Every May is National Older Americans Month.
Since 1963, it has been an opportunity to celebrate seniors across the country, and recognize the many contributions older adults have made to society, and to the lives of others. What you may not realize, however, is that May has the added benefit of also being National Elder Law Month.
May reminds all of us that we should think about the elder care needs of our loved ones. After all, adult children of aging seniors, and other family members, can play an important role in caring for elder loved ones during the month-long celebration and beyond. There are plenty of ways to show support, but perhaps the most meaningful might just be having some fun with them. Studies show that seniors are happier and healthier when engaged with others, as opposed to being withdrawn and isolated.
Let us share six ways to spend quality time and have fun with an elder loved one this May, and in the months to come.
1. Spoil your Older American rotten.
Take your elderly mother or grandmother to get a pedicure. Bring your senior-aged father or grandfather to an area baseball game, or anywhere that would bring a smile to their faces. Take advantage of these precious opportunities while you can.
2. Go to museums with your senior loved one.
Visiting a museum is a great indoor activity. Museums frequently offer senior discounts and assistance items like wheelchairs. Further, the history you will see together may prompt them to share stories that you have not previously heard.
3. Attend local events.
Local events can be a lot of fun, such as concerts, symphonies, dances, poetry readings, festivals, sporting events, and more. Whether an aging parent is physically mobile or needs assistance, there is likely plenty of options to support his or her needs. Do your research before you go to make sure you know what is available.
4. Look at photo albums.
Seniors who struggle with mobility issues can still enjoy the company of loved ones without leaving their homes or nursing facilities. Looking through photo albums can be a great way to share valuable life experiences and spark memorable conversations, which is an important aspect of both National Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month.
5. Cook for them.
What is your parent’s favorite food? How about favorite treat? Try dusting off an old recipe or attempting something new. Being engaged with an elder adult in the kitchen can make for a pleasant, and delicious, time together.
6. Walking together.
Walking is great exercise and it does not have to be strenuous. A leisurely stroll with an aging parent can facilitate regular quality time as long as it is safe for them to take part.
These are just a few of the ways you can spend time together! What are your favorites? We encourage you to share them with us as well as asking us your elder care questions. We are here to support you and your family in our local community.