As your parents age, they might start to have challenges with their mobility. Using a cane will help them move around, but it might feel like there are less activities that you can do together. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of activities that you can do with them.
You just need to get a little more creative. There are countless activities that you both can enjoy for intellectual stimulation.
However, you don’t want the amount of walking to be exorbitant, or else your parent might feel tired or discouraged. With that in mind, here are 10 things to do with your parent who needs a cane.
Although it might seem like hiking is too intense for someone with a cane, if the trail isn’t too hilly, hiking is a fantastic outdoor activity to do with a parent. Any path with elevation changes might not fit for this occasion, but a flat trail can be an exciting adventure for your loved one and yourself. Be sure to pack lots of water, a small first-aid kit, and some snacks before you embark on your journey.
Go To a Museum
If the weather isn’t suitable for a hike or if your parent wants to stay indoors, taking a trip to a local museum is a fun way to learn more about the world. Walking through the exhibits is a simple enough task for someone who uses a cane, and most museums won’t be too challenging to traverse.
Taking pictures with your parent at the museum will give you a keepsake for that day’s memories. If you want to bring home something a little fancier, you can stop by the museum’s gift shop. They might even have a commemorative picture frame for you to purchase.
Whether for groceries or high fashion, shopping is another fun activity that doesn’t require too much strenuous activity. For example, if your mom uses a plain cane, you can take her shopping for ladies’ walking canes at your local mall.
However, if you are budget conscious, you might want to go to a discount market or thrift store. Giving your parent a chance to make recommendations on what to purchase helps them feel more involved.
They might not need much for themselves, but you can offer to chip in if they do. Otherwise, if your parent firmly insists on buying you something, even if you don’t really want it, letting them make the purchase can make them feel better. If you don’t like what they bought for you, keep the receipt and quietly return it on a different day.
Play Wii Sports
Video games are energizing, mentally stimulating, and easy to pick up, but some games are more complex than others. If you have a Nintendo Wii, you probably received a copy of Wii Sports when you purchased the console.
In addition to being free, Wii Sports is one of the most accessible games to players of any age because the games are well-known sports games and the controls rely on simple motions rather than complex button combinations. For your parent, bowling might be the most straightforward, but the game also includes tennis, golf, baseball, and boxing. You can also create a Mii in your parent’s image for extra fun.
An activity that benefits your own family, as well as others, is volunteering. Wherever you live, there are charitable organizations in your community that serve a specific cause.
Find a cause that resonates with your parent and volunteer your time for the organization to help others and feel better about your own actions. You don’t have to make a lifetime commitment with the organization; every little bit of help counts.
It could be as simple as serving food at a soup kitchen, making bagged lunches for the homeless, or even spending time with underprivileged youth. Offering your guidance to others will teach you more about yourself and help those who need it most.
Watch a Movie, TV Show, or Concert
You can do more than one of these activities on a given day, so if your parent is starting to get tired from walking, take time to enjoy some entertainment. A trip to the cinema is a fantastic way to pass the time, but if there isn’t anything at the box office that suits your fancy, watching a classic film or TV show at home is a wonderful bonding experience.
Later in the evening, if you feel ambitious, why not take your parent to see an opera or symphony orchestra? Enjoying the finer things in life doesn’t have to come with excessive physical activity.
Play Cards or Board Games
Another activity that you can enjoy at home is an old-fashioned board game. Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Sorry are all classics, but if you want something even more exciting, you can play a newer game instead. If there is a specific game your parent mastered, such as chess, ask them for tips on how to win the game.
Visit Old Friends and Relatives
When traveling starts to become burdensome, your parent might need some help with getting around. Taking them to see their relatives and old friends will cheer them up by allowing them to spend time with their favorite people. There doesn’t have to be anything exciting going on. Just having each other’s company is valuable in and of itself.
Enroll in a Painting Class
Even if you aren’t Picasso, enrolling in a painting class is an exciting way to learn a new skill and bond with a loved one. Your local art center will have classes for the general public, but if you don’t have one in your area, you may need to drive over to your local community college. Equipment generally is not a prerequisite, but if you want to come prepared, stop by an arts and crafts store beforehand.
Take a Trip To the Local Farmer’s Market
Finally, determine which day your community hosts a farmer’s market and plan to attend the next event. Farmer’s markets give you and your parent the chance to consume some delicious local food, interact with your fellow citizens, and take in some fresh air. If you find enough items on your list, you can also use this as an opportunity to do your grocery shopping for the week.
Overall, there are more than 10 things to do with your parent who needs a cane, but this list provides enough examples for you to select a few. Now it’s time for you to visit your loved one and enjoy some accessible activities together!