I am in need of some ideas of what to do with my mom and her husband when they come to visit. My family loves the outdoors and they would rather sit and read the paper or watch TV. We have games but also a 2 year old so we are limited on things to do. Sitting around the house will drive me CRAZY and I simply can't do that with her. She does have some feet issues so walking really any distance is difficult for her. Suggestions?
In Need of Ideas from West Coast
I was going to suggest the zoo, but then you said she had feet issues. Maybe if it's a nice day, you could all go to a park for a picnic?
How about short road trips, not a lot of getting out of the car. Eating out? Drive around zoo? Shopping where there are electric carts, even for groceries? Sam's Club? Does Disney Land have electric carts?
Is there anywhere nearby that you could just drive to and look around? That's the only outdoor thing I can come up with that wouldn't involve walking.
Maybe you could go through family pictures together and create a scrapbook.
Would your mother be willing to use a wheelchair? Usually agencies like United Way, Red Cross and others will lend them out. Then you could do things like go on a picnic to the park, etc.
I must admit that my first reaction to your comments was to feel defensive and disappointed. I am bothered that you can't just accomodate your mother's needs and sedentary lifestyle for such a short period of time. Your comfort seems much more important to you than hers. I am reminded that I was blessed to have a sweet-natured mother and I had a good relationship with her. Although her visits did change our routine for a few days it did not drive anyone in our family crazy. We were just happy to have her here. I will also admit that I have seen some mothers who are real "stinkers" and are NOT pleasant to be around. I truly hope that yours is not one of THEM!
Here are some suggestions that worked for me with my parents and actually work for my children now when we visit them.
Get out the pictures. Surely you have snapshots and maybe videos that your mom hasn't seen. We have a lot of fun going through albums and boxes of pictures, spread out on the dining room table.
Go for a slow drive in your city or neighborhood. Point out where your church is, the school your children attend, where your husband works, the park the kids like to play in..............you know.....just the regular, normal places where your family spends time. Then in the future, when you visit by phone or letter, she can "see" in her mind the places you mention.
Does she like to look around in small antique/secondhand stores? Many of us old ladies enjoy seeing "stuff" we remember from days gone by......whether we want to buy it or not! It's a fun pastime for many of us and could kill an afternoon for you if there are any places like that near you. It can involve a limited amount of walking...........unless you go to a huge antique mall with all the little booths.
Does your mother have a skill you'd like to learn such as knitting or crocheting etc.? Maybe she could teach you some basic steps??
She would probably appreciate some relaxation time each day...........where you don't have to "entertain" her. Let her watch her favorite TV show, read the paper or whatever and you just go on and do what you need to do....laundry, cooking, grocery shopping?
Are there any interesting places in your area that she might enjoy seeing? Around here we have small, family wineries, a dairy with wonderful ice cream to enjoy, some spectacular flower gardens, some beautiful, restored historical buildings..... the list goes on and on.
I hope your visit goes well. I do envy you. My mother has passed on. I miss her and the good times we had. I hope you two will make some good memories this visit.
My mom's in a group home, but before she went in she invited me to live with her for a year, which was a joy even though I am a 24/7 caregiver and home school teacher for my grandson for 6 1/2 yrs., he is age 9 1/2 now. It was quite a challenge but I saw
after a while that since she was used to a smaller
world, which included her own routine and TV programs/favorite channels, and remote, I realized that I should not interfere with that routine so that
she could remain calm during her declining years.
Why? Because the aging process is a bit cruel in itself, inasmuch as one truly realizes much of what is happening AS it happens. Youngewr people/family members often think the elders do not even know
that they stutter, are slowed in speech/moving aroung, have stiffness/swelling/adjustments to all sorts of meds. and reactions/must continually try to understand what they are to do for themselves that is different/ hearing loss/ irritability because of all of the frustrations in dealing with the aging process.
The most loving thing you can do is to get a second
TV/2 remotes, sacrifice a bedroom you might be able to set them up in, complete with any convenience they need. It will pass quickly and they'll be gone, only memories of how you related when you were together. Its a perfect time to think back of good things they did, happy times together, special memories that you need to thank them for,
adding how important thay are to you, etc. If you go anywhere, by ALL means try to get a wheelchair
or at LEAST use the store's handicap elec. cart, as in Walmart shopping. Watch for personal needs, body odors they cannot smell because their sense of smell usually dimishes, and keep them well groomed, with frequent massages and hugs of reassurance, as well as keeping their clothing organized and orderly so that they dress approprietly. That baby will play in the playpen most of the day, and you can plan on thinking of your situation as having two extra babies to care for
but do it without regret, knowing that they took care of you when you were unable to care for yourself.
Ask God to help you each day and He will because it is the only commandment with a promise, "Honor thy Father and thy Mother so that it will go well with you all the days of your life." What a blessing and joy, honor and privilege you have for a very short time. I know you will do the best that you can. That's all you can do..Love on them a lot, because they are fully aware of nearing death and it's a bit
scary. God bless and help you. : )
Maybe you could ask your mother to tell/write about when she was a child/newly married/her parents/grandparents etc? Genealogical information is PRECIOUS as well as anything that goes with it. Remember, once you lose your mother, you will also lose all that info!
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