International Game week is coming up from Nov 8-14, 2020. It is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. And while, with current Covid-19 restrictions and sometimes the limited mobility of our aging parent, caregivers cannot often attend a library event, you can take this week to be intentional about setting aside some fun time as a family playing some good old-fashioned board games.
As a caregiver of an elderly parent, it can be hard to know what to do to spend time together as a family. Multiple generations have different schedules, different communication means and different interests. But even with all of these varied opinions and interests of a caregiver’s family, there is one thing that seems to pull everyone together, and it can be extremely beneficial to your aging parent – a board game night.
Board games can run the gamut from chess and checkers to Monopoly and Sorry! It can be a card game, or it can be a game of charades. It can be sitting around a table or outside on the lawn. While they can definitely be competitive, many games can be multi-generational, built on good will and encouragement of other players. How you like to play is up to your family! So why not plan a board-game night with your aging parent and your family?
The first thing to do is find a time when everyone can participate, from your elementary-age kids, to teens, to siblings and aunts and uncles. Make it celebratory and pick a day during International Games Week and invite everyone to come on over for a fun night.
Next, get some good snacks lined up that your senior parent will enjoy as well as the rest of the guests. You can keep it pretty simple and if hands are being used to move game pieces or hold cards, take care that snacks will not stain the game pieces you’re using. Have plenty of delicious beverages ready as well and then be ready for some fun!
If possible, have games ready that most of the people attending know how to play or have watched play before. This is not the time to try to teach your aging parent (or your kid) a brand-new game. Tried and true games that your family has always loved will produce the most fun and least stress as the gaming commences.
Playing games is not only fun, it also exercises the brain. This is something caregivers of seniors often struggle with, providing good mental stimulus to aging parents. Playing games can also elevate mood and create a sense of belonging. It reminds your aging parent of the important role they have in your family and let’s them know they’re not forgotten as everyone goes about their daily lives.
Finally, be ready to be flexible. If a game gets too intense or too confusing, be ready to shift gears so that the game night continues to be enjoyable for all. Celebrate the little victories and help all players feel good about their efforts even if they lost.
Get that calendar out today and pick a date! Your senior will appreciate the time spent with you and your family and you’ll love the family time as well.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Madison, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004