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Senior Care Fun: Planning a Scavenger Hunt with Your Elderly Parents

Senior Care in Miami Shores, FL

Keeping your elderly parents’ minds active and engaged can be an important focus of your senior care plan. By stimulating their minds and supporting their mental and emotional health you can improve their physical well-being and encourage a high quality of life. Though there are many activities and habits you can add to your routine to keep your seniors’ minds working, occasionally changing up the routine and offering a fun, exciting, and thought-provoking option ensures they do not become complacent or get bored.

A scavenger hunt is usually a classic children’s party or camp activity, but it can also be fantastic to do with elderly adults who are active enough to get out and explore. Going on this type of hunt offers physical activity as well as stretching their creativity, critical thinking skills, and memory. The simplicity of the activity means you can easily customize it to the interests and abilities of your aging loved ones, and create different hunts for different days, events, or even places you visit. This is also a wonderful activity option for your seniors to enjoy with their referred caregiver. Encourage her to bring them on hunts regularly to incorporate the physical, mental, and emotional benefits into their day when they need something a little different in their routine.

Try these tips for planning a fun and beneficial scavenger hunt for your elderly parents:

  • Start small. When introducing a new activity it is usually better to start with a small version and work your way up. You do not want to dive headlong with your parents into a large-scale hunt throughout the entirety of the local park and risk them getting exhausted or frustrated, or disliking the experience and ruining the day. Instead, plan a small hunt throughout the home or yard, and then ask them if they enjoyed themselves and would like to try a more elaborate hunt some other time.
  • No need for hiding. Some hunts involve hiding little treasures and notes to direct the participants around looking for them. There is no need to do that, however. Scavenger hunts with your parents are as simple as making a list of items that would already be in the locations and then crossing them off when they find them.
  • Collect “proof.” Make the adventure even more fun by bringing along a digital camera and snapping pictures of your parents with all of the items on the list. You can even make these pictures an item themselves. For example, “A picture of Mom at the fountain” or “A picture of Dad feeding a goose”. Save these pictures in folders on your computer with the date of the hunt and a document including the list of items so you can look back on the experience down the line.
  • Customize the hunts. Create personalized hunts for your parents based on their interests or favorite destinations. For example, if your mother loves gardening, bring her on a scavenger hunt through the local botanical gardens. Search for things like a yellow butterfly, three variations of roses, a cobblestone path, and a person wearing a sun hat.

Searching for the items on a scavenger hunt list is about more than just walking around and using your senses. You must also use critical thinking skills to try to think of where these items may be, memory skills to remember what you are looking for, and creativity to come up with items that would fit vague descriptions such as “something purple” or “an ingredient in spaghetti sauce”. Get into the fun of the hunt and use this opportunity to talk, laugh, and share with your parents and the other members of your care team.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Miami-Dade, FL, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (305) 400-0766