We’ve all heard of the term ‘bucket list’--a list of all the things someone wants to do in their life. These are usually extreme things, such as skydiving, going to Europe, or seeing a favorite band live--things that are completed over a long period of time. But we want to challenge you to help your loved one have the best summer possible by helping them create and complete a short-term summer bucket list! Your loved one is a life-long learner, explorer and creator. Therefore, having and completing a bucket list will stimulate their mind, body and soul and keep them excited. Checking items off their bucket list will also give them feelings of purpose and accomplishment! Here are a few summer bucket list ideas from Woodland Creek, a Montgomery County nursing home.
Your loved one may have spent many years practicing skills and hobbies that were a large part of their lives. Whether they were work-related or just for fun, these activities from the past can help seniors with memory challenges connect with their past, feel like themselves, and provide feelings of accomplishment. Think back to hobbies, skills and interests your loved one enjoyed throughout their life to select the perfect activity. For example, if they were in the Navy, they may enjoy practicing knot-tying. A retired art teacher may enjoy hand-creating greeting cards. A senior who loved working on cars may enjoy looking at photos of antique vehicles or sorting tools.
As they enjoy their activities from the past, be sure to engage with them, ask them questions, and show your own appreciation for what they’re doing so you can enjoy these activities together.
We know what you’re thinking--it may be difficult for your loved one to travel somewhere new and exciting. But we’re one step ahead of you here at Woodland Creek. Our state-of-the-art virtual reality therapy allows our residents to explore places all over the world, go on excursions and enjoy experiences they’ve always dreamed of, right in the comfort of our community! Your loved one can explore the Caribbean sea and scuba dive with sea turtles, or visit the penguins in Antarctica. Whether it is a performance, place, or activity that they want to see, we can turn almost any of your loved one’s dreams into virtual reality!
Taking time each day to express their feelings and recount their experiences and activities is a great way for seniors with memory challenges to express creativity and be cognitively stimulated. Consider helping your loved one start writing a daily journal. It doesn’t have to just be about their day, it could be about whatever they please. If they need assistance, you can simply encourage conversation while you do the writing for them. They can even doodle in the journal to express themselves! Reading together is also a great activity for seniors with memory challenges, so we recommend sitting down with your loved one to go back and read the journal at the end of the summer to be reminded of their activities, daily life, feelings, experiences!
These are just a few ideas for a summer bucket list for your loved one. We encourage you to help them make their own customized list, and help them complete it, so they can have an awesome and rewarding summer! You can even repeat this process in the following seasons or make it a yearly bucket list.
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Woodland Creek, contact our friendly team today.