For 2021, the theme of Older Americans Month is “Communities of Strength.” Older Americans Month always honors older adults, but it’s painting a broader picture this year. How can communities engage and support older adults? How engaged are your parents with the rest of the community? Would they get out more if you joined them? Elderly care providers can help them become more involved and active.
Shop for Housebound Neighbors
You take your parents shopping each week. Why not use that time to help someone else? See if a new mom in your parents’ neighborhood could use some help. She might be delighted to have someone else pick up the groceries she needs so that she doesn’t have to take the baby out of the house.
Your mom and dad’s neighbor lives alone, and they talk from time to time. When you bring your parents to the area grocery store, consider asking their neighbor if he needs anything. If there’s room, see if he’d like a ride to the store while you take your parents shopping. If not, pick up the groceries he needs for him.
Go to an Outdoor Movie
Keep an eye on the local community listings for outdoor movie showings. Specifically, look for movies where the ticket sales are benefiting a local non-profit.
Take your parents to this movie and pack a picnic to enjoy while watching the movie. Spread a tarp or blanket on the grass, bring folding camp chairs if allowed, and pack a cooler with juice, water, and seltzer.
Work in a Community Garden
Community gardens grow fruits and vegetables for food shelves and homeless shelters. Consider helping out with your parents. Take over a section and fill it with vegetables that grow well in your climate. Return each week to see how the plants are doing and to pull weeds.
Bake Bread for the Food Shelf
Take an easy bread recipe and make loaves of bread for the area food shelf. You may want to call first to make sure they accept baked goods. Drop off the bread on your next trip past the food shelf.
If you can’t donate bread to the local food shelf, don’t give up. An area soup kitchen is another way to donate baked goods that you’ve made together.
Help from Elderly Care Services for Their Social Activities
When you live miles away or have a full-time job, it’s hard to see your parents regularly. That doesn’t mean they have to be alone and lonely. Arrange companionship services from a local elderly care agency.
Companionship services provide your parents with regular visits from a caregiver. During that visit, they can play games, go for walks, work on puzzles together, or go out for a drive. Call our elderly care specialist to set up these visits.