the pumpkins they’ll carve at Halloween, and perhaps a few to decorate their front steps. Seniors are likely enjoy these traditions, as well as the tasty accompaniments like hot chocolate or cider. Make plans to bring them along, and pick up an extra pumpkin for their porch.
These are just a few of the ways you can ensure your senior parents are getting out and staying connected with family and neighbours through the fall. Some they can do alone, or with friends, and others can be bigger outings intended to bring the family together. You can adjust ideas to suit their mobility and interests – the important thing is to stay in touch and keep making plans. We all like things to look forward to, and fall is a great time to get out and enjoy.
Have questions or feedback on what you just read? Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help you support the seniors in your family with quality care while keep your families close and connected.
~ Senior Homecare by Angels Calgary team