Monday, June 1, 2015

What to Do, What to Do?

It's Summer again, and it looks like its going to be a great one. This is the time of year when we want to go outside, do fun stuff, and generally enjoy our world. When you're a caregiver, it can be hard to find things to do with your loved one, either because it's not safe, or you've just run out of ideas.

Summer was always the best time for me and Dad when we lived together. He could swim in the lake, we took lots of walks at the various parks in our area, we even went biking and rollerblading a few times! He's too frail to go out much now but I do still really enjoy when they take him outside to the patio to enjoy the sun, the fresh air, and the gorgeous flowers at his home.

If you are struggling to find things to do with your care receiver - and they are still mobile - keep it simple. Take a walk or an easy hike, feed the ducks, go canoeing, plant a container garden, or visit one or more of the tourist attractions in your area. There are more and more Alzheimer's Cafes in bigger cities. It may surprise you to know how many programs your local county, city, or Parks Department have that you could do together. I also highly recommend Judith Levy's excellent, Things to Do With Your Parent Who Has Alzheimer's Dementia.

Whatever the level of ability of your care receiver, try to find something fun and interesting you can do together, or something you can involve them in so you can have some valuable time off. But if, like my Dad, your care receiver isn't able to do much, don't underestimate the value of sitting together outside, with a cold drink, fresh air, a garden... and your cowboy hat.

If you are in the Seattle/Pacific Northwest Area:

Seattle Parks and Recreation has several great programs, including volunteering, farm visits, zoo and other walks and fitness. They sound amazing! Contact Cayce Cheairs at or 206-615-0100

Alzheimer's Café's,

Tutta Bella Pizzeria
4918 Rainier Ave S., Seattle
Second Thursday 3:30-5:00

Luther's Table
419 S 2nd St, Renton
Third Thursday 3:30-5:00