When your parents start getting older and slowing down a bit, you have to change what you do when you want to spend quality time with them. The best place to start is probably looking at things they have always liked but finding ways to do the same thing while lightening the load and reducing stress.
If your parent always liked going on rugged hikes, for example, finding less challenging paths and going shorter distances may be a welcome change without giving up things they like. Here is a list of five other things you may be able to do with them, based on past activities modified to scale back on the stress.
- Shopping – If your parent has always enjoyed shopping, it is easy to take them out and just limit the number of stores, reduce the duration and take more frequent breaks.
- Cooking – Did one of your parents always cook big meals, make fancy cakes or plan holiday dinners? If they have gotten older, they may want to cut back on some of the work but people who enjoy cooking usually continue to enjoy cooking. You just have to roll up your sleeves and do more of the work and let them focus on what they enjoy and make sure they are not doing a bunch of the cleanup (no one likes that).
- Home Repairs- Do you have one of those parents who always was fixing things? Sometimes it is hard for them to let go and hire someone to do the repairs. However, they may not be as good at fixing things and it might be dangerous for them depending on the job. In this case, you can have them assist a pro or if it is in your wheelhouse, you can do the repair with them. Or just limit the repairs to things like painting and not getting on ladders. Doing a home improvement project with an older parent who has always enjoyed it is a great bonding experience.
- Parties – If your parents used to have a lot of people over and entertain, you can still help them throw a smaller, simpler party without the stress, headache and large amount of work. Help them plan it, by more things premade and stay at the party with them. Sure you might end up being the help as they socialize with friends, but it can be a very fun thing for them to do again, if they enjoyed entertaining when they were younger.
- Travel – One of the most obvious things is travel. Most people still like to travel when they are older, but there is an important difference. Chances are your parents have slowed down and will not want to do as much walking. Nor will they want to jam pack the day with sights. Instead, do less, and at a slower pace and enjoy the fewer things you do at a leisurely stroll.
Older parents are not too old for things, you just have to cut some of the stress and energy required out of the activity. Get creative, bond with them and help them enjoy their golden years without feeling like they need to give up on all the things they enjoyed for so long.