If you’ve found yourself caring for elderly parents (or grandparents even), or simply want to find a bunch of fun things to do with them that you’ll both actually enjoy, then we have some suggestions for you.
1. Teach them how to play a new-age board or card game
If Bridge isn’t your thing, but games are theirs? Consider teaching your elderly parent how to play a game you do love. Monopoly Deal is one of our faves, as is Cards Against Humanity (although you should totally proceed with caution if you choose to play this! Choose your audience wisely). We also love board games like The Game of Life, Settlers of Catan, and Scrabble (which they’ll likely already know how to play).
2. Learn a new hobby together
Always wanted to learn how to knit? Keen on building a bookshelf from scratch (and know they’d feel up to joining you)? Interested in learning Spanish for the first time? Put your feelers out to see if they’d be keen on learning with you! This can be such a great way to bond and share a new experience together.
3. Cook a meal together
There aren’t many activities more wholesome than cooking a meal with a loved one, and then eating it together. We’d recommend deciding on what you’d like to make, heading to the shops to grab all the ingredients (either with or without your parent, depending on how practical this might be for them), and then start cooking! You could even consider inviting family and friends over to enjoy the meal with you if you truly feel like making a big feast.
4. Head to a local museum or exhibition
Have you been wanting to visit a specific installation or historical site? Ask your parent if they’d like to join you, and then make a day of it! Head out in the morning and enjoy a long lunch together afterwards, or visit the site in the afternoon and enjoy a delicious dinner together post-visit.
5. Watch a movie at home or at the cinema
Cosy afternoons at the cinema are the best. Get into your comfiest clothes, pack a bag full of sweet snacks, and enjoy a movie together at the local cinema. If heading out feels a little difficult at the moment, you could even opt for a movie at home! Simply login to Netflix, make some microwave popcorn, grab some blankets, and enjoy an at-home cinema experience.
6. Ask them about their family history
Some elderly parents love chatting about their childhood and family history, while others find it uncomfortable. If you know your parent would like to share more of their story with you, brew some tea and ask away! This can be a lovely way to bring you closer together, while ensuring you know the ins and outs of your own family’s history.
7. Go on a road trip for the day (or weekend)
There are so many incredible wineries, museums, waterfalls and beaches worth visiting across Australia. Plan a day trip (or weekend away) with your parent, and enjoy some time away from your main digs. Heading away for some time with a loved one is the perfect way to create lasting memories you’ll cherish forever.
8. Visit the local market
If they’re lovers of food? Head to your local farmers market. And if they’re lovers of arts and crafts? Head to your local crafts market. There are so many incredible food, crafts, and antique markets in every suburb – so simply hop onto Google and start researching some high quality markets near you.
9. Start a book club
You don’t need heaps of attendees to start a book club – you could create one for just the two of you! Discover books you both want to read, create a juicy list of them all, and then head out to your local bookshop to pick up two copies. You can then set a date to finish reading by and debrief afterwards, or debrief as you progress through the book. It’s up to you to decide how to run your book club!
10. Volunteer at a local event together
There are so many incredible NFP and community events organised in every suburb, every month. Hop onto your local council’s website and check out what’s planned for the month ahead. Volunteering at these events can be a super fulfilling way to spend your free time together.
These are just a few of our favourite activities to do with your elderly parent! We’ve based these ideas off activities we actually enjoy doing on our own, in our free time, because you totally don’t need to reinvent the wheel just because you’re spending time with someone older than you. Find things you already love doing, and ask them if they’d like to join you. Chances are, they’ll say a big Y-E-S if it means they get to spend some one-on-one quality time with you.
You might not consider helping your parent prepare their Will to be a fun time, but we can almost guarantee that the endorphins you'll both feel knowing your parent's affairs are in order. Get started today at willed.com.au.