Being retired has both positive and negative side, and both involve a lot of free time. If you’ve ever cared for a senior, chances are very high that you’ve experienced this as well. No matter how creative you are, no matter how many hobbies a senior may have – there always comes a time when you don’t know what to do.
As always, we are here for you! This time, we have prepared some tips for you on how you can fill your senior’s free time.
Communication is the key
It makes no sense solve crossword puzzles at home if the senior wants to spend every possible minute outdoors. Your goal is not to kill time, but to make it more enjoyable. This is where communication comes in. The first thing to do is to find out what their interests are. You can do this by asking what his/her occupation used to be, what hobbies they have or how they used to spend the free time when they were younger.
Once you have this information, you can start planning. Let’s say they were biology teachers – take them to a natural history museum and listen to them how they will explain everything in detail. They won’t forget a day like this for the rest of their lives, and maybe you’ll learn something interesting too. If fishing was their hobby – take them to a nearby river to simply enjoy the view. And in case you have common interests, focus on them. If you’re both doing something with passion, time well spent is almost a guarantee.
Learn something new
If it’s cold outside and there’s nothing interesting to observe, it can be the perfect time to learn something new. Learning to play a musical instrument or dance are two great options. It’s not only fun, but it’s also proven that learning new skills is incredibly beneficial for the brain. Slowing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is one of the many benefits. More about brain training you can read here.
Discover the world network
We are aware that most seniors are conservative. But you might help them change their minds by explaining that they can find everything with a few taps. Most importantly, they can connect with their friends and family from the comfort of their armchair. At first, it can be difficult to teach them how to use a tablet or smartphone. But when you do, they will never be bored again. Plus, you might even get some free time for yourself. Find out more about how tablets can be a benefit, you can find here.
Visiting friends and family
Humans are social creatures. Some are more introverted than others, but everyone needs contact with other people. That’s why it’s a great idea to take the person you care for to visit friends or family. The social aspect is perhaps the biggest benefit here, but not the only one. Seniors usually have an established routine that they have followed every day for years. And it’s great for their body and mind when they break that routine occasionally and do something different. If a senior is not allowed by their diagnosis to go out, invite people over. There might be a bit more cleaning afterwards, but it will definitely be worth it.
Go out for dinner
If a senior’s health allows it, going outdoors is always a great option. However, there is a big difference between a daily walk in the park and sitting in a restaurant over a meal. Since you don’t have to worry about cooking and washing up, you have more time for conversation and personal contact. Building friendships not only makes the person you care for happier, it also makes your job easier. And while you’re out and about, you can go straight to a movie or attend some other local event.
In summary, the only limitation to leisure activities is your imagination and the health of the senior. Be proactive and try your best to understand the person next to you. When you know what they like, you just have to do it. And if you do it well enough, at some point it will turn from being work to spending quality time and making memories with a friend.
If things don’t seem to work even after multiple attempts, give us a call and we’ll work it out together. We are here for you!