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How to Spend Quality Time with Aging Parents

quality time aging parent

As parents and other close relatives grow older, the thing they need most from the people who love them is time. Cards, phone calls, and gifts are all nice, but nothing has a bigger impact than quality time spent together.  

Every family is different. Some families can jump into quality time with no issues. However, it can be tricky to try to form quality connections when you don’t have a good relationship to start from. But if building that relationship is important to you, focusing on activities your aging parent enjoys is a good place to start.

senior activities

How to Spend Quality Time with Aging Parents

Spending quality time with an aging parent doesn’t need to be expensive nor does it need to happen every day, but you’ll both be grateful you made the extra effort to see them more in their later years. Even if you are your parent’s daily caregiver, it’s nice to break out of the everyday routine to do something special.

With just a little effort and creativity, you can make new special moments together.

aging parent quality time

Ideas for Spending Quality Time Together

When planning quality time with aging parents, consider your loved one interests, health, and energy levels. Make a plan that is easy to do with a focus on enjoying your time together. Here are a few ideas on how to spend quality time with an aging parent:

Take a drive. If it’s not too far away, drive past your parent’s childhood home. Or find a scenic local drive where you can enjoy scenic views, the skyline, or a beautiful forest. A drive is nice because it doesn’t require a lot of walking or extra exertion. You can just chat together as you enjoy the time in the car.

Pull out old photo albums. Going through old photo albums is a great way to start conversations about your loved one’s life. As you pour over old photos of weddings and birthdays, don’t just ask about the names of people in the photos. Ask about your loved one’s favorite stories of those people or how they celebrated holidays beyond what you see in the photos. You may learn some family history you never knew before.

Make a playlist together. Music unlocks memories of years past even if an aging parent has been diagnosed with dementia. Some studies have shown that listening to favorite songs can even help stimulate higher levels of brain function. Have your loved one share some songs or artists they loved from their youth to include on the playlist. Use that as a jumping off point to explore other hits from those years. Once the playlist is complete, play it when you’re doing other activities together to set a positive mood.

Try their favorite activities. If your mom loves to cook, ask her to teach you to make a favorite recipe. If your dad loves trains, go with him to a train exhibit. If a favorite performer is coming to town, get tickets to the show. Showing interest in their interests is always a good way to make a positive connection.

Start Today 

With a new year starting, it’s a good time to make a resolution to spend quality time with an aging parent. These times together may end up being some of your favorite memories.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides care and support to terminally ill patients. To learn more about our services, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.


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