You know the saying: all work and no play makes you a dull caregiver! While caregiving is a serious profession, it’s critical to take some time out every now and again to enjoy life with your patients. This includes heading out on Sundays for enjoyable experiences that help both of you relax and unwind. Here are our top ten suggestions:
If the season’s right and the farmer’s market is accessible to you and your patient, head down in the morning. Most farmer’s markets offer a large assortment of food vendors, crafts, fresh produce, and more. This makes it an enjoyable place to check out the local scene and have a bite of something yummy. What’s more, since many farmer’s markets offer live music, they can be excellent places to relax and enjoy the morning at your own pace.
Walking has numerous health benefits, ranging from helping you maintain a healthy weight to strengthening bones and muscles. As such, it’s an excellent way to prevent dangerous health conditions and stay active and healthy.
This next Sunday morning, take your client out for a walk. While the length doesn’t matter – around the block or the town – just getting out and enjoying some fresh air can be great for your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Remember to go slowly, bring water and snacks if you’ll be gone for a while, and bring a supportive device like a walker or a cane if your patient needs it. Sturdy shoes are also a must.
Avoid walking on icy, wet, or snowy ground, as this can prove dangerous for elderly or injured patients. To add some extra fun to your walk, walk to a destination, like a pond, park, or riverside, where you can relax and enjoy the scenery for a while.
If the weather outside is frightful or getting outside isn’t an option for your patient, spend the day inside and learn something new, instead. Classes where you get to do new things, like paint, draw, or play music, can help protect the brain and expand your knowledge and skills.
Learning new things is especially important for older adults since it helps protect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. If you’re not sure which classes your patient would enjoy, check out local art galleries, studios, and assisted living facilities to gather several options and talk them over with your client. Painting or art classes are always fun, as they teach new skills and allow you to make something creative to bring home!
Few things are more comforting than settling down with a great book. This Sunday, curl up with something a novel or story your patient loves and read it out loud. Punctuate the session with some tasty, homemade treats, and lots of time to stop and discuss the text. A fantastic bonding method, this is an excellent way to spend a quiet afternoon and can help keep you both engaged. If your client would prefer, have him or her read aloud to you!
If your patient has close friends or family near, invite them over for a Sunday brunch. In addition to being a great way for your patient to bond with his or her loved ones, this allows you to get to know the patient’s family members, and build relationships with them, which is important because they likely collaborate in the patient’s care.
What’s more, having friends and family over restores a patient’s independence, and allows him or her to enjoy an afternoon as the host.
When the weather is nice, head to a beach, lakefront, park, or even the front lawn and have a picnic. Pack your patient’s favorite treats and spread a comfy blanket and pillows out. Bring a chair if your patient needs something more supportive to sit in. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses and sunhats to protect yourself and your patient from the sun. Invite some friends if you prefer to make this a group affair!
When the weather is nice, most communities offer free, outdoor concerts you can attend with your patient. Head to one of these for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon that gets you both out of the house. Don’t forget to bring something comfortable to sit on, and some picnic snacks in case you get hungry.
Swimming can be a fantastic activity for seniors, since it’s non-weight bearing and won’t inflame or bother existing injuries or conditions. If your client is up to it, take him or her down to your local YMCA or athletic club and enjoy a few laps around the pool. Most mid-sized athletic clubs also have shallow, warm pools which are ideal for seniors, since they’re relaxing, therapeutic, and less busy than lap pools.
If your patient is somewhat housebound or getting outside is difficult, stay in and try out a new recipe. Cooking together is a great way to help your patient enjoy his or her independence while also learning something new. What’s more, you both get a tasty payoff when the experience is done: a yummy meal!
Most clients love to tell their stories. Using a Sunday to write out your client’s life story is a great way to make the most of your time together and create something that lasts. Have your client dictate the story to you while you listen and write it out.
No matter how mobile your patient is or isn’t, there’s something on this list for everyone. From taking in a free concert in the park to enjoying a homemade meal from an exciting new recipe, it’s easy to find fun Sunday activities that allow both you and your client to relax and unwind.
Essential for keeping the client/caregiver relationship positive, and ensuring you both get a much-needed break from the stressors of day-to-day life, these ten fun Sunday activities are ideal for patients of all ages and backgrounds.