Sometimes it’s hard for senior citizens to connect with their grandchildren. This can be especially true when seniors have conditions that affect their physical or cognitive abilities. They may not know what to do with their grandchildren that both will enjoy. Yet, it’s important for grandchildren and grandparents to spend quality time together. If your parent struggles to connect with their grandchildren, here are six activities for them to do together.
#1 Play Board Games
Board games are a great way to pass time while doing something fun. There are games available for every age level, even very young children. And, those games can also be fun for adults. If your parent has dementia, look for games with simple instructions. Games that rely on luck, such as dice rolls, are good choices. Games are also excellent for older adults with physical disabilities since they can be played sitting down at the table.
#2 Bake Cookies
Young children often enjoy cooking, and what’s better than a warm batch of cookies? Even cookies that are as simple as those made from refrigerator dough can be fun for both. If the senior has cognitive problems that make cooking difficult or unsafe, adapt the activity to make it easier. For example, the grandparent and grandchild could just frost and decorate the cookies together.
#3 Do Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are an easy way to keep hands busy but also allow for conversation. There are jigsaw puzzles for all age levels and with pictures that appeal to all kinds of people. Look for puzzles with pictures of things that the grandchild enjoys, which will make them more likely to want to do the puzzle.
#4 Go for a Walk
Taking a walk together gives the two generations a chance to talk. And, since there are things going on around them, if they are at a loss for something to talk about, those things might spark something.
#5 Play with the Dog
Dogs are a great way to bridge the gap between older and younger people. Playing fetch with a dog is sure to bring smiles to both. Dogs often make conversations come easier.
#6 Play Video Games
Video games aren’t just for children. There are lots of video games on the market that adults enjoy, too. Sports games, like bowling or tennis, are easy for older adults to play and can be played while sitting down.
An elder care provider can assist your aging parent with making connections with grandchildren, too. If the grandchildren live far away, an elder care provider can help the older adult to stay connected with them through social media or by writing letters. An elder care provider can also help the senior to prepare for a visit from a grandchild. They can take the senior shopping for cookie baking ingredients, or to purchase new games or puzzles.