One year ago today my grandmother peacefully past away in Toronto. She was 99 years old and fabulous! She cooked and baked for her children and grandchildren almost every day until the day she passed. The highlight of her day was when the kids called to tell her how fantastic her food was. Her face glowed as she told them to enjoy and she then planned with her live in caregiver what she was going to make next day.
I firmly believe that my grandmothers cooking and baking added years to her life. People need to feel accomplished, acknowledged and appreciated.
It is important for caregivers and families to discuss what activities can be done to keep the senior happy and feeling accomplished. What does the senior like to do? What is he good at? What makes her feel happy?
Here are some activities that caregivers can do together with the seniors they are taking care of:
1) Baking & Cooking- Have fun experimenting with food in the kitchen. Try cooking soup for a neighbor or baking cookies for the grandchildren.
2) Games – Card games, Scrabble, Trivia and Bingo are all stimulating and fun to play.
3) Arts & Crafts- Painting, Drawing, Beading, woodworking and Sculpting can be relaxing and entertaining. Make something special for a friend, child, or grandchild.
4) Sewing – If sewing or knitting is something they know how to do try making blankets, hats or scarves for a loved one.
5) Dancing- Blast the music and sing & dance to his or her favorite oldies.
6) Talk about the past- Ask about childhood experiences, how he or she met their spouse, first job, best vacations….
7) Watch old movies- Watch old movies together and act and sing along.
8) Walks – Air is good for the mind and body. Try and get out every day. You can stop and pick flowers to give to a friend or to put on the dining room table.
9) Shopping- Going to the mall or grocery store can be a nice outing.
10) Look at old photo Albums- Ask questions about the pictures. Every photo has a story and you can ask about them all.
11) Spa Day- A manicure, pedicure or new hairdo is a great way to spend the day.
12) Massage- A nice warm bath followed by a back rub is therapeutic and relaxing