When it comes to spending quality time with our aging parents or grandparents, there's one activity that never gets old: talking. With a life's worth of great stories to tell, sometimes all it takes is the right activity and the questions to get the conversation started.
Below are some suggestions from a few of Concordia's finest for activities that will get you and your aging loved one talking. Don't forget your pen and paper there's bound to be a few stories worth chronicling.
1. Put on your aprons: Who made better cookies, cakes and casseroles than your mom or grandma? Who made a better burger on the grill than grandpa? Odds are, no one. So get in the kitchen together and whip up a few of their classics having them explain (and you write down) the recipes as you go along. We've all missed out on some of our favorite family dishes because "no one can make it like grandma."
2. Visit the old neighborhood: Take an afternoon with mom and dad to visit the place they grew up. Ask them what's changed and what their favorite hang-out spots were. What's their fondest memory of the area? Where was their first date?
3. Dust off the yearbooks: This is an easy one. What were they involved in? Who was their first boy/girlfriend? What was their favorite subject? Did they ever pull any funny pranks on their friends or teachers? What is going on with that hairstyle?
4. Family photos: Before we posted all of our pictures to Facebook we had those sticky scrapbooks and shoe boxes full of photos. Go through and ask the stories behind them. Then you can write notes on the back of each one so the stories are never lost.
5. Raid the rolodex: Go through mom's address book with her, asking how she met her friends, experiences they shared and when the last time was that they spoke. Maybe you could help set up a visit with an old friend.
Concordia Lutheran Ministries has been serving seniors for 130 years. Our activity departments at every level (skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living) pride themselves on giving those in our care a plethora of opportunities for interactions with friends and family.