Five autumn activities for seniors
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There's the crisp tang in the air, which means that autumn is here. Now's the time to start thinking about special things you can do with your aging parents or other elder loved ones to take advantage of the fall weather.

Below are just a few activities to consider, based on the level of activity that's appropriate for the seniors in your life.

 1. Fall foliage excursion: One of the hallmarks of autumn is the changing of the leaves. There's something about the annual explosion of color that's irresistible. If you live near a park and your loved one likes to take walks, definitely plan to spend some time watching the leaves change over the next few weeks. For those whose aging parents may be less ambulatory, a weekend drive through a wooded area can be very diverting.

2. Apple picking: For those who live near apple farms, an apple-picking trip can be a good multi-generational activity. Kids tend to love going out to pick the apples; those seniors who are more mobile also get a kick out of it. If your loved one is not really up to walking through an orchard, he or she can still enjoy sitting with you in the bracing air while the grandkids go picking. Many apple farms also have produce stands, and your aging parents may enjoy helping you pick out a good Halloween pumpkin or a bag of vegetables as you wait.

3. Halloween decorating: Speaking of Halloween, you can involve your favorite senior in getting the house ready for trick-or-treaters. Helping to make ghoulish decorations, painting or drawing faces on jack-o-lanterns, shopping for treats, and putting together ready-made bags of treats for spooky visitors can keep your senior occupied and feeling like part of the season.

4. Keep gardening: Seniors who love gardening don't have to stop just because summer is over. Mums, marigolds, zinnias and others do well in the fall; more importantly, there are numerous bulbs that need to be planted in the fall so that they can pop up in the spring.

5. Take in a game: Football season is here, and perhaps your senior loved one would like to go see a game or two. It doesn't have to be a pro game, either; a high school football game can be just as much fun, especially if there's a grandchild playing, cheering or performing in the band.

 Summer is wonderful, but there's plenty to do in autumn as well. Make sure your aging parents don't miss out on the fun.


Julie Ann Anderson is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park; mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, to educate and encourage seniors and caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern? She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.

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