If you have a visit with a retired loved one coming up, you’re likely excited to see each other and wish to take advantage of the time you have to spend together. However, if this is your first visit with them in their retirement community, you may wonder: what kinds of things are there to do there?
Below, we’ve gathered a list of different pastimes you and your older loved one can indulge in, so keep reading for some fun ideas.
If your loved one is looking for a senior living community in St. Catherines, ON (or one of the surrounding areas), click the following link to learn what Seasons Retirement Communities offers.
- Play games in the recreational area.
The community areas of retirement homes are generally equipped with many different entertainment options, such as books, TVs and games. Finding a good game to play is an excellent way to spend an afternoon with your older loved one, as it can be both fun and challenging.
Most retirement homes come well-equipped with a variety of board games like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit or more slightly challenging games like chess, checkers and cribbage.
You can also involve other residents by playing group games like shuffleboard, bingo or pool. You can even get all the card decks out for a loud and eventful game of Canasta.
Whatever your game of choice, there should be ample options for you to consider wherever you are visiting.
- Take a walk on the community grounds.
One of the best ways to get in a good talk and catch up is by going on a nature walk. However, if your loved one doesn’t want to venture too far from the retirement community, you can walk on the grounds and admire the foliage or just get some fresh air.
You can even stop off at a bench and take a moment to observe different birds and wildlife around or discuss the various plants and flowers blooming on the property.
Exploring the outdoors will refresh your mind and help you feel invigorated for the rest of the day’s events.
- Enjoy a meal together.
If you’re feeling peckish, visit the retirement home dining area and enjoy a delicious meal together. Most retirement homes open their dining rooms to guests and will provide you with all the delights the other residents receive.
If you schedule your visit accordingly, you can enjoy a meal with your family member. Often, there are events such as themed parties, fine dining experiences with three-course meals, wine-tasting nights, charcuterie nights and afternoon tea.
Not only will you get a chance to spend quality time together, but you’ll also get to try something new!
- Watch a show or movie you both love.
If your loved one would prefer to stay in their apartment for the day, there are many things you can do to pass the time. Put on a movie or TV series you both love, brew some tea or coffee, grab a cozy blanket and settle in for a day of binge-watching together.
You can even plan for it by picking up a DVD your loved one will enjoy or having a few shows in mind when scrolling through a streaming service. If you’re visiting on a cold or rainy day, getting cozy on the couch is the perfect way to spend it.
- Listen to music
If you and your older loved one are fond of music, take some time to listen to a few of your favourite artists, bands and composers together. Make a playlist of songs you both love, or bring along some CDs or records you know they enjoy, and enjoy the music together.
You may be concerned if your musical tastes differ significantly, but your differences can create an excellent bonding opportunity. Consider making each other a playlist of your personal favourites and exchanging them. It’s a wonderful chance to get to know each other better and find something new you may never have heard otherwise!
Listening to music can also be excellent therapy for older people living with memory loss and cognitive issues. It’s also a good choice for individuals with limited mobility, as they can enjoy something they love without overexerting themselves.
- Reminisce over old photos.
A big part of spending time with family is reviewing the stories and memories you share and reminiscing over funny, bittersweet and meaningful events in each other’s lives. Looking through old photo albums is a great way to start the reminiscing.
Looking through old photos can be a great bonding experience for family members and is an excellent way to spark a conversation. Your older loved one may even have a few stories stored up in their memory that they haven’t had a chance to share with you yet.
- Sew or do crafts together.
While you and your older loved one watch a show or listen to music, you don’t have to sit still all day. Why not do something creative together, like a craft or sewing project? You can even do a joint project like making a quilt or scrapbook, providing an excellent bonding opportunity and a tangible keepsake.
Doing something creative together will give your loved one something they can cherish for years, with the lovely memory of your day attached to it.
- Go on an outing.
Finally, venture out if you run out of things to do in the retirement community. Go for lunch or coffee at one of your favourite local spots, run some errands or take in some culture at a museum or art gallery.
You can even kill two birds with one stone by spending time together while doing some of your loved one’s errands, such as shopping or doctor’s appointments. Not only will they get to spend a day out with you, but you’ll also have an opportunity to offer a helping hand.
There are plenty of enjoyable ways to spend time with your older loved one in their retirement community. Go through the checklist of activities above, and phone your loved one beforehand, see what they might be interested in doing and start planning your visit!