When you are acting as a caregiver for an elderly loved one, you will probably have times you would like to take him or her somewhere to get out of the house for a period of time. A wonderful added benefit of taking your senior out for an outing is that he or she will probably sleep better afterward. The National Institutes of Health report that researchers have found that going out in nature promotes sound sleep in seniors.
The limitations that come with old age may prevent you from doing some of the more traditional activities you may think of when you consider going out. Here are some ideas for simple yet wonderful outings you can do with your elderly loved one.
Visit an old friend or relative
As your elderly loved one progresses through life, the challenges of old age and being busy may keep him or her from maintaining contact with old friends or family. While the Internet can certainly help to maintain a level of interaction with others, nothing replaces face to face time spent with an old friend or family member. Try taking your elderly loved one to see one of his or her dear friends or someone that he or she hasn't seen in a long time.
Go to a craft show
Taking your elderly loved one to a craft show will provide an afternoon's worth of entertainment for a very reasonable cost. Your loved one will probably enjoy spending the time perusing through the crafts that others have worked on and may find something to spruce up his or her living space. In addition, if your loved one enjoys doing crafts, visiting a craft show can act as inspiration for things that he or she may decide to attempt at home. By serving as a time of entertainment as well as a source for ideas, visiting a craft show will be time well spent.
Have a picnic
Most people enjoy being outside, at least when the weather is cooperating, and of course most people like to eat, so consider combining the two and having a picnic. While this may seem impossible at first, keep in mind that a picnic does not necessarily mean your loved one has to sit on a blanket on the ground! Instead, you can bring portable chairs and even a table if you want, and set up an eating arrangement under a shady tree or a scenic perch somewhere outside. By combining the outing with a meal, you take care of a necessary task (feeding your loved one) while getting enjoyment out of experiencing the outdoors.
If your loved one has a favorite place to go, or perhaps a park that he or she used to visit often, consider having the picnic there. The chance to visit an old hangout will help him or her reminisce about activities and people that he or she used to enjoy.
Fishing is an outdoor activity that most elderly people can enjoy. It's not overly strenuous and is perfect for people who have the patience to sit quietly and enjoy the scenery. While you might struggle if you were to try to take a young child on a fishing trip, such an expedition is perfect for the elderly loved one in your life.
Go miniature golfing
Depending on how fit and mobile your loved one is, miniature golfing can be a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the day. This is especially true if your loved one used to enjoy golfing, but now lacks the stamina and fitness to continue with the sport. Miniature golfing is easy, fun, and can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels.
Just because your loved one is aging does not mean that he or she cannot continue to enjoy activities outside of the home, especially when the weather is nice outside. With a little bit of planning and consideration, you can find or arrange many invigorating activities which you will both enjoy, and which will allow you to create precious memories together.
ActivityDirector.net (website). (June 17, 2016). Ideas for Outings? Available at http://activitydirector.net/forum/topic/1264-ideas-for-outings/#. Last visited December 3, 2015.
Elder-one-stop.com (website). (n.d.). Outdoor Elderly Activities. Available at http://www.elder-one-stop.com/outdoor-elderly-activities.html. Last visited December 3, 2015.
Preidt, Robert. Natural Surroundings May Promote Sound Sleep. Health Day News. MedlinePlus. September 20, 2015. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Available online at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_154725.html.