10 things you can do with your elderly loved ones this weekend 

Are you planning to spend time with your older relatives this weekend? Here are some ideas for you to make it quality time together.

Age UK claims that there are 1.4 million older people who experience feelings of loneliness. As we watch our loved ones grow old, there’s a good chance that their social circle only gets smaller, and much of their days are spent at home with very little activity. The lack of physical and mental stimulation can lead to a range of health problems, from obesity to depression. Ageing should be a positive time, and that means keeping busy and staying well!

Often our elderly loved ones need a little nudging to stay engaged. It might take you as their family to encourage them to fill their days, or for some extra support when you can’t be around, you could consider domiciliary care support to help them stay active.

What should you plan?

Give your elderly relatives something to be excited about. Get them engaged with some of life’s greatest joys.

Here are some ideas:

  • Get out into the outdoors: Whether it’s a public garden, vast countryside, or just the local park, the great outdoors has a lot to offer. It does wonders to get some fresh air, clear your head and be active. Speak to your elderly relative beforehand and find out how long they can and would like to walk. Make it not only a fun trip out but a gentle bit of exercise!
  • Do some gardening: Seeing the fruits of our labour in the garden brings a great deal of satisfaction. Make it a manageable project for your loved one and begin by taking them to the garden centre where they can get some ideas and choose for themselves what plants to buy. It’s a chance to be creative, active, and work together on something you can both take pride in.
  • Visit a heritage building: Most of us are lucky enough to live near to heritage buildings that are open to the public. Escaping to an old manor or an ancient castle makes for an exciting day out for many, and you might even pick up a few historical facts.
  • Get crafty: If your loved one is into arts and crafts, ask them what they’d like to make next. Seek inspiration from new trends. Are there any YouTubers doing a fun demonstration on how to make something? Take a trip to the shops to get the materials you need and then get busy!
  • Play puzzles: Whether it’s an app on the iPad or a good old fashioned jigsaw, puzzles and games can do a lot to help the day go by. Not only is it a great source of fun, but an effective brain exercise that helps prevent cognitive decline.
  • Be charitable: Look up whether there are any community projects or events happening in the area that will benefit from an extra pair of hands. Or do something simple like litter-picking at the local park. Every community would benefit from people improving facilities in the area and supporting those who live there.
  • Go to the theatre: The stage offers us a broad spectrum of theatre productions, from autobiographical solo shows to musical theatre. There really is something for everyone, so look up what’s on at your nearest theatre.
  • Attend a ballroom dancing class: Learning a new skill with your loved one is a great way of bonding. You might have never imagined doing the Viennese waltz or the foxtrot with your elderly loved one, but it’s fun way of keeping active and you can keep the rest of the family entertained with your new-found talent!
  • Get cooking and baking: Dig out your favourite recipes or ask your loved one what they’ve always fancied making, and then spend an afternoon in the kitchen together. It’s a great way of unwinding, being creative and bonding with each other. You might have old memories about culinary delights that the family used to enjoy – you can take a trip down memory lane together.
  • Create a scrapbook: Many elderly people’s homes are bursting at the seams with photographs, keepsakes and memorabilia from over the decades. Pull some of these treasures together, perhaps in a scrapbook, and let it be a source of yours and your loved one’s favourite memories. Nothing will get you both reminiscing more.

Keeping occupied is healthy for us all. And for our elderly loved ones, staying busy plays a part in delaying physical and mental decline. The best place to start is to inspire your older relatives with some fun weekend plans that keep them off the armchair and enjoying their days with you: their nearest and dearest.