By: Kennedy Kao
Oftentimes our grandparents find themselves stuck at home, wanting some company as they go about their day. It’s important we take the initiative to spend time with our grandparents, as their compromised mobility makes it difficult for them to reach out first.
While the list of things to do with your grandparents can seem short, there are plenty of creative activities we can do to pass time with our beloved elders. Here are some tasks you can try with your grandparents, or anyone in their advanced age:
- Going for a Walk
Everyone could use a dose of fresh air, especially if the weather is nice. Offer to take a stroll with your grandparents, as a breezy walk around the block might be all they need. If they have compromised mobility, walk slowly and have them hold onto you for support.
Try walking during times when your area is not too busy. There will be less potential hazards, making for a more peaceful walk!
- Looking at Old Photos
Our grandparents have stories that can last a lifetime. Our seniors’ photos over the years can be suitable catalysts for them to relate experiences, memories, and anecdotes. You’ll be able to connect with your grandparents more and understand their personal journey from their eyes. So dig up those old photos and take a trip back in time!
- In-Home Dining
Ask your grandparents if they are craving anything, and if they are, bring it over to their kitchen table! While it would be nice to eat out, good company ultimately makes for the best environment. Order in, get take-out, or even cook a home-cooked meal with your grandparents — perhaps there’s an old recipe your grandparent can introduce to you! Endless bonding opportunities can arise from cooking with your family, so dust off that apron — multiple aprons, for that matter.
- Classic Movie Screenings
While entertainment has changed over the years, a good movie screening can be fun for all ages. If your grandparents have a favourite movie, get the trusted HDMI cable out and screen it for them! It will likely be an old movie that they request, but there’s nothing wrong with that—old movies have a charm that new films just don’t have anymore. Your elder will be thrilled to know you’re interested in what they like. So make some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!
- Card Games
Go Fish. Crazy Eights. War. President. The games you can play with a standard set of cards are plentiful. Stop by the Dollar store and pick up a set of cards. Card games are also an excellent way to stimulate cognitive functions, meaning they serve as great brain exercises for our elders. Try to invite relatives and friends to play—the more, the merrier!
- Big Family Video Chat
Family reunions can bring solace to your grandparents and remind them that they’re not alone. Prop a laptop on a table, get a comfortable chair and send a Zoom link to your family. Try to set up the technical stuff for your grandparents if they need help with it!
A video chat like that won’t only be beneficial for your grandparent but your entire family as well. We often are so busy with our lives that having everyone in one room—or one zoom room – is often a rarity. To be consistent, designate a day and time and have an open zoom room link. With this, your family can just drop by and say hi, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Undiscovered Hobbies
Knitting. Scrapbooking. Drawing. Baking. The list of potential hobbies goes on and on. It’s known that most elders can be set in their ways. But try your best to get them out of their comfort zone! Bring up some activities that both of you can try out; prepare to bring the materials you need for the hobby so you can get started immediately.
- Good Old Fashioned Chat
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go, especially for seniors who want peaceful conversation.
Sit down with your grandparents and have a conversation with them. Pour a hot beverage if you’d like, but limit the activities to that—sometimes, more intimate discussions need fewer distractions. Ask if there’s anything on their mind or if there’s an issue they’re facing. You can also turn it around and tell them about what you’re going through! Our grandparents are wise and have great lessons to give. Take advantage of their wisdom while they’re still around.
Our grandparents need us to help them pass the time. Since they cannot engage in adventure, offering small, new activities is a fantastic way to get them more involved. We can strengthen our relationship with them in the simplest of ways. So try these suggestions out and have fun bonding with your grandparent!