by Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley
There is no better way to spend time with your loved one than with some autumn activities. The following ideas will promote mental and physical activity, socialization, and plenty of opportunities to grow closer.
Decorating your home is a great way to set the seasonal mood, and you can share some fond memories. Simple pumpkins, gourds and/or corn stalks placed inside or outside give a nice harvest autumn feel. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren will also love to be involved. Making homemade decorations is affordable and gives you time to bond. Loved ones can create as you reminisce together, even if you're not the craftiest person the time together is the real treasure here. Many more ideas are available at dollar stores, as you will find tons of inexpensive art supplies and décor. This is an excellent time to share memories with your entire family.
Perhaps, you may bake together. Simple items, like baked apples or pumpkin, ginger or cinnamon spice cookies? Your parent may have taught their favourite family recipe to you: now the roles are reversed and you can share. My mother made the best-baked apples, apple crisp and custard tarts during autumn. Her specialty was also soups. It brings back the smells and flavours of our home while growing up, when we cook these kind of recipes. I wish I had paid more attention and gathered her recipes into a homemade cookbook.
The amazing autumn colours of the leaves are incredible. To take advantage of this, you could sit on the back patio or walk outside together. Exercise increases the feel food chemicals. It's important to enjoy the weather before it gets too cold outside, in order to stay active and avoid the winter blues. If your loved one has mobility issues, you can sit in front of an open window, or relax on the front porch.
So many seniors have a smart phone or tablet these days. You may want to download word puzzles, trivia games, or stories to read together. Spending the afternoon working on a seasonal puzzle together is good, while sipping apple cider or playing card games.
Gardening is one of the most relaxing autumn activities for seniors. If there is no room outside; perhaps you can consider growing a few plants inside. This can be convenient, low maintenance, and bring the outside indoors. Plants inside are like a breath of fresh air, actually producing greater oxygen. My mother had a green thumb, and unfortunately, I do not. Every autumn, I would load my plants into the car to take to her house, and she would nurse them back to health. She was such a good gardener, and she was so excited to put a greenhouse in her back study. It was a great way for her to stay involved and connected. She loved reading about plants and flowers during the winter months. Buying her books on plants and gardening was a great gift idea. Large print options are available.
If you are a senior, look for ways during the autumn season to keep yourself strong and flexible. Staying healthy is an important way for you to keep your independence.
It is all about improving your loved one's cognitive abilities and maintaining their overall health. Autumn, in my opinion, is the ideal time to promote and engage seniors in a variety of activities which benefit their mental abilities. This is so beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer's and other forms of Dementia.
As you enjoy autumn and see it turn into winter, take some time to remember God is with you and He created this season in life, especially for YOU. While we all have struggles, there are also many blessings to enjoy and to be thankful for.