When parents grow old, it can sometimes be easy for them to become isolated, a state of being that can lead to health problems and other worries. Social connections may dwindle for retirees who no longer interact with colleagues on a daily basis, for example, and with grown kids moving out of the house, there might come a time when parents no longer have the kind of daily activities to do that once kept them healthy and positive. Fortunately, there are many ways to encourage parents to engage with new hobbies and entertainment, and the process of creating fun new challenges for parents doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are just a few ways to provide enjoyable experiences for an aging mother and father.
Make a Family Game Night
While card games and board games may feel like a thing of the past for younger generations, the truth is that old-style board games and card games provide a means for enjoyment that is truly timeless. Unlike a video game or a movie, a board game or card game tends to get people talking, sharing memories, and laughing together. Older parents may be more familiar with these sorts of games, as well. However, if your parents are gamers, then there’s nothing wrong with whipping out the game controllers and hashing it out in their favorite videogames as a way to bond and enjoy quality time as a family.
Watch a Quiz Show Together
Sometimes it’s fun to kick back and watch television, but it’s also important to ensure that they have a sense of interaction with other people. Shows like “Jeopardy!” and “University Challenge” are quiz shows that require people to think and use their problem-solving abilities, a key way to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Try to keep the experience interactive and make guesses with your parent at the answers, and remember that the most important thing to be engaging with is the parent, not the tv.
Find a Community of Like-Minded Individuals
When parents experience “empty nest syndrome,” they may sometimes feel a sense of loneliness and regret, especially when a home was once filled with boisterous children and numerous challenges. When home life becomes too isolated or unenjoyable, parents might enjoy the opportunity to live in an aged care facility where they can socialize, meet new people, and have daily activities and meals that provide much-needed time with others that are at the same stage of life as them. As any child knows, family time is important, but so is spending time with peers of your age group that can identify with the struggles your facing.
Find Physical Activities That Bring Joy
In this day and age, the options are truly limitless for finding physical activities that are fun as well as healthy. Finding local yoga classes or spending a day at the park for a game of tennis might just be the kind of activity that creates memories for a lifetime for both you and your parents. If they can’t travel as far, try getting them a game like Wii bowling or tennis that they can play from home, or even set up a miniature golf course in the yard. By talking with your parents and seeing what kind of new hobbies they’d like to try, you might just find that a round of golf or a long walk on a beach will provide a great opportunity to talk and reminisce about old times.
Finding the right hobbies and entertainment for aging parents doesn’t have to be a chore, and we might just find that, with a bit of research, the perfect activity is easy to arrange. After all, there’s nothing quite like having fun with family and friends, something that is in short supply for many seniors, and providing those opportunities will help your parent stay healthy and happy.