More and more parents are finding themselves balancing raising a family with caring for aging parents, or loved ones. In previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted ways to get kids involved in elder care (LINK), however finding specific activities to get kids and grandparents to interact with one another can be difficult; especially when grandparents are experiencing deteriorating health or memory loss. Below, we highlight five activities for grandparents and their grandchildren to participate in together, boosting morale and understanding for both!
Although it may sound silly to arm your 80 year old mother with a paintbrush, you may find that painting or drawing is therapeutic for both elderly relatives and children. Simply sitting down together with a blank piece of paper and a paintbrush can open the door for kids to show their artistic prowess, or favorite colors to grandparents and encourage communication between the two parties, regardless of the age of the grandkids. If you find art to be a fun activity for your elderly loved one, ask your homecare provider to make a note in their homecare software or homecare system to repeat the activity when time allows.
2. Memory Crafts:
Although it may be hard for children to understand now, spending time with grandparents who require some extra care will likely be a treasured memory for children as they age. Memory books can allow kids and their grandparents to sort through old pictures together. Grandparents can pass along family stories and kids can recall their favorite memories with grandpa & grandma. Ask for a note to be entered into your care provider’s homecare software or homecare system to look at the finished book when your elderly loved one’s morale needs a boost.
3. Luncheon Parties:
Grandparents who have been confined to their homes due to disability often miss the chance to attend special events and socialize with family. Hold a special lunch party with your elderly loved one and grandkids every so often. Ask each to pick one of their favorite foods to have at the occasion, and make it a special time for grandchildren and grandparents to share a meal and enjoy one another’s company. Even a simple pizza “party” at grandma’s house with a fun tablecloth can be an event for both parties to look forward to. Note special occasions in homecare software or a homecare system, like ClearCare, to have home health aides help get seniors ready, if need be.
4. Garden Time:
Physically capable grandparents may find time outdoors with their grandkids to be enjoyable. Consider building a small garden box at grandma & grandpa’s house. Have your kids work together with their grandparents to select plants, and make a weekly appointment to get together and tend the garden, harvest veggies or flowers, and pull some weeds. The garden will give kids and grandparents an accomplishment to share together! Be sure to ask your homecare provider to note that the garden needs a quick water in their homecare software or homecare system when it’s hot outside!
The interests of grandparents and grandchildren vary widely, so leave a comment and let us know what activities you’ve found to be beneficial in keeping kids involved with elder care. And be sure to ask your homecare provider to note any needed preparations for special activities in their homecare software or homecare system, like ClearCare, so you’ll be assured that grandparents are ready for their time with the young ‘uns!