If your Baby Boomer likes to garden, fish the ponds, or leisurely stroll the neighborhood, and the summer swelter is keeping them from staying active outdoors, you can help inspire some inside amusement. Staying busy keeps seniors feeling positive and staves off cognitive decline.
Before you create an itinerary, consider your elderly pal’s long-term interests and immediate abilities. A rousing round of Scrabble or Boggle will be fun for an avid reader, but not for a senior whose eyesight is failing or whose attention span is limited. If they like to cook or bake, keep the menu focused on cold foods and desserts (think salads and parfaits) to avoid sparking up the stove or oven and raising the warmth in their home. If they are a sports buff, there is so much great content on television at the end of the summer including the U.S. Open, The FedEx Cup, Little League Baseball World Series and the return of college football!
Reminding your senior of the importance of giving back to the community can also be an activity, particularly if they have a history of public service. Even if your senior is a little out of it, they may appreciate crafting a thank-you note with you to someone in the Armed Forces or cleaning out a few items non-perishable food they haven’t touched for months in their pantry and donating it to a local shelter.
Artsy activities may be just the thing for your aging loved one. You can bring over an unfinished bird feeder (easy to find at craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) and paint it with your senior. Then you can mount it on a tree in the yard, so they have a personalized connection with the flying cuties that roost in it. In anticipation of autumn, you can make a front door wreath together (another trip to the craft store for this project), which will be a colorful and welcomed reminder of a joint creative venture.