Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

11 Things to Do with Elderly Loved Ones

a grandmother and grandchild walking together in a park
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By Maria Sbytova /

As your loved ones get older, their mobility and energy levels often change, so they may no longer be up for long days at hot amusement parks or Olympic-size malls. However, there are plenty of other less strenuous ways you can pass the time together. Here are 11 ideas for things that you can do with elderly loved ones:

Bake or cook together.

Baking cookies with grandma is a classic activity for a reason. Baking and cooking together and then enjoying the treats afterwards is the perfect thing to do with your elderly loved one. Choose a sentimental recipe if you are feeling nostalgic, or a new one if you are feeling experimental.

Try a new restaurant.

If you don’t feel up to cooking, but still love to eat food together, take your loved one out to a restaurant. If they are on a specialized diet, make sure to take them somewhere that has menu options that they can eat so they don’t leave with an upset stomach.

Visit a park.

If your elderly loved one is up for an outing, going to a park is a great way to get them out of the house and spend time together. Make sure to check the weather before you go and dress for the temperature. Remember that elderly people get cold more easily, so they might need more layers than you. Check out our easy to put on clothing for the elderly.

Have a picnic.

Speaking of parks, having a picnic outside is a fantastic way to elevate your outdoor outing. Bring your own food to cut down on costs, or buy a pre-selected picnic spread at a local market to cut down on the effort. As with the restaurant, make sure that the food complies with any dietary restrictions that your elderly loved one has to comply with.

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Garden outside or tend to indoor plants.

Many older adults love to garden or tend to indoor plants, but weeding and transplanting large plants can be hard for them to do alone so they will surely appreciate some help. Be sure to wear work clothing that you don’t mind getting dirt or fertilizer on.

Play board or card games.

Playing a board or card game is always a great way to pass the time. Choose a familiar favorite or go with a new game if you are both up for a challenge. If you want something a little less competitive, try putting together a jigsaw puzzle or work a crossword together.

a grandfather and granddaughter reading a book together in swinging wicker chair
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By LightField Studios /

Read books or listen to audiobooks.

If you are both big readers, offer to read books or short stories out loud to each other. If neither of you enjoy reading out loud for long periods of time, then download an audiobook or a serial narrative podcast so you get a similar experience without the work.

Watch movies and TV.

If you prefer watching content to reading, you can’t go wrong with putting on a favorite TV show or movie to watch together. You can also put it on in the background as you do other activities on this list, such as playing a game or putting together a puzzle.

Listen to music.

Like movies and TV, this activity can stand on its own or be done in the background during something else. Put on a favorite album and have a listening party together — or if they feel up for it, go see a concert together.

a group of older women looking at paintings in a gallery
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By /

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Visit a museum or art gallery.

Many museums, galleries and other cultural institutions offer discounted admission for seniors, making this an affordable outing for you and your elderly loved one. Do note that sometimes senior admission is only available on certain days or at certain times, so if you’re trying to get that discount for your loved one, always confirm with the museum before making your plans.

Research family history.

How much do you know about your great-grandparents, much less the generations before them? Researching family history is the perfect way to spend time with your loved one while learning more about your lineage. Delve deep into genealogy websites, or get the little grandkids involved by making a family tree.

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