Activities in Season

bench overlooking a pond

Comfort Activities for Decreasing Stress in Elders

Every so often we all experience situations and events that may make us feel unsettled. For an elder, a stressful situation ...
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lavender sachet

Crafts From Herbs

Herbs are such delightful plants that offer aromatic and culinary surprises. Creating crafts from herbs captures their aromatic properties and delights us for days ...
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pinwheels

How to Make a Pinwheel

Pinwheels are not only pretty to look at, but a lot of fun to make. Here is a short tutorial on ...
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flower painting

Nature Painting

For many of us who aren't artists, painting is one of those art forms that can be intimidating before you even try. You ...
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Pair of men's boots

Reminiscing About Work life

Work takes up a great portion of our life. We spend hours at work to make a living for our families and ...
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glass of lemonade

Simple Activities to Beat the Heat

Trying to think of ways to help an older family member beat the heat? Here are a few ideas for keeping cool ...
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garden hat with flower

Decorate a Gardening Hat

Hats are a dime a dozen... but when you decorate your own, it's unique. Gardening hats are a must when ...
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daisy

Garden Checklist for Senior Gardeners

If you take care of a loved one that enjoys gardening, there is no greater joy than doing SOMETHING in ...
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Flower and pinecone collage

Gathering and Making Potpourri

There's something satisfying about making your own potpourri. It might be in the search for the beauty of nature, but ...
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Canning jars of dilly beans and carrots

Reminiscing About Canning

Canning can be a fun family activity, whether I do it with my mother or my husband (my husband enjoys canning with ...
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woman at an antique store

12 New Things to Explore With an Older Family Member

Unexplored paths Lead to undiscovered treasures. Constance Chuks Friday Chances to explore are everywhere and if you spend a lot ...
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Paintbrush and paint tile

10 Best Things To Do in August with an Older Family Member

Spend some time in August with an older family member! Visit a farmer's market, grocery store, or your own garden ...
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daisies in vases

Summertime Sensory Activities

 Summer is an abundant season for our senses! Sensory activities help us to stay connected to the world around us. Use ...
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Bench surrounded by flowers

Remember When? Summer Time

What do you remember about Summertime? Remember when... you went to the drive-in movie theater to see a movie? Is ...
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Backyard games collage

Backyard Games to Play with an Older Family Member

Plan to Play Backyard Games! Here are 10 backyard games to play with an older family member: Cornhole - Is ...
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Plant collage

The Sensory Garden

A Sensory Garden invites us to experience the world with a "different set of eyes". If you cannot see, you ...
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Rhubarb, Raspberry, and Strawberry Pie

For Those Who Enjoy Making Pies Here is a recipe to make with an older family member or friend who ...
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Cup with flower

Crafts From Pressed Flowers

Using and Preserving Flowers... is the next step in the process of Collecting and Pressing Flowers. In that blog post ...
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Apple and dotted lines

Back to School Word Search

What school words does your older family member or friend remember? What school words were not part of his or her ...
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Feeding Chickens

Reminiscing About Farming and Country Ways of Life

If your loved one has ever been touched by or interested in farming, gardening, or country ways of life, here ...
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three small flowers

Collecting and Pressing Flowers

Pressing flowers is an old craft, one that has been around for many years. Children and adults have easily preserved ...
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Tea set and party at the park

10 Activities to do with Grandparents at the Park

The next time you take the kids to the park to play, don't forget to take an older family member ...
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grandparents and grandkids walking in the park

10 Places to Take Grandma and Grandpa This Summer

Summer offers so many outdoor and outing opportunities for older family members. Here are some ideas for the whole family to ...
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garden tools, dog

Get Moving…In the Garden

We all know moving our bodies has physical as well as psychological benefits. But moving in the garden has so ...
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public gardens

A Botanical Garden Visit

Visiting a botanical garden is both a stimulating and peaceful experience. It's quiet, yet you hear the sound of crickets, ...
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yellow columbine flowers

Summer Reminiscing

Pour some lemonade, sit on the porch and reminisce with your older friend or family member about summers past. Activities ...
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tulips in a flower bed

Remembering in the Garden

A garden can stimulate memories from long ago. Spending time in a garden can bring back memories of once having ...
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Dahlia in bloom in Autumn

The Senior Gardener’s Toolbox

Here are some tips and tools for the Senior Gardener, depending on abilities: Use raised beds, boxes, or flower pots at ...
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Comfort Activities for Decreasing Stress in Elders

Every so often we all experience situations and events that may make us feel unsettled. For an elder, a stressful situation may be worrying about paying for food and medicine, sad about not seeing family, misunderstandings, or any number of other circumstances. There can be stress that a caregiver may not even know about.

bench overlooking a pond

Helping an elder to decrease their stress level …

is important. Adding daily comfort activities may lead to contentment, relaxation, decreased agitation, and overall well-being.

Comfort activities for elders are different for each person. One may relax with a cup of tea, while another might enjoy a form of exercise. You may need to try different comfort methods until you find the right one for your elder.

Keep in mind that you may try these comfort methods or activities for those elders with dementia as well, who may become agitated or frustrated at times. **

Here are some comfort methods or activities to try to soothe an elder.

Pets and pet therapy

  • Bring a pet to visit with an elder. Petting a dog, cat, or other animal; brushing their fur; feeding an animal; walking an animal are all beneficial things an elder can participate in. Even an elder who is in bed much of the time can visit with an animal on or by their bedside. Read more about the benefits of pets and their therapeutic value.

Comfort Foods

  • The foods that we love most seem to bring comfort. Maybe it is a food mom used to make, or maybe it is something warm like soup or a casserole. Find what foods comfort your elder and offer those from time to time or regularly.

Snacks

  • Snacks throughout the day and as part of a routine not only helps to fend off hunger, but also eating a snack helps us to slow down and have a quiet moment while we eat.

Exercise and Movement

  • Relaxing through exercise and movement can come in many forms. Pick the one that is right for your elder. Is it walking, tossing a ball back and forth, squeezing stress balls, working in the garden, sweeping, chair exercises, simple yoga, tai chi, or something else? Try several to see what works. Read more here about physical activities.

Touch

  • Elders may not receive as many physical interactions as they once did. Hugs, holding hands, gentle massage to hands and arms with warm lotion, brushing hair, may all be things that can bring comfort. Do consider, however, that there are folks who do not like to be touched.

Nature

  • Being out in nature can be a calming experience for some who enjoy it. Sitting outdoors or taking a walk can be beneficial and provide a distraction from a stressful situation. You may wish to schedule this as part of a daily routine.

Warm beverages

  • A hot cup of herbal tea like chamomile or your elders favorite decaffeinated tea, or other warm beverage might help to take a break and bring warmth and relaxation. Just watch the caffeine hidden in some beverages. Here’s a recipe for warm apple cider.

Reading

  • Reading short stories like inspirational stories from Chicken Soup for the Soul, passages from the bible, short poems or even sitting down to look at pictures from a book can get our mind on other things.

Holding something

  • Some folks like holding on to things for comfort. Soft things like stuffed animals, dolls, blankets, quilts, and pillows may soothe some elders.

Caring for something

  • Having to care for something like plants, an animal, a doll, or other thing might be a need for some elders which might bring about comfort.

Easy Games

  • Easy games like card games, checkers, hangman, might keep our minds busy as long as it doesn’t become too difficult or upsetting. Brain games may be right for some elders because they keep the mind busy with things other than stress.

Quiet Time

  • Some people may love sitting in the peace and quiet and will value sitting in front of a window or sitting outdoors. If this is something your elder would love, schedule this as part of their day. Some professionals may consider this as sitting idle, but some folks relish this as a peaceful moment.

Familiar surroundings

  • Some of the most relaxing environments are the ones we find familiar. Those places that we find our own things and the things that we love. Surround your elder with familiar decor and furnishings where he is most comfortable. Outdoors you may provide surroundings and plants that they are familiar with as well. See this post on what every nursing home resident’s room should have. Many of these ideas work for other places or rooms that a loved one spends time in.

Music

  • Music can get us moving but music can also calm us. What kind of music calms your loved one? Do you have a playlist that you have put together for stressful times? Try out various kinds of music to see what may bring a sense of calm.

Conversations

  • Having a conversation may work with some elders who may be stressed about a particular situation. If there has been a misunderstanding or a situation that unfolded that they are confused about, taking the time to explain it may be helpful and provide some insight. Talking things through and lightening the mood might just work.

Daily Routines

**When someone is agitated first consider that their basic needs are met. Are they hungry, thirsty, need to use the restroom, clothes fit comfortably, room is well-lit, cold or hot, etc.? They may not be able to communicate these basic needs so caregivers often times must anticipate needs. If you find that your loved one is sundowning (confusion, agitation, and anxiousness in the late day or evening), first find out what may be triggering it. You may wish to make a plan to use comfort activities each day. Try to schedule in certain activities that you know works. Experiment with what works best for him.