Depending on where you live in the country, winter months most likely mean more time inside for your senior parent just like much of the rest of the world. Daylight hours are shorter, temps are not always safe to be outside and summer activities such as swimming, walking or gardening come to a complete halt or at least happen a lot less frequently.
January is National Hobby Month so perhaps this a great time to sit with your aging parent and talk about some new hobbies he may start to enjoy this winter. Hobbies are not only activities to keep the hands busy, but they also keep the mind busy and engaged. They can bring purpose and accomplishment into your parent’s daily activities, both of which improve mental health and attitude. But where to start? Here are a few good starting points to talk to your parent when searching for a new hobby.
Build off an existing hobby.
Maybe your parent is already an avid gardener. There’s nothing more that he enjoys than puttering around in the garden all summer, trimming plants, pulling weeds, watering and fertilizing as he goes. Winter may feel like a time that pulls him away from that joy. This may be great year to start some indoor gardening. If your parent loves growing his food, have him start an herb garden by the windowsill. If he likes growing beautiful plants for enjoyment, maybe he could take up raising bonsai trees. Either way, his green thumb will still be put to good use.
Keep his mind engaged.
This winter, why not have your parent start a new hobby that engages his mind? Maybe it’s crossword puzzles or sudoku puzzles that will keep his mind sharp. Perhaps he’d like to learn a new language. There are plenty of apps and videos to help him learn the basics of new language (and maybe he’ll plan a trip to visit a locale that speaks that language!). He could also learn a new game such as cribbage or chess and spend time playing against others, like his senior care provider when she visits, to keep his mind constantly being exercised.
Try something brand new.
Maybe your aging parent never had time while he was working full-time, or raising his family, to start a hobby that he’s always been interested in. The extra hours in his day may make it a perfect time to start wood-working or painting. You and his senior care provider could help your aging parent set up a studio that has all he needs for when those creative juices are flowing and he’s ready to work on a project.
Do something together.
Your parent might be more willing to start a new hobby if he has someone to start it with. Is there something that excites both of you? This month can be a great time to not only have your parent start a new hobby, but it can be a wonderful reason to start one together. If time is an issue, ask your senior care provider to take care of some of your daily chores of caretaking, so you can increase this quality time with your parent.
As his caregiver, wouldn’t you love a good reason to have more fun and enjoyable ways to spend time with your parent?
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Englewood, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.