We can sometimes dread the visit with an elderly person. It seems there is nothing much to discuss and most discussion is centered around aches and pains. We blame the elderly for their attitudes, but aren’t we somewhat to blame? We generally greet them with “How are you feeling today?” Well, obviously if they felt great physically they wouldn’t be in a nursing facility or less mobile, so that’s pretty obvious. In spite of the physical limitations, there are still spiritual discussions that we can have. We can have a memory date with them as well. Here’s some things I have noticed and tried with success with the elderly. Many things you would do with a toddler work well with the elderly and especially those dealing with dementia.
- Take a colored picture magazine and discuss the photos
- Take your grandchildren with their toys and simply sit in the elder person’s room and allow the kids to entertain you.
- Scroll through photos on your cell phone and discuss them
- Notice items in their room and ask for the story behind them.
- If you play a musical instrument, play it for them
- Sing together
- Take decorations and Decorate their room for the holidays
- Take them for a car ride
- Take them for lunch
- Take an old family photo album (if they are related) and discuss people’s photos and relationships
- Learn their hobbies and interests and find a library book with colorful photos for them to borrow
- Take a Bible and have a Bible study with them and discuss a verse they enjoy
- Accompany them to the events hosted in their care center. Often they won’t attend by themselves but will go along with you.
- Take a wheel chair walk around a lake or by a stream