Most adult children understand the value of spending time with their senior parents. Finding something to do, however, can be a major barrier. You may be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of professional life and child rearing. Adding in time with your parent may feel like just one more item to cross off a to-do list, particularly if you're doing something you don’t enjoy. But these hobbies for seniors and adult children are fun for everyone, offer valuable quality time, and can help stimulate your loved one’s mind while encouraging them to be more active. This means better health for your loved one and a deeper relationship for you both.
Take your parent to a live performance, then sit back, relax, and let the performers do all the work. Try taking turns selecting the performance, or agreeing to try different genres until you settle on something you both love. There’s improv and stand-up comedy, symphony, opera, ballet, concerts, and so much more. Live performances can be a great choice for adult children who want to get out more, but who feel guilty when they don’t spend time with their parents. And if your relationship with your parent is occasionally conflicted, live performances empower you to spend time together without having to talk (and argue).
Museums and Fine Arts
Perusing a local museum offers some easy exercise as you explore new worlds. Try checking out a local art or science museum. Or get the grandkids in on the act for a higher-energy day at the local children's museum. Get even more out of your museum trip by learning about the exhibits ahead of time. You might even consider taking an art class together.
Gardening allows you and your parent to build something together. Whether it’s creating small succulent arrangements, building a massive flower or vegetable garden in the backyard, or joining a community garden, there’s something for every skill level. Gardening is versatile, and its tasks change throughout the year. You might plant in April, harvest in August, then spend the fall canning and the winter making food from the delicious crops you’ve grown.
Walking demands no planning and no special skills. Even if your loved one is in a wheelchair, you can push them around the neighborhood and then watch the sunset or sunrise. To get more out of a walk, try visiting a local nature preserve. Geocaching is a great way to add some adventure to your walk. Like a scavenger hunt for adults, geocaching encourages you to find interesting things hidden in the wild. Find a geocaching app here.
You’re never too old to give back. Volunteering gives both you and your loved one a chance to serve others. It reminds your parent that they can still play an important role in another person’s life. It also offers a sense of perspective that may improve your loved one’s health and well-being. Whether it’s mentoring a struggling child, serving meals at a soup kitchen, helping local homeless people, or petting animals at the local animal shelter, there’s a volunteer opportunity for just about everyone and at every ability level. Find the perfect role at VolunteerMatch.
Finding hobbies that appeal to all ages doesn’t have to be a challenge if you’re willing to ditch your preconceived notions and think deeply about how you can spend meaningful, fun time together. Don’t forget to involve your loved one in the discussion. You may be surprised by the creative ideas they suggest.