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6 Unique and enjoyable ways to bond with elderly relatives

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Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/19/24

Here's how to form even closer ties with all family members while caring for the seniors in your life.

One of the greatest issues facing the aging population is a feeling of loneliness and social isolation, which in return can lead to a decline in health, according to the CDC. With that in mind it’s important to spend time with the elderly and form close bonds that can benefit everyone involved.

While families of faith might enjoy going to Mass all together, or spend time in family prayer, here are six creative and thoughtful activities that can help build strong bonds and create lasting memories with elderly relatives, all while celebrating the joy of being together.

1
Create a Family Heritage Documentary

Work together to create a documentary about your family’s history. Interview your elderly relatives, record their stories, and compile old photos and videos. This project can be a wonderful way to celebrate your family’s legacy, providing a lasting keepsake that honors their life experiences. And thanks to modern technology, if it’s difficult to get everybody together, you can use various digital platforms to share information.

2
Plan a Garden Together

If your elderly relative enjoys spending time outdoors, plan a garden together. Choose flowers, herbs, or vegetables that they love, and spend time planting and tending the garden — making sure any of the harder manual labor is carried out by those who are physically able. This activity not only promotes physical well-being but also offers a peaceful and fulfilling way to spend time together. It’s a great activity to share with the youngsters in the family who can enjoy watching the fruits of their labors.

3
Host a Cultural Cuisine Night

Explore different cultures by cooking meals from around the world together. Choose a country each time you get together for a family meal, research traditional recipes, and prepare the meal together. This can be a fun and educational experience, offering a taste of different traditions while creating new memories. You can even get the kids involved for them to learn more about the wider world.

Staying on the cooking theme, you could also decide to create a family recipe book, gathering up everyone’s favorite dishes in one place.

4
Start a Family Story Circle

Gather regularly to share stories on different themes, such as “unexpected joys” or “life lessons.” Encourage your elderly relatives to share their wisdom and experiences. This activity fosters deeper connections and allows everyone to appreciate the richness of each other’s lives.

5
Craft Together

Engage in a crafting project that you can do together, such as making homemade candles, knitting, or creating personalized greeting cards. Crafting can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend time together, and the finished products can be shared with family and friends.

6
Explore Local History

Plan visits to local historical sites, museums, or parks that your elderly relatives may find interesting. These outings can spark fascinating conversations about the past and provide a delightful way to spend the day. If mobility is an issue, virtual tours can be a great alternative.

Compassionate tips for all activities

Flexibility and comfort:Ensure activities are flexible and can be adapted to fit the comfort levels and capabilities of your elderly relatives.
Engagement and interest:Choose activities that align with their interests and preferences to keep them engaged and excited.
Respect and patience:Always approach these activities with respect and patience, cherishing the time spent together and valuing their contributions.

Tags:
Catholic LifestyleElderlyFamily
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