Senior Moments: A Few Fun Things to Do With the Parents

Whether you still live with them or not.

PHOTO BY Pexels / cottonbro ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

( Raise your hand if your parents are perpetually looking for an excuse to go out—or giving you mini anxiety attacks whenever they casually mention wanting to pay you a visit. It's hard to get seniors to understand just how important it is for them to stay home, especially since we've all been having to do this for five months now. It's even harder when you live in a separate household and can't keep track of what they're doing 24/7. If you're running out of ideas to help pass the time, we've put together a quick list of things you can try.


Check out these ideas for things you can do with your seniors, whether you live at home or not:

Do a daily crossword challenge.

PHOTO BY The Washington Post
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Parents love a good challenge, and there’s nothing like a bit of competition to get the adrenaline going. The Washington Post has a free daily crossword you can print out (if your parents are old-school), or play online if you’ll be playing remotely. It’ll be fun figuring it out together or filling in the crossword at the same time—how about one person works on the “down” clues while the other works on “across”? You can try to beat your own time with every crossword, too.


Get them into yoga.

If they give you an incredulous look that says “Are you serious?” when you suggest yoga, just mention the benefits: more flexibility, improvement in balance, better sleep. You can also start with simple movements that won’t make them feel like a tangled-up pretzel. There are plenty of channels on YouTube with 30-minute gentle yoga sessions specifically for seniors, but we like Kassandra for her relaxed, no-pressure style.

Start a mini book club.

PHOTO BY Fully Booked Online

Choose a book every week and send your seniors a copy (or send them a link through one of the many bookstores online) and then set up a video call on a weekend to talk about the book—snacks optional, but encouraged! Sharing your thoughts on plot twists or characters would help you get to know one another in a way that you might not have tried before, and if nothing else, gives you something else to talk about during your weekly catch-ups. Not sure which title to start with? Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane (P816 at Fully Booked Online) is the story of May Attaway, an introverted gardener at a university who gets a year off and decides to spend it reconnecting with friends. Described as “fun, hilarious, and extremely touching” by NPR, it was a best book of 2019 pick by Vulture.

Start a shared hobby.


Neither of you may have been born with the talent, but that’s the thing about hobbies—if you’re even a tiny bit interested, you can give one a try and just have fun with it. There are plenty of options to choose from just on YouTube, but drawing would probably be the easiest to do with a senior. Who knows, maybe you’ll both get good enough to sketch each other’s self-portrait!

Schedule a regular movie marathon or Netflix binge.

We put together a list of mom-friendly movies for Mother’s Day this year, but who says you can only watch them on the second Sunday of May? Netflix Party is one way to stay in touch during your movie marathons, but really, a video call would work just as well at making you feel like you’re watching in the same room. Parents are sure to love A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks. Looking for something with a big helping of humor? Grace and Frankie is a good bet.


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