Visiting Tips

101 Things to do While Visiting an Older Adult

  1.  Talk about what you both have been up to since your last visit.
  2.  Bring photos of family and friends from days gone by or recent snapshots.
  3.  Create a photo album, framed photograph collection, or poster to hang up.
  4.  Make a special scrapbook celebrating her/his lifetime.
  5.  Write or tape your older adults biography … give copies to the family.
  6.  Share your own favorite stories and memories.
  7. Bring vacation photos, souvenirs, postcards, maps, and tales of your travels.
  8. Read newspapers and magazines aloud to keep your older adult “in touch.”
  9. Look at magazines that have a lot of large, colorful pictures.
  10.  Subscribe to your older adult’s hometown newspaper and bring it along.
  11.  Read religious or inspirational articles, magazines, or books.
  12.  Read letters from family and friends.
  13.  Listen to messages from family or friends recorded on cassette tape.
  14.  Bring a videotaped greeting from family and friends.
  15.  Help your older adult write or tape letters or send cards to people.
  16.  Find a pen-pal and help your older adult correspond with this new friend.
  17.  Create a poster or mobile from pictures cut from magazines.
  18.  Bring things related to the season or upcoming holiday to do and talk about.
  19.  Have an indoor picnic with your older adult’s favorite picnic foods.
  20.  Enjoy a cup of a favorite beverage that you’ve brought in your thermos.
  21. Bring the musical instrument you play for your older adult’s private concert.
  22.  Teach your older adult to play an instrument … or learn together.
  23.  Sing, hum, or whistle together.
  24.  Play “Name That Tune” with records, tapes, or music on the radio.
  25.  Listen to music.
  26.  Play charades.
  27.  Wind yarn for a knitting project.
  28.  Work on a craft project together.
  29.  Try a new artistic pasttime together such as drawing, painting, or sculpture.
  30.  Make simple gifts for your older adult’s grandchildren.
  31.  Bring along your sewing basket, button box, or tool kit to organize together.
  32.  Build a bird feeder or house to hang outside your older adult’s window.
  33.  Bring along a bird book and see how many different types of birds drop by.
  34.  Bring out the mending while you do your visit – your older adult’s or yours.
  35.  Brush, comb, or style your older adult’s hair.
  36.  Pamper your older adult with makeup, perfume, aftershave, or a manicure.
  37.  Ask for help in planning your garden and look through the seed catalogue.
  38.  Plant and take care of an indoor windowsill garden together.
  39.  Create terrarium to enjoy with very little care needed.
  40.  Play word and trivia games to keep your older adult’s mind alert.
  41.  Play card games or board games together – lifelong favorites and new ones.
  42.  Keep a running tally of the scores in your own tournament.
  43.  Do crossword puzzles together – or on your own – and see who can finish first.
  44.  Do jigsaw puzzles – one per visit – or a 1000 piece challenge that takes time.
  45.  Watch television together and talk about the programs you’ve seen.
  46.  Keep up on soap operas that your older adult watches and you may miss.
  47.  Rent a videotape of an old favorite movie or musical to bring along.
  48.  Go Shopping from catalogues for clothes, household, or frivolous necessities.
  49.  Go “”window shopping”” in fancy catalogues filled with things you’d never buy.
  50.  Bring a favorite recipe book to explore or plan a meal together.
  51.  Bring along a treat made from a recipe your older adult said sounded good.
  52.  Do some baking or no-bake cooking together.
  53.  Give your older adult a gentle massage with lotion to keep skin soft.
  54.  Bring things to stimulate the sense of smell – spices, perfumes, or roses.
  55.  Bring different textured fabrics to touch – silk, wool, denim, corduroy, or velvet.
  56.  Set up a slide projector or hand-held viewer for a travelogue.
  57.  Bring home movies to watch together (Don’t forget the popcorn!)
  58.  Have grandchildren bring or send along artwork or school papers.
  59.  Bring a pet to visit.
  60.  Bring a pet that the older adult can adopt – perhaps some fish or a bird.
  61.  Start a collection or hobby that you both enjoy.
  62.  Invite others who share the same hobby or interest as your older adult.
  63.  Do exercises together to keep in shape.
  64.  Read a chapter of a novel or several poems each time you visit.
  65.  Write poetry or a short story together – send it off to be published.
  66.  Look at and listen to an old-fashioned music box.
  67.  Make a “”joy box”” by filling a decorated shoe box with fun and favorite items.
  68.  Watch the seasons change out the window together.
  69.  Take photos of the changing season scenes – or keep a “window diary.”
  70.  Keep a mutual journal of interesting discussions you have during your visits.
  71.  Make a potpourri together and hang it up to keep the room sweet-smelling.
  72.  Tell jokes to one another – bring along a joke book if either of you need help.
  73.  Start a friendly, news-filled “”chain letter”” among your older adult’s friends.
  74.  Bring along an old friend of your older adult for a special reunion.
  75.  Take photos of your older adult to send to family or friends – ask for theirs, too.
  76.  Take a walk together outside as weather permits – sit on the porch or patio.
  77.  Bring along your children or grandchildren and enjoy watching them play.
  78.  Have someone bring a baby to hold and “”coo”” over.
  79.  Make scarves, mittens, toys or the like to give to a children’s hospital.
  80.  Celebrate the holidays together with special parties for two.
  81.  Keep track of favorite sports teams – make a friendly wager on the next game.
  82.  Learn a new word each time you visit together.
  83.   Challenge your older adult in a two-person spelling bee.
  84.   Play along with the television game shows or host your own version.
  85.  Dance, or tap your shoes, to your older adult’s favorite dance music.
  86.  Bring a travel book or brochures to dream about your fantasy vacation.
  87.  Use some small rhythm instruments or a kazoo to make your own music.
  88.  Read the Farmer’s Almanac and keep track of which predictions come true.
  89.  Play tic-tac-toe or hangman.
  90.  Ask your older adult to share memories of how the community has changed.
  91.  Make a list of all your older adult’s favorite foods, movie stars, and songs.
  92.  Decide what you both would do if you had $1 million.
  93.  Design and make your own Christmas or other holiday cards to send.
  94.  Toss cards into a hat, pitch pennies, shoot marbles, play jacks.”
  95.  Sit and hold your older adult’s hand and lend a good listening ear.
  96.  Try your hand at drawing each other’s pictures.
  97.  Blindfold your older adult in order to guess the flavors of tangy fruit candies.
  98.  Recite nursery rhymes and songs from both your generation’s childhoods.
  99.  Work on a latch-hooked rug for your older adult’s room as you sit and talk.
  100.   Give your older adult a hug as you arrive and each time you say good-bye.
  101.   Think of your own 101 things to do while visiting!